Join the ORL Staff as a Desk Aide


The Office of Residential Life offers hourly positions to staff residence hall desks. Students may apply to serve in the role of Desk Aide. These positions are highly desirable, work-study positions.

This site is intended for use by students interested in working at an IWU residence hall desk. It is important to understand before embarking on this process that only students who have received a work-study award as a part of their financial aid package can be hired at hall desks. Students awarded a full-time work-study award, the equivalent of 10 hours-per-week, earn their award over two semesters; students with a part-time award, the equivalent of 5 hours-per-week, earn their award over one semester.

Residence Hall Desks and desk staff members are supervised primarily by the Residential Community Advisor (RCA). RCAs are students who have served in the capacity of RA or FYRA for at least one semester, and are responsible for selecting, training and supervising desk staffs. RCAs are supported in this responsibility by the RD in each hall or area.

The initial hiring of desk staff takes place in the Spring term for the following Fall. With some regularity throughout the course of the year, it becomes necessary to identify students who can fill openings at hall desks on an ongoing basis. As these openings are identified, RCAs look to a common pool of applicants to determine those students who may be interested and available.

This site will allow students with an interest in desk positions to apply, update and maintain their applications. Likewise, RCAs will access the site to find students whose applications and availability match with the needs of openings identified at hall desks.

Desk Aide Description

Desk Aide Expectations

Frequently Asked Questions

Please select an application activity:

Submit a new application for Desk Aide

Desk Aide Expectations

  1. DAs are only allowed to use their work keys to access the desk and hall for work purposes. The keys are never to be used to access the building for the purpose of visiting building residents. DAs are expected to follow escort policies when visiting residence halls in which they do not reside.
  2. Desk Aides are expected to be a role model, both on and off duty, particularly on your floor. You are expected to uphold all hall and University policies.
  3. DAs are expected to follow all the procedures outlined in this manual and at training sessions regarding all desk operations.
  4. DAs are expected to present a positive attitude toward their hall and the University.
  5. DAs are expected to work all their scheduled hours. When DAs are unable to work, they are expected to follow the appropriate substitution procedure.
  6. DAs are expected to treat this position as a regular job. Duties of the desk come first, and personal matters come second. DAs are permitted to study at times when all assigned work is done, and the assistant sees no possibility for self-initiated tasks. The DA is then permitted to study until his/her assistance is required. The DA is to cease studying as soon as someone requests assistance, mail arrives, the telephone rings, etc. DAs are expected to prioritize this commitment along with others.
  7. DAs are expected to complete tasks according to the following priority.
    * answer the phone
    * assist persons present at the desk
    * distribute the mail
    * work on tasks assigned by the Residence Director, etc.
  8. DAs are not to leave the desk for any reason unless it is work related. DAs should make every effort possible to remain at the desk until the next desk aide has arrived for his/her shift. Remember to lock the entire desk area when you leave.
  9. DAs are expected to maintain confidentiality in matters such as residents' mail, persons who enter or Residence Director's apartment and other hall matters.
  10. At all times, under all circumstances, DAs are expected to be polite, courteous and helpful to persons in the lobby, at the desk or on the telephone.
  11. DAs are expected to keep the noise level to a minimum in the lobby. DAs are to confront people who are too loud or who are not behaving appropriately in the lobby. DAs should also be aware of their own noise level and keep it at an appropriate level as they conduct business.
  12. DAs may have a radio at the desk. However, the volume should be kept low, and it should be turned off when someone requests assistance or when the phone rings. Please note that televisions and headphones are not permitted at the desk.
  13. DAs are not to use the telephone to make or accept personal calls. Use of cell phones may be restricted if interference with work responsibilities is observed.
  14. DAs are expected to maintain a neat appearance, both of themselves and of the desk area. This is especially important when you work at the desk for special occasions such as Family Weekend, Homecoming, or Commencement. Shorts, sweats and scrubs are not appropriate attire at any time.
  15. Only DAs and the hall staff are allowed behind the desk and in the mailroom. Any business is transacted across the information counter. At all times the doors to the desk area should be closed, and the door to the mailboxes should be locked.
  16. DAs are not allowed to sit on the desk counter and are expected to remind residents of this policy.
  17. Desk Aides working during meal times may bring their meal with them. DAs will not be excused from desk duties for the purpose of obtaining lunch or dinner. Staff members with significant medical concerns or scheduling issues related to meal timing should address those with the RCA.
  18. You are expected to attend all DA meetings. Typically, DAs will be required to attend a training session at the beginning of their employment and one business meeting per month. The business meetings will consist of setting work schedules, training topics and signing time cards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who hires DAs? Who supervises them?

DAs are hired and supervised by the Residential Community Advisor in each building. Of course, Residence Directors indirectly supervise and have regular contact with DAs, but the desk and desk staff supervision is done primarily by the RCA.

How many DAs will be hired?

The nine traditional hall desks have enough hours between them to employ over 80 full-time work-study students (approximately 8 students per desk). The exact number of students hired per desk depends on the work-study need of individual students who apply.

Will all returning DAs be hired?

No. Only those DAs who have consistently fulfilled the responsibilities and expectations of the DA position and who successfully complete the DA Rehire/Evaluation process with their RCA will be rehired. Returning staff who were previously successful in the position will be considered before new applicants.

How will DAs be placed in halls?

It is our intention to hire the bulk of DAs at a particular desk from students who are assigned to the building. Other DAs may be hired to round out the staff who are not building residents. Our rationale for hiring the bulk of the desk staff from residents of a building is to help facilitate community and interaction between residents of a building and the desk staff members that serve them.

Do DAs have to enforce policies?

When DAs are staffing the desk, they are expected to enforce policies such as sports in the hall, guest escort, and quiet hours. Training in confrontation is a part of DA training at the beginning of each year.

How do DAs choose work shifts? What if one of my classes conflicts with a time I'm required to work?

All hall desks select their hours on a semesterly basis at the first DA meeting based on DA availability. All halls have a monthly meeting where DAs can switch hours. Should a DA have an academic conflict, s/he should work to find another staff member who can substitute for him/her and fill that shift. Because everyone occasionally needs a helping hand to cover a shift, DAs should be flexible and understanding. Should a DA not be able to find a replacement, s/he should talk to the hall's RCA for further direction.

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