Graduate Assistant Position Description

Miami University’s Office of Residence Life works to establish an educational living and learning environment for approximately 8,500 students residing in 40 residence halls and apartments, each of which houses between 80 and 450 students.

Overview of the Position

The Graduate Assistant reports to a Resident Director and works collaboratively with their supervisor to shape the environment and experiences of residential students by providing services and programs.

All positions within the Office of Residence Life begin with mandatory training in mid-July each year. This is a fulltime training which runs through August. All assistantships require some scheduled night and weekend obligations. These obligations can be associated with major office events, including, but not limited to: move-in weekends and hall closing days. Resident Directors and Graduate Assistants are required to reside in their assigned on-campus apartment throughout the term of their appointment. The apartment is made available for the benefit of the University to provide facility oversight and student access to professional staff. As with any live-in position, staff members are also responsible for handling crises as they occur. These assistantships will average 20-25 hours per week over the course of the academic year.

Basic Qualifications

This position requires a Bachelor's degree in any field. Enrollment in any graduate program at Miami University for the period of the assistantship is necessary.

Preferred Qualifications

Previous experience with residence life, orientation, student leadership, and/or counseling and enrollment in Miami University's Student Affairs and Higher Education program is preferred.

Job Responsibilities

Listed below are both specific job duties of the Graduate Assistant position as well as the minimum professional standards expected of all Residence Life employees. These responsibilities encompass student and community development initiatives, both proactive and reactive, that directly influence the success of our residential students. They also detail administrative responsibilities, foundational to this success. Finally, they delineate behaviors that connote professionalism and a commitment to the values of the Office of Residence Life.

Community Development

  • Cultivate a positive and engaging living environment that enables students to build relationships and foster a sense of belonging
  • Maintain high visibility and availability, including attending community events, regularly touring the community, and interacting with residents
  • Know the residents in order to provide personal, social, academic, and occupational support and referral
  • Utilize institutional data to assess and respond to student needs
  • Collaborate with faculty and staff to implement residential learning opportunities
  • Serve as the financial, programmatic, and leadership adviser to the Community Leadership Team


  • Supervise and train up to 14 resident assistants (RA) in conjunction with a full-time Resident Director
  • Host weekly staff meetings to communicate upcoming events, discuss community concerns, and facilitate professional development experiences related to the goals of Residence Life
  • Conduct bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with RAs
  • Ensure RAs are appropriately confronting and documenting behavioral issues and concerns
  • Provide regular formal and informal feedback regarding job performance
  • Ensure that RA duty procedures are followed
  • Oversee implementation of programs and strategies that enable student achievement of learning

Student Conduct and Crisis Management

  • Review all incident reports and police reports (if available) for incidents that take place in the community and/or involve residents living in the community
  • Respond to residents in need, referring to other professionals, when appropriate
  • Provide leadership during times of crisis in and adjacent to the community
  • Assist in emergency situations as needed
  • Implement Miami University and Office of Residence Life objectives, policies, rules, and procedures
  • Provide programs and other proactive educational interventions to enhance good decision making by residents

Professional Development & Administration

  • Report, track, and follow up on maintenance issues with appropriate building managers, housekeeping staff, and physical facilities employees
  • Administer student check-in, check-out, and room changes; assist with room condition and damage billing processes
  • Participate in departmental and divisional professional development activities
  • Participate in the recruitment, selection, and training of staff members for the Office of Residence Life

Overarching Staff Expectations

  • Serve as a role model for all hall staff and residents in personal and professional behaviors
  • Practice ethical stewardship of university resources
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity by promoting and attending campus & community multicultural events, facilitating professional development with RA staff, presenting on diversity, or implementing strategies.
  • Demonstrate a consistent willingness to work with individuals from different race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, ideology, religion, and national origin backgrounds.
  • Create and maintain positive professional relationships within the department and across the university
  • Fulfill other general duties assigned by the Office of Residence Life, Division of Student Life and/or Miami University

Application Information

For candidates applying to the Student Affairs in Higher Education [SAHE] program:

Consideration for the academic program and graduate assistantships is done simultaneously through one application. Applications to the SAHE program include an assistantship preference sheet, which includes Residence Life assistantships. Candidates interested in Residence Life assistantships should mark this interest on the preference sheet. The Department of Educational Leadership will forward candidates' resumes, letters of recommendation, and personal statements to The Office of Residence Life for review. Please visit the Student Affairs in Higher Education Program website for more details.

For candidates applying to any other Graduate Degree program:

While students enrolled in the SAHE program are given priority for assistantship opportunities, periodically graduate students enrolled in other academic programs are offered assistantships within the Office of Residence Life. Interested students can find out more about all of the graduate programs offered by Miami University at this website. For more information about or to apply for an assistantship, please contact Tresa Barlage Zianno at and include a resume and cover letter for consideration.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

Miami University, an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, encourages applications from minorities, women, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. Miami University prohibits harassment, discrimination and retaliation on the basis of age (40 years or older), color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military status, national origin (ancestry), pregnancy, race, religion, sex/gender, status as a parent or foster parent, sexual orientation, or protected veteran status in its application and admission processes, educational programs and activities, facilities, programs or employment practices. Requests for reasonable accommodations for disabilities related to employment should be directed to or 513-529-3560.

As part of the University’s commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe living, learning, and working environment, we encourage you to read Miami University’s Annual Security & Fire Safety Report, which contains information about campus safety, crime statistics, and our drug and alcohol abuse and prevention program designed to prevent the unlawful possession, use, and distribution of drugs and alcohol on campus and at university events and activities. This report also contains information on programs and policies designed to prevent and address sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Each year, email notification of this website is made to all faculty, staff, and enrolled students. Written notification is also provided to prospective students and employees. Hard copies of the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report may be obtained from the Miami University Police Department at (513) 529-2223. A criminal background check is required. All campuses are smoke- and tobacco-free.

Institutional Diversity Website

If you have any questions, please contact Tresa Barlage Zianno at

Smoke Free Campus Statement

All campuses of Miami University are smoke- and tobacco-free.

More Information

For more information regarding the Office of Residence Life, Miami University and the Oxford community, please visit: