The Resident Assistant (RA) is a student who is employed by the Housing Department of their respective college or university to serve as a live-in member of the Residence Life Staff. The RA works with the directors of the dorm in which they live in order to establish a positive living environment for the resident students.

The essential functions of the RA position include the ability to: Read reports, gather and compile information for reports, perform cash transactions, communicate effectively with residents, staff, and guests, and direct and respond to fire alarms.

The RA is primarily involved in creating a community environment. In order to accomplish this, the RA is expected to play a variety of constantly changing roles. The RA must be flexible and creative in meeting the residents' needs by serving as a counselor, advisor, activity programmer, educator, and friend. This position requires a serious time commitment and willingness to be available and accessible to other students.