Residential Living Opportunities

Residential Living employs Washburn students for various positions during the academic year terms and summer sessions. All of our student staff positions require full-time enrollment. Some of the positions include:

Desk Assistant | Office Assistant | Resident Assistant



Desk Assistants (DAs) are student leaders who work at either the Living Learning Center or Washburn Village front desk.  The Living Learning Center and the Washburn Village’s front desks are open Sunday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – Midnight and Friday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.  DAs provide quality customer service to residents through such services as:

  • Distributing mail and packages
  • Taking maintenance requests
  • Checking out equipment provided at the desks
  • Answer general student questions
  • Assist Residential Living office with special projects




Office Assistants (OAs) are student leaders who work in the Residential Living main office and provide quality customer service to residents and other patrons.  OAs are often times, the first point of contact for customers and are responsible for being able to answer general questions about facilities and the department, as well as, assisting with standard policies and procedures.  Othe duties of OAs include:

  • Assisting with mail
  • Answering phones
  • Assisting customers with their needs
  • Occasionally provide tours for prospective students and their families
  • Aiding professional staff with special projects




Applications: Become available in mid-November.

The Resident Assistant (RA) is an undergraduate student selected to serve as an integral staff member of the Residential Living team. The RA lives with a group of 25-60 residents and guides them through their experience on campus as an Ichabod. Throughout the academic year, an RA serves as a leader, mentor, and positive role model to their residents by exhibiting compassion and concern for each resident’s health, safety and wellbeing.  

RA Position Details

Position Description 

Position facts: Resident Assistants will work on a team of 18 RAs, approximately 40 desk assistants,  5 office assistants, and 7 professional staff members.  Residents may have approximately 30-60 residents. The appointment as an RA is intended to be for the entire academic year (August-May) 


Essential Job Functions 

  • Cultivate an inclusive living, learning, and working community, facilitating the success of all people, and supporting all individuals. 
  • Embrace diversity and treating others collegially with civility, openness, and professionalism in all interactions, activities, and decision making. 
  • Establish positive and meaningful relationships by coordinating and facilitating regularly scheduled community gatherings, floor community builders, programs/events and other activities 
  • Conduct purposeful conversations with each resident to assist in their adjustment to college and to support their academic success. 
  • Act in an honest, fair, and ethical manner, creating a culture of trust evident in the RA role. 
  • Remain on campus to assist in the periodic opening and closing of the residence halls (Fall Opening, Winter Break Closing, Spring Opening, Spring Break Closing and Spring Closing) This will involve remaining in the building until all residents vacate the area before the RA may leave for break 
  • Enforce, uphold and explain University and residence hall policies. Help residents understand the impact of their behavior and refer them to professional staff for questions or concerns pertaining to student conduct. 
  • Ensure the timely, thorough and accurate completion of administrative tasks including rounds reports, incident reports, work orders, bulletin boards & door decorations 
  • Facilitate roommate agreement discussions assisting students in the development of their awareness and the awareness of others. 
  • Support and empower residents to learn about their values, goals and passions as a way for each resident to seek involvement opportunities in student organizations.  
  • Share information regarding campus events/programs, check-in/check-out procedures, health and safety inspections, survey administration and other duties as assigned by supervisors. 


Skills and Abilities  

  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to work in a team 
  • Strong work ethic  
  • Written & verbal communication skills  
  • Positive Attitude 
  • Leadership 
  • Conflict resolution  
  • Initiative  
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Flexibility/ adaptability  
  • Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 
  • Organizational ability 
  • Strategic planning skills 
  • Friendly personality  
  • Tactfulness 
  • Creativity  
  • Reliability 

Additional RequirementsMust be at least a second-year undergraduate student (Successfully completed 2 semesters post high school, minimum 24 completed credit hours)  

RAs must be enrolled in no less than 12 credit hours and no more than 18 credit hours during both the fall and spring semesters at Washburn University (unless fewer than fulltime credit is required for graduation) 


A minimum 2.5 semester and cumulative GPA is required. 


