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RA Selection Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

RA Selection 2020 - 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the RA Application

When is the RA Application available?

December 17, 2019 at
RAISE Application:
RAW Application:
TSM Application:

When is the RA Application due?

February 11, 2020

How many references do I need?

All candidates are required to provide a minimum of two references on the application.  One must be a current member of the Residence Life staff with the Department of Residence Life at SUNY Geneseo. This person may be an Area Coordinator Residence Director or any type of Resident Assistant. The other reference(s) may be from any professional with whom you have worked, by whom you been mentored, or who may provide particular insight on your abilities and character. References may not be a friend or family member.  Your references must be willing to complete a reference form on your behalf.  Their reference is due by March 1, 2020. 
Please send your references the following link if you are applying for the RA Position: 
If you apply for the RAISE Position, send them this link:
If you apply for the RAW Position, send them this link: 
If you apply for the TSM Position, send them this link:

We recommend that you are in communication with your references throughout the process.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your references have completed the reference form on time.  Incomplete or late references will prevent you from moving forward in the RA Selection process.

I do not have a resume.  Where do I begin?

The Office of Career Development is an excellent resource for resume preparation.  There are also plenty of resources on the internet.  Use your favorite search engine to peruse styles for formatting and information to include.  

I missed the application deadline February 11, 2020, can I still be considered for the RA Position?

No.  Completing the application is essential to move forward in the RA Selection Process.  Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.  In addition, all parts of the application must be completed and submitted timely.  This includes reference forms.  If your references are submitted past the March 1, 2020 deadline, your application will be considered incomplete and you will not be moving on to the interview portion of the RA Selection Process. 

Questions about the RA Interview Day (info to come)

What can I expect at the RA Interview Day?

Interview Day will take place at Mary Jemison (MJ) on February 14, 2020 (schedule TBD). Candidates will check in at the registration table 15 minutes prior to their interview time.  Please enter at the top floor entrance.

Interviewing this year will look different to those who have applied previously.  The process has change from the one day Group Process experience to a one day conference style Interview Day.  Conference style interviewing is different from traditional interviewing where the candidate is alone in a room with interviewers.  Instead, candidates will be interviewed by two student staff members in a large room where others are also being interviewed. The main floor of MJ will have forty tables where forty candidates will be interviewed at the same time. 

2019-20 Process
Interviewing will begin at 9:00 a.m. and finish around 12:00 p.m. There will be four 45 minute sessions.  Interview Schedule: 9:00 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m.  Candidates will be interviewed by two current student staff members.

The break down of the 45 minute interview is as follows:
30 minutes for interview questions
5 minutes for questions from the candidates 
5 minutes for interview evaluation submission by the student staff  
5 minutes for the candidates to exit the interviewing area and travel to the networking session

How should I dress for my interview?

Dress to impress.  Clean and wrinkle-free clothing is essential.  Your appearance should be polished.  If you have the means, wear a suit.  If not, wear an outfit that increases the confidence you have gained through preparation.  Put your best self forward.

What if I cannot make it to my interview? 

Unfortunately, we do not offer makeup interviews.  Your scores for application and group process will be counted, but you will not receive a rating for an interview.  This will most likely mean that you will not be eligible to be selected.

Questions about RA Group Process Workshop

What is the RA Group Process Workshop?

Group Process Workshops are a series of workshops designed to give candidates a chance to demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively as a team, and to participate in activities and discussions that offer insight into the RA role. Based on your availability, you will be placed into a workshop that will be facilitated at the same time each week, over the course of 4 weeks. Each workshop will be facilitated by a Residence Life professional staff member, with the same candidates in each workshop over the course of these sessions. This will give you a realistic sense of what it's like to work on a small team, and to showcase your abilities as a team member throughout these workshops. 

How should I dress for Group Process Day?

Group Process dress is different from the interview attire.  While you should still be clean and presentable, jeans, sweaters, sweatshirts, and sneakers, etc. are appropriate - pajamas are not. 

I have a conflict with Group Process Day.  Am I still eligible to stay in the RA Selection Process?

As you are planning your schedule for the semester, keep in mind that managing your time effectively to schedule Group Process Workshops is similar to the time management you will need to be successful in the RA role. 

With this in mind, you will still be eligible to stay in the RA Selection Process if you need to miss a Group Process Workshop session due to a conflict or an illness. It is to your advantage to attend each of the workshops you are signed up for, as this gives us more opportunities to assess your abilities as a leader and a team member, which is to the benefit of your candidacy in the selection process. If you are unable to attend a session of your Group Process Workshop due to a conflict or illness, please contact the facilitator for your session in advance of your scheduled meeting time. 

Questions about the Alternate RA List

What does it mean to be an Alternate RA?

Alternate RAs are candidates for the RA position who are qualified, but have not been offered a position on a specific staff.  Alternate RAs have the opportunity to attend a workshop series taught by a Student Life professional based on RA Selection values.  The workshop also prepares these students for the RA position should there be vacancies.  Since there is no fall RA selection process, if there openings for the spring semester, those positions will be filled by Alternate RAs. 

