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Graduate Staff Assistant

job description

General Description of Position

Members of the Boston College Residential Life Staff serve a University that embodies the Jesuit Catholic tradition and seeks to promote the values that this tradition represents. As staff members, we are charged with furthering those goals by fulfilling the terms of this agreement and by maintaining at all times exemplary standards of personal and professional conduct.

The Graduate Staff Assistant (GSA) is a full-time, minimum 6-credit-hour, enrolled graduate student who serves as an administrative and developmental support assistant to an assigned area/residence hall. In addition to Resident Assistant (RA) responsibilities, GSA’s participate in RA supervision, program planning, staff development, staff training, and all other duties as assigned that are consistent with the spirit of this position. GSA’s are also asked to attend area and departmental meetings. They are also asked to participate in departmental committee’s and initiatives.

The GSA is directly supervised by the Resident Director in the building to which he/she is assigned. Additional supervision is given by the Assistant Director of Residential Life responsible for the area in which the GSA is assigned.


The GSA must have good judgment, a strong sense of responsibility, and an understanding of the needs of a diverse student population. Previous residential life or housing experience is preferred.  

The following conditions must also be met to serve in the position:

  • Enrollment Status: GSA's must be full-time, registered graduate students.  Preference will be given to applicants in the Lynch School of Education Higher Education Administration Program at BC with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
  • Academic, Financial, and Disciplinary Standing: GSA's must be in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing at Boston College prior to and throughout the period of employment.

Terms of Employment

A. Period of Employment

The standard employment period for the GSA position is the entire academic year, from August to May. GSA’s are expected to report for training sessions prior to the beginning of the academic year. End dates for each GSA correspond to building-specific closing procedures. The period of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of tasks, assignments and responsibilities, and positive performance appraisals by her/his Residential Life supervisor. This is a one-year position with opportunity to reapply for a second year.

B. Remuneration

In addition to an invaluable experience in peer leadership and teamwork, GSA's are compensated with a furnished room and board plan and $4,200/year stipend (room styles vary from a traditional-style hall with common bathrooms to a suite-style RA room with a private bath). Staff members assigned to a non-meal plan area will receive a credit to their student account instead of a board plan. Graduate Staff Assistants are required to vacate residence at winter break.

C. Time Commitments

1.Work Load: GSA's should anticipate approximately 10 scheduled hours per week of routine responsibilities (I.e., staff meetings, office coverage, staff assignments, student meetings, etc.) in addition to their RA responsibilities. Also, GSA’s are required to attend Residence Life department meetings as well and area meetings which are every Tuesday from 10:00am – 12 noon.

2.Course Load: A GSA must carry a full-time (9 credit hours) academic load during the academic year. Exceptions must have prior approval by the Director of Residential Life or his designee.

3.Outside Work Policy: GSA's should obtain approval from the Director of Residential Life or his designee for any outside/extracurricular activities.

Duties and Responsibilities of Employment

The following is a summary of the responsibilities of the GSA; however, the GSA will also be expected to perform duties of the Resident Assistant, as well as other duties as assigned by her/his Resident Director. Some duties/responsibilities may vary by residential area, and pending performance or comfort level as determined by their supervisor.

A. Supervision

  • The GSA will be expected to perform limited supervisory responsibilities of RA staff in cooperation with her/his Resident Director.   This may include one-on-one meetings with RA’s.

B. Attends and participates in all required training programs

  • Graduate Staff Assistant training sessions
  • Resident Assistant training sessions
  • Residential Life RACE (RA Continuing Education) Track programs as required throughout the year
  • Department-wide staff meetings
  • Area Meetings

C. Prepares, participates in, and supervises the Resident Assistant duty schedule

  • Participates in the RA on-call program for his/her area (including holiday duties)
  • Coordinates the RA duty schedule
  • Receives duty change requests; approves/denies duty switches
  • Ensures that staff are reporting for duty in a timely manner and are carrying out all duty responsibilities (i.e. completing rounds, filling out duty logs, being visible)

D. Supervises the programmatic efforts of the Resident Assistant staff

  • Responsible for ensuring that each staff member fulfills his/her programming requirements and communicates this information to the Resident Director
  • Responsible for ensuring that all staff bulletin boards are updated on time and in a contemporary and pertinent manner
  • Assists staff in planning and implementation of staff programming efforts
  • Fulfills Resident Assistant programming responsibilities for his/her floor(s)
  • Serves as a programming resource for his/her staff

E. Remains up to date and supportive of Residential Life goals, objectives, policies, and procedures

  • Encouraged to sit on department committees

F. Models appropriate job performance for Resident Assistants

  • Keeps Resident Director informed of all staff dynamics and other pertinent information about staff and students in assigned area
  • Serves as a resource to staff and students
  • Remains visible, available, and approachable to staff members and students
  • Attends and participates in all required one-on-one and staff meetings
  • Assists with planning staff meeting agendas/facilitating staff meetings

G. Assists with daily operations of his/her assigned residence halls

  • Roommate conflict mediations
  • Party planning meetings, in areas where applicable
  • Completing Health & Safety Inspections

H. Advisory role with Residence Hall Council

  • Serves as primary advisor to council with the Resident Director
  • Encourages students in assigned area to participate and to support activities of the council

Application Process

Please contact Michael Lorenz, Assistant Director for Training and Selection, for all questions or inquiries.

Please note that the Office of Residential Life is committed to supporting students who are pursuing careers in the profession of higher education. With that in mind, strong preference will be given to applicants who have been accepted into the Boston College Higher Education Administration program (MA or PhD).

In general, the application/selection process for all graduate assistantships in the Division of Student Affairs (which includes Residential Life) begins after students have been admitted to the Higher Education program, which typically occurs in January or February.  Once you have been accepted into this program, please coordinate with the administrative staff for the program who will forward your résumé to our selection committee for review.  Interviews begin on Admitted Students Day in February.