Apply to be a Community Assistant!
Apply to be a Community Assistant!
One of the most common questions we get is: what is the difference between a Community Assistant (CA) and a Resident Assistant (RA)?
The quick answer is that RAs are part of the Department of Residential Life and are primarily focused on individual student development and CAs are part of the Department of Housing and are primarily focused on overall community development. While there are subtle differences between the positions, the most important similarity is that CAs and RAs both share a common dedication to helping their residents have successful tenures here at UNH!
You can be a community assistant at Gables, Woodside or Babcock! The undergraduate apartment complexes, Gables and Woodside, are home to approximately 1,400 sophomores, juniors, and seniors. With nearly 1,000 students living at the Gables, 400 students at Woodside our area is an exhilarating place to be. Meanwhile, Babcock Hall is a vibrant community of a 180 individuals who are 21 and older, with a mix of international, graduate, and undergraduate students. Lastly, we also offer the opportunity to work as a Community Assistant for the Quarantine and Isolation Hall: Adams Tower West. Check out our frequently asked questions for more information on this two unique positions.
The Community Assistant (CA) position is designed to assist the area Managers in developing and maintaining a positive living and learning environment for the on-campus undergraduate apartments and upperclassmen living facilities at the University of New Hampshire. As integral members of the apartment team, CAs are expected to support the mission of UNH Apartment Living by providing residents with a safe, secure, and cooperative residential community that is conducive to academic success and personal development, paying particular attention to the needs of upper-class students.
This is a live-in position providing outreach and support to residents from the fall semester opening through to the spring semester closing, including vacation periods. During the academic year, this position requires an approximate commitment of 20 hours per week. Adjustments may be made to accommodate academic commitments, with prior approval from the supervising manager.
CAs are expected to be visible in their community and be available and approachable for residents. It is expected that the conduct and lifestyle of the CA will serve as a role model for residents. It is also expected that CAs will communicate openly and effectively with other members of their staff.
- Develop and promote a sense of community within the apartment complex/building based on the ideals of respect and responsibility.
- Act as a role model for residents by balancing academics, work and personal responsibilities and conducting your behavior in an honest, conscientious, and professional manner.
- Coordinate and run social programs within the complex or building in accordance with the requirements put forth by the supervising manager. Depending on the CA community placement this typically amounts to 1-3 programs per month depending on the time of year and needs of residents.
- Create and display assigned educational/informational bulletin board each month, as directed by the supervising manager.
- Attend and support the other CA’s community programs whenever possible.
- Assist the Resident’s Council to plan social events each semester.
- Act as a liaison between residents and the Department of Housing, identifying issues, problems and successes and channeling that information to the appropriate staff members.
- Be present and a positive presence in the apartment communities.
- Walk through your assigned building(s) regularly, being sure to interact with residents.
- Complete the regular minimum resident contact requirement as assigned by the supervising Manager.
- Maintain a thorough knowledge of the nature and location of the various support services on campus and provide students with information regarding these resources or upcoming events and activities.
- Be knowledgeable of, understand, observe and enforce the policies and regulations of the community and the University. Report concerns regarding policy violations to the Managers.
- Inform and advise residents of policies, procedures and regulations, and help residents understand the necessity of and rationale behind on-campus living policies.
- Encourage both individual and group responsibility in the control of behavior and observance of regulations.
- Participate in the on-call rotation as scheduled. CAs are on duty Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 8PM to 8AM. The CA on duty should be in their community, accessible by the duty phone, by 8PM each night of duty.
- Since our communities do not close during the academic year, on-call responsibilities continue during university breaks and will be distributed during the fall semester. Each CA is asked to assume a fair portion of the duty rotation during semester breaks.
- Document and report all maintenance, facility and security concerns as well as student conduct incidents according to the procedures established by the Managers.
- Distribute and post information promptly, as directed.
- Complete required paperwork in a timely manner (i.e. duty reports, incident reports, maintenance requests, etc.).
- Assist in the opening/closing procedures for the apartments or hall, including but not limited to, key distribution and collection, inventories, and damage assessment.
- Participate in the recruitment, interview and selection process for new CA applicants, if applicable.
- Fulfill weekly service desk shift requirements as set by Managers.
- Assist with the apartment sign-up process, including, but not limited to, leading tours at the Apartment Open House.
- Attend weekly CA staff meetings.
- Attend regularly scheduled 1-1 meetings with the supervising manager.
- Participate in staff training programs: a 10 day training prior to the opening of the fall semester, a day-long training prior to the spring semester and additional involvements and enrichments as scheduled.
- CAs must have prior approval from their supervising Apartment Manager for field experience, internships, extra-curricular activities, and outside employment. Commitments such as student teaching, intensive internships and other major extra-curricular or academic obligations that require the candidate to be off-campus several days a week for significant lengths of time may not be approved and may bar the candidate from employment. It is up to the candidate to inquire with their intended supervising manager about potential conflicts and significant obligations outside of the CA role.
- If a CA’s cumulative GPA falls below the 2.5 requirement, he or she may be placed on job probation and be given one semester to bring cumulative GPA back up.
- The present and past conduct of a CA is expected to be in line with the needs and missions of the position and the Department. The hiring managers will conduct a background check of each candidate’s student judicial conduct record. Although having a judicial conduct record does not necessarily bar a candidate from being considered for employment, serious conduct violations that have resulted in probation, eviction or suspension will be weighed heavily in the final hiring decisions.
- If a CA fails to meet the conditions outlined in this document and the CA contract, he or she will be subject to disciplinary sanctions including probation and/or termination.