How long will I remain a candidate on the Alternate RA list?

Alternate RAs are eligible for hire for until the next RA Selection Process begins.

Questions about RA Orientation, RA Training, and RA Class

What is RA Orientation?

RA Orientation is mandatory for all new hires.  It is an opportunity to get further acquainted with the Department of Residence Life, sign-up for Fall 2020 RA Class, and complete paper work pertaining to employment.  RA Orientation will be held on April 30, 2020.  To make the most of RA Orientation, be sure to bring the following:  Voided check for Direct Deposit, Passport or SUNY ID/Driver’s License and Social Security Card, paper and pen or pencil.

If I have a conflict, can I miss RA Training or be late for it?  

No. Attending Resident Assistant training in its entirety and fully participating in opening the Residence Halls is required to hold the position.  Training lasts approximately two weeks and covers a variety of information.  This time is critical to prepare Resident Assistants for their role and responsibility as resources for their residents.  Fall 2020 Training begins on August 10, 2020.  Spring Training begins on January 18, 2021 (Jan. 17 arrival).

What is the RA Class?

The RA Class provides new staff members with a forum in which to discuss their role as Residence Life team members, as well as an opportunity to share their ongoing experiences as RAs. While a portion of the RA class will be devoted to a theoretical study of topics such as student development, diversity, and residential education, you, as new RAs, are encouraged to teach each other in a practical sense by sharing your own experiences with your classmates.  The RA Class is a mandatory 1.0 credit course and is taught by a member of the Residence Life professional staff.

Other FAQs

When will position offers be extended?

Conditional offers are extended March 16, 2020.
Final offers are extended on April 24, 2020 after conditional RAs complete the Student Leader Learning & Development Workshop Series.

Can I be a part-time student and be a RA?

No, only full-time students are eligible for the RA position.  RAs must be registered for a minimum of 12 credits each semester and no more than 18 credits.

Can I still apply if I plan to study abroad in the Spring semester?

You may still apply and be selected for an RA position.  It is preferred that you commit to a full academic year as an RA, however. 

If you are hired for the RA position and are later accepted into a study abroad program, you would not be an RA for that period of time.  If you hope to return to the position for the semester following your study abroad experience, you will not need to take part in the full RA Selection Process. You would work with the Assistant Director of Residence Life or RA Selection Chair to determine qualifications and a hiring process.  This also depends on position availability and your performance.

Can I student teach and be a RA during the same semester?

Unfortunately student teaching and other full-time internships are not permitted while serving as an RA.

Can I work and be a RA during the same semester?

Yes, but RAs are not permitted to work more than 15 hours per week outside the RA position.

If I lived off campus for a year, can I apply?

Yes, as long you have lived in a residence hall at SUNY Geneseo or another college or university for at least one full semester by the end of the Spring 2020 semester.

Will the room rent waiver and meal plan affect my financial aid package?

Each student’s financial aid package is unique.  The RA remuneration can impact your ability to maintain your work study position or other aid that you receive.  The Department of Residence Life recommends that all RA applicants contact the Financial Aid Office to determine the effect that accepting an RA position will have on their financial aid package.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to be aware of how the position may affect their financial aid.

What happens if I am offered a position, but I do not want to work in that specific Residence Hall?

The Department of Residence Life is searching for committed qualified RAs for our community.  Therefore we do not allow candidates to select where they might take offers.  If you decline an offer to be an RA in one of our residence halls, then you have declined an offer to be part of our Residence Life team.  You would be removed from our candidate pool. 

Benefits of the RA Position

What are the benefits of becoming an RA?

While the benefits of free housing and meal stipend are certainly a perk, those students who are only applying for this reason are encouraged to think again.  The RA position is a job.  It requires the person to be truly dedicated to making living in the Residence Halls a positive experience for others.  Some of other benefits include:  professional development opportunities through training and conferences, leadership development, connections with people, and marketable skill development. 

Former RAs have stated:

“The RA position has forced me to get comfortable with uncomfortable.  It has stretched me.  I know I will have to put myself  out there in the future and this has helped!”

 “It’s really marketable.  People know what the position is and what can be expected from an RA.”

 “The RA position is a confidence booster and it teaches you how to think on your feet.”

 “I learned ways to adapt my strengths to meet the needs of my residents and others.”

 “The RA position is a resume booster because it is like a mini-career.  Being an RA for three years shows my consistence and commitment.  It has also increased my self-worth.  Through the role, I have learned how to adhere and represent a policy that I do not necessarily believe in.  I have also developed the ability to event-plan which will benefit me in my future.” 

More Information

How can I learn more about the RA position and Residence Life?

Please review the information provided on the RA Selection website and the SUNY Geneseo Residence Life website.  You may also find information in the FAQ section.  You may email the RA Selection Committee to ask questions as well.  One of the best ways to learn more about the position is to ask an RA.  You can find at least one in any Residence Hall.

More Questions?