RCA Position Description

Residential Community Advisor (RCA) Position Description:

The Office of Residential Life is responsible for translating the overall philosophy and objectives of the Illinois Wesleyan University residence hall program into a practical and meaningful set of services, activities and programs for students living within the university- owned residence halls. The RCA represents the Office of Residential Life and works to promote an environment that fosters educational and personal growth. Interpretation of the University, its purposes, objectives and standards is a vital function of the Residential Community Advisor position. The main functional responsibilities of this position include supervision of the hall desk, serving as a role model to staff and residents and assisting the Area Director of that hall. It is the intent of the Office of Residential Life to have one Residential Community Advisor in each traditional residence hall. The Residential Community Advisor positions will be filled and placed before RA or FYRA Selections are made.


Educational & Personal Growth

  • Attend and actively participate in Spring, Fall and Winter Trainings and staff developments throughout the year.
  • Serve as a helper and resource to students in fostering growth and development within individual and group contexts, especially assisting students in making wise choices through using effective decision-making skills.
  • Mentor building staff on in-hall responsibilities including, but not limited to, hall desk procedures, duty, round, and emergency procedures
  • Provide a variety of active and passive programming opportunities targeting residents, staff members and desk staff in compliance with the approach and structure of the ORL programming model.
  • Complete, as directed, community-building activities for residents.

Crisis Response

  • Assume on-duty coverage responsibilities for the hall on a rotating basis with other Residential Life staff members.
  • Assume campus-wide on-duty weekend coverage one or two weekends per semester.
  • Perform necessary functions in the absence of the Area Director; for example, facilitating staff meetings, coordinating crisis situations, and making appropriate referrals.

Desk Supervision

  • Prepare and maintain the desk from Fall opening through May Term
  • Create and maintain Desk theme. Distribute door decorations to desk aides.
  • Supervise desk staff, including hiring and re-hiring, facilitating training and meetings, organizing and calculating time cards, semesterly evaluation and disciplinary action
  • Maintain desk supplies such as change lockouts, stamps, supplies, stocked paperwork, hall-specific logs, and coordinate other hall-specific desk-provided services
  • Update desk and lobby bulletin boards as appropriate
  • Provide for periodic and random checks to assess desk services


  • Assist Residential Life staff members in the check-in and check-out process of residents at the beginning and end of each semester; assist Residential Life staff members in closing and opening residence halls during vacation and holiday periods.
  • Participate in weekly staff meetings scheduled throughout the year.
  • Complete administrative work in a timely manner. Administrative duties include, but are not limited to: facilitating staff meetings, distributing and collecting information, submitting maintenance requests, completing weekly reports, updating duty logs, and posting flyers.


  • Implement, with other residence hall staff, the philosophy and objectives of the IWU residence hall program as outlined and explained by the Office of Residential Life.
  • Serve as a paraprofessional on one Office of Residential Life committee: First Year Experience, Selection, Training, Recognition.
  • Represent the Office of Residential Life and other Student Affairs staff by promoting good communication between all segments of the University community.
  • Act as a source of continuing student orientation to the University; contribute to the success of Turning Titan


  • Participate in yearly processes such as staff selection, housing selection, and any professional staff search.
  • Attend University Convocations and other campus functions of notable significance.
  • Assume other responsibilities related to the residence hall program as assigned by the Area Director or the Office of Residential Life.
Residential Community Advisors report directly to the Area Director of the hall in which they are assigned.
Residential Community Advisors must be Illinois Wesleyan student with one semester of experience as a FY/RA at Illinois Wesleyan. Residential Community Advisors must be in good academic standing and have access to a cell phone to use when he or she serves on duty and while on campus.
Role Modeling
As a residence hall staff, we function as educators. One of the most effective ways of educating others is through role modeling appropriate behaviors. Examples of behaviors expected of a Residential Community Advisor include: Setting a positive example. Conducting yourself in an honest, conscientious,courteous, and professional manner at all times and showing respect for persons of all backgrounds, ethnicity,races, lifestyles, interests, and abilities. Maintaining appropriate personal and professional decorum. Refraining from becoming involved in activities or encouraging behaviors which are in direct opposition to this principle.Confronting your colleagues who display inappropriate actions or do not show respect for others, especially those situations dealing with alcohol use. Actively supporting, interpreting, enforcing, and abiding by all University policies and procedures as described in the University Catalog, Student Handbook, Residential Life Policies and any other official publications made available to you or to the student body in general.Inappropriate role-modeling, given the context above, may be cause for immediate termination of appointment by the Office of Residential Life. Additionally, any Residential Community Advisor who leaves the position (forced or voluntary) will be subject to a hall re-assignment.
Academic Standing
Residential Community Advisors must maintain a minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average. A Residential Community Advisor will be placed on probation at the time the cumulative average falls below a 2.75. A Residential Community Advisor failing to achieve good academic standing after one semester of probation may be dismissed and the appointment terminated.
Missed Commitments
If you cannot fulfill any part of your Residential Community Advisor responsibilities, you must contact your Area Director immediately (minimally one week in advance). Regardless if the missed commitment is excused or unexcused, you will need to "make-up" the missed information/responsibility.Remuneration: The remuneration for this position will be a credit given for University room charge. Additionally,upon successful completion of the Residential Community Advisor duties and responsibilities, a stipend of$1350.00 per contract term ($300.00 for Fall training, $400.00 per semester $200.00 for May term and $50.00 for Spring training/retreat). Stipends are paid out on the first pay period following the completion of the term of service, typically January for Fall, May for Spring and June for May Term. Leaving the position, for any reason,will result in the receipt of only a pro- rated portion of the room allocation at the date of release of service as a Residential Community Advisor.
Contract Provisions
Residential Community Advisors are issued a probationary contract for the Spring semester. A joint review of the probationary period performance will be held in April between each RCA and the Director of Residential Life and/or his designee, if necessary. Based on successful completion of probationary responsibilities, the presence of a spirit of collegiality expected of incoming RCAs, as well as of the completion of responsibilities and expectations of the concurrently held staff position, a contract may be offered for the following Fall semester. Residential Community Advisors' contracts are issued for a particular academic term. In the event that the hall of assignment is closed at the end of a semester, it shall be understood that the Residential Community Advisor's contract will be terminated unless a transfer to another hall can be arranged. In the case where a RCA is hired as a mid-term replacement, the contract will be issued at the date of hire and run to the end of the current term.Contracts are not automatically renewed for subsequent terms of service but will depend upon the evaluation of past performance and future potential as determined by the Area Director. Failure to fulfill duties, responsibilities and expectations as outlined by the Office of Residential Life may be grounds for termination. Inappropriate role-modeling, given the context above, may be cause for probation or immediate termination of appointment by the Office of Residential Life. Additionally, any Residential Community Advisor who leaves the position (forced or voluntary) will be subject to a hall re-assignment. In such cases, a move can be expected within 24 hours.