Experience in customer service, leadership, and/or event management is preferred 

Students who are completing clinicals, practicums, internships, fellowships or student teaching that require more than 20 hours/ week of outside involvement will not be considered for employment as an RA. 


A private double room and full meal plan are provided based on the residence hall building in which the RA is assigned. Additionally, a biweekly stipend of $55 is provided (totaling $1,255 total for Fall & Spring semesters).

Time Commitments  

  • Overall Time Commitment: Time commitments, either on or off campus (outside of academics & RA position) must be below 15 hours/week or approved by RA’s supervisor. RAs are expected to be available in your assigned residence hall 15-20 hours per week 
  • Hall meetings: RAs will facilitate hall meetings with their residents approximately 5 times throughout the academic year. 
  • Programming: RAs are responsible for approximately 3 programs a month (community programs for the entire building/complex, hall programs for your designated hall of residents, and passive programs for your residents), as well as monthly bulletin boards and door decorations.  For more info on the program responsibilities, click here to view the 2020-2021 Programming Model. (Note: This is subject to change for 2021-2022, and should be used to get a general idea of the commitment) 
  • Desk Shifts: All RAs work a weekly two-hour desk shift as part of the RA position. 
  • DutyRAs serve on a duty rotation. The figures below are based on the 20-21 academic year and are subject to change, but can be used to get an overview of the time commitment.  
  • Day Duty: Each RA will work a weekly two-hour day duty shift. During this time, RAs must remain on campus.  
  • Night Duty: The night duty commitment will vary depending on complex. RAs will have a night duty commitment each week. During this time, you must stay on campus from 5pm-9am, and in your residence hall building from 9pm-9am. You will be accessible to residents and to respond to any issue or incident, and responsible for doing security walk-throughs of the buildings called rounds. 
  • Weekend duty: Each RA will be on weekend duty from 5pm Friday-5pm Sunday ? During this time, you must stay on campus and complete rounds. RAs have an average of 4-6 weekend duties a semester.  
  • Break Duty:  RAs will have a designated number (average of 4) of break duties a semester for all the times the University is closed (ex: Labor Day, Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, Spring Break). Break duty is from 9am-9pm. RAs are compensated a daily rate for break duty.  
  • Opening/Closing/Breaks: RAs are responsible for preparing the halls prior to residents’ arrival, and ensuring the residence halls are closed for break periods and at the end of the year. As such, RAs should be prepared to arrive to campus before the halls open and stay late for breaks.  
  • RA Training: RAs will arrive to campus 1-2 weeks prior to Move In Day in August for RA training. RAs also will arrive to campus before the halls open in January for RA training. RAs may also complete additional RA training online prior RA move in.  
  • Meetings: RAs will participate in hour-long weekly staff meetings with their complex’s RA staff. They also will have thirty minute weekly one-on-one meetings with their supervisor. RAs will also attend an orientation in the Spring before their RA commitment starts.  

Hiring Timeline 

Below is an estimate of our hiring timeline for new RA candidates. Current RAs requesting to return will apply internally.  Please understand that this may change based on external factors.  

October 26: Applications open 

December 7: Priority deadline for applications 

December 14- December 22: Virtual interviews 

January 11: Offer letters extended 

Applicants are encouraged and invited to attend info sessions to learn more about the RA position and experience. Applicants are also encouraged to contact Career Services for interview preparation 

Info Sessions: 

Thursday, October 29 at 12:15 in Lincoln  3rd floor study room 

Monday, November 2 at 8:30 PM in the LLC Blair Room 

Friday, November 6 at 3 PM in the LLC game room (2nd floor) 

Tuesday, November 10th at 6 PM in the Lincoln 3rd floor study room 

Friday, November 13th at 4 PM in the LLC Blair Room 

Wednesday, November 18th at 9 PM in the LLC game room (2nd floor) 

Q: Will the room and meal plan compensation affect my financial aid? 

