The Commons Residential Advisor ( CRA ) is a full- time, on-campus professional member of the Middlebury College Staff. The CRA resides on campus in a dormitory apartment, and is responsible for establishing and maintaining a safe community. By virtue of their close proximity to students, CRAs have the unique opportunity to gain an intimate awareness of all aspects of student life, and to serve as an important conduit for the flow of information between students and appropriate College offices. The CRA acts as a role model and mentor for students, encourages the expression of individual passions and personalities, and promotes community development through programming and other methods. The CRA will be both active and responsive in supporting students’ academic and social development as they pursue a liberal arts education.
On Site Residential Responsibilities
Member of Commons Leadership Team
- CRAs must at all times comport themselves in ways that support the mission of the College. In addition, Residential Life staff Members may not engage in any behaviors that compromise the mission of the Commons or the policies of the College.
- Live in dormitory and oversee daily life within the Commons with a focus on nights and weekends. CRAs should be generally available and accessible to residents.
- Serve an equitable portion of the college’s night and weekend coverage system, including support of College Official in Charge. Ensure cell phone availability during evenings and weekends when on duty; provide additional coverage during high-risk weekends, such as a Winter Carnival weekend, Halloween, etc.
- Serve an equitable portion of the college’s break coverage system by remaining in residence during all or a portion of one or more recess periods – Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, December Recess, Feb Break, Spring Break – including support of College Official in Charge.
- Hear and resolve roommate conflicts where possible, prior to involvement by the Dean or submission of formal room change requests.
- Communicate and uphold residential standards and expectations regarding cleanliness, safety, noise, and behavior (including illegal drinking, drug use, etc.).
- Work to prevent damage to dormitories. Investigate damage and assist in resolution of damage-related incidents.
- Promote principles of community and individual responsibility.
- Support fellow CRAs in their initiatives and problem-solving.
- Work collaboratively with Commons Team (Faculty Head, Commons Coordinator, Dean) under supervision of the Dean.
- Support the Commons Office and Commons Council by attending Council meetings, overseeing aspects of Commons programming, and attending Commons events.
- Serve as a primary conduit of information between Commons Office and Residential Life staff and students.
- Provide information to Commons Office about relevant issues affecting the student body and residential life staff, including safety, wellbeing, and academic performance.
- Carry out various administrative procedures, including fire safety checks, room check-in/out, dorm damage assessment/responsibility, facilities requests, etc.
- Cooperate with and support other college staff and offices, such as the Dean of the College and Public Safety, in addressing college-wide issues of health, safety etc.
- Provide support for other college events and processes, such as the Winter Clothing Closet ( ISO ), Preview Days (Admissions), mid-year housing moves and Room Draw.
- Directly assist in the planning, coordination and leadership of First Year and February Orientation programs including the facilitation of Orientation programs under the supervision of the Director of Orientation.
- Correspond promptly and professionally by email/phone with students, staff and faculty at Middlebury College.
- Contribute to the evaluation of various Residential Life and Commons programs and protocols (e.g. job descriptions, Residential Life training, hand book language, Commons Council, etc.).
- Facilitate, manage and oversee Residential Life staff — including FYCs, Commons RAs and Community RAs — in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.
- Meet with Residential Life staff regularly to convey expectations, express concerns, and coordinate dormitory coverage. A strong personal and working relationship among the Residential Life team is necessary.
- Contribute to initial and ongoing training of Residential Life staff and communicate their performance to the Dean.
- Plan and implement large portions of the following year’s residential life hiring process.
- Work with Dean to plan and implement leadership training for residential life staff.
- Mentor, guide, and support the Residential Life staff in fulfilling their job descriptions.
- Formally and informally counsel students emotionally, socially, and academically; refer them to specialized resources as necessary.
- Initiate conversations with students of concern and follow-up with these students.
- Advise Commons Council on programming, participation, effective meetings, etc.
- Provide knowledge of college policies, culture, and resources to students.
- Promote culture of individual responsibility in dormitories.
- Actively promote diversity awareness and inclusiveness in residence halls and Commons through programming and dialogue.
- Maintain a healthy, respectful, and inclusive environment by addressing violations of college policy (including noise, alcohol, health/safety violations).
- Promote sense of community in dormitories by interacting with students and participating in student and residential life events and programs.
- Assist in providing academic, social, and wellness programming for residents.
- Respond to lesser disciplinary matters, including, as appropriate, writing warning letters.
- Respond to emergencies as directed in the Student Life Emergency Protocol.
- Bachelor’s degree upon start of employment (not necessarily from Middlebury College).
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
This is a full-time, 10-month position. The employee must be available to begin work from early to mid/ August through late May / early June. Background checks are required.
- Culturally competent, enthusiastic and confident about working with diverse populations.
- Strong interpersonal/counseling skills.
- Outstanding communication skills.
- Evidence of capacity for social and academic programming.
Please note that this new contract differs from the former CRA position. This new CRA contract requires more days of work and provides full-time status and benefits at the College.
- Substantial experience in residential life and/or mentoring/advising college-age students preferred.
- Experience with diversity programming a plus.
Evenings, nights and weekends required.
Late night and on call responsibilities required.
Please include the name of the Commons you are interested in applying for in your cover letter. Cover letters should be addressed to the Dean of the appropriate Commons.
Atwater – Dean: Scott Barnicle
Brainerd – Dean: Natasha Chang
Cook – Dean: Ian Sutherland
Ross – Dean: Janine Clookey
Wonnacott – Dean: Matt Longman
Middlebury College - 18 months ago