- In the event of termination, resignation or withdrawal from UNH, the Department of Housing will recover any credits to a CA’s account covering housing fees for the period during which services as a CA were not rendered. If the CA wishes to remain in in-campus housing, and is eligible, the Housing Department will provide a reassignment at its discretion.
- The UNH Department of Housing reserves the right to assign a CA to the apartment complex/hall that is best suited to his or her skills and abilities or its needs for CA coverage
- Candidate must be able to attend and participate in Community Assistant training in full. Training takes place during the 10-day period prior to Fall semester opening. No exceptions will be made. If the candidate has questions regarding their specific schedule and how it might conflict with CA training, it is his or her responsibility to address these concerns with their intended supervising manager.
Interested? Here is our timeline:
- Application goes live - November 1st, 2021
- Application closes - January 4th at midnight
- Interviews via Zoom - January 10th through January 14th
- Group Interviews - January 31st through February 2nd
- Hiring decisions are sent out to new applicants - February 23rd
- Full time enrollment in a degree program at the University of New Hampshire.
- Must reside in a university housing assignment for the term of appointment.
- Must be in good standing academically, financially, and judicially.
- Outside commitments limited to 5 hours per week or approval from Housing staff
- Must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5
- Housing is provided in a single or double bedroom of a four or five-person apartment at The Gables or Woodside Apartments. Regardless of placement, CAs will have the opportunity to select their roommates or having Housing select roommates on their behalf, if applicable.
- A Core meal plan with unlimited swipes from UNH Dining.
What is the difference between a traditional Community Assistant and a Community Assistant for the quarantine and isolation hall?
A Community Assistant that works in the quarantine or isolation hall has the goal of building connections with the students in isolation or quarantine. The expectation is to reach out to students with virtual social programs and check-in calls as well as prepare gifts, goody bags and activities that students can do on their own. Our aim is to make sure students do not feel isolated and to safely assist them with whatever they need.
*If Adams Tower West (ATW) is reopened as a traditional upperclassmen hall, and is not utilized as a Quarantine and Isolation Hall, the Community Assistants in this area will assume the role of a traditional Community Assistant for its population.
I’ve never been an RA before. Do I still have a chance of becoming a CA?
Absolutely! We have had many outstanding CAs who had never been RAs. Each year our staff is comprised of people with a mix of experience levels. CAs come from a variety of diverse backgrounds.
How many positions do you have and how many people usually apply?
We have 4 positions at the Woodside Apartments and 10 positions at the Gables. Aside from making offers for the positions we are guaranteed to have available, we will also hire a number of strong alternate candidates to assume the CA position if a spot becomes available or to serve in other types of student-serving roles if they become available. Each year we have an average of 120-125 applicants.
Are returning CAs automatically re-hired?
No. While we value the experience that returners bring, we look at the overall applicant pool each year and try to build the best team we can.
What’s the compensation for the position?
CAs are given a dining plan plus free housing in their assigned complex/building.
Do I get a single?
It depends! Because of the physical structure of the apartments, we are not able to offer singles to all of our CAs. All four CAs at Woodside are assigned to double rooms. At the Gables, CAs are in singles and doubles.
Do I get to pick my apartment-mates or roommates?
YES! When candidates are offered a position they are given paperwork to select their apartment-mates/roommates. As long as the desired apartment-mates/roommates are eligible to live in on-campus housing they can live with you!
How is placement done?
Our goal is to build strong overall teams in our areas. We also try to pair Gables CAs with complementary skills in the same buildings. When we offer a candidate a position, the offer is specific down to the complex, building and apartment/floor. Placement is determined based on manager recommendation and candidate preference.
Do I get to request a certain placement?
Yes. In the application we ask candidates what area they’d prefer to live and work in and why. We try our best to accommodate requests but we cannot make any guarantees.
Do you hire alternates?
Each year we have been fortunate to have a highly competitive applicant pool and unfortunately we cannot hire everyone. We make a number of alternate offers each year in case a position becomes available.
Have you ever used the alternate pool?
YES! On an average year we go to the alternate pool for one reason or another. We have had CAs who were originally alternates go on to be very successful 2-year CAs.
When are CAs on rounds?
In all areas, CAs are on rounds Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Additional coverage may be needed for special nights such as days before University holidays or special events.
How often are CAs on rounds?
The number of nights CAs are on duty per semester is dependent upon the size of the staff and the structure of the complex.
Do CAs have to be here over winter break?
Yes & No. Since our areas do not close over Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring Breaks, we need to have CAs on duty. If a CA has signed up for duty over break, they have to be here during duty shifts. If a CA is not on duty, they do not have to be on campus. (Since dining halls are not open over these break periods, CAs covering these duty shifts are paid a nightly stipend.)
I have an internship. Can I still be a CA?
Yes and No. It depends on your time commitment. We encourage CAs not to take on outside commitments that exceed 5 hours per week beyond the CA job. CAs are required to ask their supervisor for approval before taking on additional commitments. Internships or other position which would prevent a CA from attending CA training will not be approved.
How many hours per week is the CA job?
The CA job boils down to approximately 20 hours per week. Some weeks are more. Some weeks are less. It depends on the time of year, the duty schedule and each CA’s program schedule.
I’ve heard that CAs are responsible for running programming events in the apartments and halls. What are the requirements?
Designing and running hall programs for residents is one of the most creative and exciting things that CAs get to do. CAs are provided with plenty of guidance and a budget for running their socials.
Do I already need to know how to address policy violations or deal with emergencies?
Prior experience is not a requirement to be a CA. All staff members receive training before the academic year on many situations that might arise. Training will also include time to explore and become familiar with UNH campus resources and other offices which will be helpful to the CA during the year.