A: Each applicant’s financial aid is unique to them. As RA compensation may affect your financial aid, we urge applicants to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the effect on their personal financial aid.  


Q: Should I apply for housing if I’m applying to be an RA? 

Yes. You will be notified of hiring decisions before the deadline to cancel your housing contract and receive a refund for your deposit. If the housing deposit is a concern, please reach out to 


Q: I currently live off campus? Can I apply to be an RA? 

Yes! Off- campus and transfer students are invited to apply for the RA position. There is no on-campus experience requirement for the RA position. However, applicants must be at least a second-year undergraduate student (must have completed 2 semesters of college post-high school, and 24 completed credit hours).  


Q: May I have another job if I am an RA? 

Your RA position should be your primary non-academic time commitment. Other time commitments, either on or off campus, must be below 15 hours per week unless previously approved by the RA’s supervisor.  


Q: I want to be an RA, but am planning to study abroad? Is that okay? 

The RA position is intended to be for the entire academic year to ensure residents have a consistent experience.  


Q: When is RA training? 

RA training for the 2021-2022 academic year has not been scheduled, but is usually 6-9 days before Move In Day in the Fall and 2-3 days before the residence halls open in the Spring. Tentative dates would be August 9th-19th 2021 and January 13th- 14th 2022. RAs may also be assigned asynchronous online training prior to arriving to campus.  


Q: What if I have a conflict with training? 

All of training is mandatory. RAs are expected to be present and active during training. Please speak with a Residential Living Coordinator as soon as you learn you may be unable to attend training.  


Selection process: 

Q: What should I wear for my interview? 

Dress for the interviews is business casual. We do not expect you to buy a new wardrobe! Please dress appropriately for a professional interview. 


Q: What should I expect in my RA interview? 

Residential Living professional staff members will take turns asking questions primarily behavioral interview questions. These include questions like, tell us about a time when... or describe a situation when... The single biggest piece of advice we have to share is come into the interview with examples that you can share with us that highlight the skills and abilities that we search for in an RA.  


Q: What is the alternate pool? 

Applicants may be offered a position in the alternate pool. If there is an open RA position mid-year, the position is first filled from the alternate pool. If applicants accept the position, they may be offered a position as a desk assistant to familiarize themselves with Residential Living should a position become available. Alternates also will have the option to attend training. Alternates who attend training will be given priority over those who do not.  


Q: Do RAs choose their residence hall? 

The residential building that an RA is assigned to is referred to as their placement. 

RAs may express preference for a specific building but will ultimately be placed in a residence hall based off the needs off the community.  

When placing RA applicants, Residential Living staff considers the population of residents, the applicants’ strengths, and the interest of the team. RA placement offers are not negotiable. However, they may be adjusted before the beginning of the academic year based on changing community needs.  


Q: Do I have to reapply for the RA position each year? 

Yes. The RA appointment is attended to be for one academic year. Returning student staff will also be asked to apply to return (this may be in the form of an actual application, statement of interest, interview, presentation, or some other reflection on performance.) Performance evaluations, any accountability action, the application, and the needs of the community will be considered in all hiring decisions.   


Q: If this appointment is for the Fall and Spring semester, can I be an RA over the Summer?  

If a student is serving as an RA for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021, Residential Living staff typically tries not to pick these students as summer RAs to allow students to have a break. However, summer staff selection will depend on the needs of the community. More information about Summer Staff is released in the Spring semester.  


Q: What do I do if I have a question not answered here?  

Please email Residential Living Coordinators Jack Van Dam, or Kaylianne Weber,, with any additional questions!  

GET IN TOUCH WITH Residential Living

Residential Living
Washburn Residential Living Office
Living Learning Center
1801 SW Jewell Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone & Email
(785) 670-1065
Fax : (785) 670-1186

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