Wilson Commons Student Activities

Graduate Head Resident

Position Summary:

The Graduate Head Resident is a graduate assistant position supervising a Resident Advisor or Community Assistant staff to help build healthy and inclusive residential communities and foster a lively academic and intellectual culture. The RAs and CAs work with undergraduate students to develop class identity, campus spirit, and pride in the College and the University. The Graduate Head Resident should know and establish working rapport with the staff team and the residents for whom they are responsible. The number of RA/CA staff and residents varies between 6-14 staff members and from 170-600 students for a particular area. The Graduate Head Resident is expected to help residents get to know one another in the living environment and to serve as a source of information about the College and its services. The GHR advises hall governments and works with special interest housing groups, intervenes in the resolution of behavioral issues and interpersonal or inter-group conflicts, and refers students with social, personal, academic, or health-related problems to the appropriate University agencies. The Graduate Head Resident reports to the Area Coordinator. This is an academic year appointment and requires attendance at all staff training programs.

Supervisory and Advisory Responsibilities

RA/CA Supervision:
  • Help build healthy and inclusive residential communities that complement and extend classroom learning
  • Create intellectually active residential environments that enhance personal growth and support the academic mission of the College
  • Work with residents to develop class identity, campus spirit, and pride in the College and the University.

The RA and CA position descriptions should be consulted for a full description of the RA/CA responsibilities, which the GHR supports in a supervisory capacity. The RA/CA position descriptions parallel in many ways the GHR job description and contain, in particular, additional information on encouraging a positive social environment, creating an inclusive and respectful environment, and fostering intellectual growth, functions in which it is crucial that the GHR support the staff.

Leadership and Government:

  • GHRs advise the student government in their complex, which organize to carry out and promote programs that foster student interaction and learning and which discuss and represent student needs, opinions, and interests.
Support Services:
  • Graduate Head Residents may supervise a Service Desk operation.

Support and Referral Responsibilities

Counseling and Advising
  • The GHR assists staff in actively listening, seeking appropriate consultation and making necessary referrals. The GHR is aware of campus resources and helps make staff aware of them. Each staff team will have a designated consultant from the University Counseling Center. It is the responsibility of the GHR to foster this liaison relationship by inviting the consultant periodically to attend staff meetings or gatherings, or to meet individually with the consultant.
Emergency Resource
  • The GHR staff rotates weekly on-call responsibility. Possessing a working knowledge of procedures to follow in emergency situations, the GHR assists RAs/CAs, students, staff and University personnel in resolving emergency situations.
Behavioral Problems:
  • The GHR assists students in understanding expectations and developing behavioral standards appropriate to group living in an academic institution. When necessary, a GHR may confront individuals whose behavior is unacceptable and, where appropriate, refer cases to the student conduct system.

Training and Administrative Responsibilities

Meetings and Communication
  • On a day-to-day basis, GHRs work with their immediate supervisor, other Area staff, departmental staff, and RAs/CAs. GHRs lead weekly staff meetings, conduct at least bi-weekly individual meetings with each RA/CA, attend monthly departmental staff meetings, and maintain open and frequent communication with their immediate supervisor.
Staff Development
  • GHRs participate in all fall, mid-year, and in-service training programs. GHRs coordinate staff development and team-building activities with their immediate staff groups.
Liaison with Other Departments
  • GHRs may develop working relationships with key departments and offices such as Office of the Dean of Students, College Center for Academic Support, University Counseling Center, Health Promotion, Student Activities, Interfaith Chapel, Office of Minority Student Affairs, Rochester Center for Community Leadership, International Services Office, Athletics and Recreation, University Facilities and Services, the Dean of Freshmen, and the Dean of Sophomores, and others.
  • GHRs are responsible for knowing, supporting, enforcing and abiding by Residential Life and University policies.
Administrative Functions:
  • GHRs have key administrative responsibilities, including check-in/out, staff selection, room drawing, program and behavioral reports, maintenance requests, etc.
Additional Duties
  • GHRs perform other job-related responsibilities as requested by the immediate supervisor, or other Residential Life staff.

Time Commitment and Term of Position

Mid-August through Mid-May, flexible work schedule, with time on task averaging 15-20 hours per week, with significantly more time during training, opening, closing, and during special events.


Furnished 1 or 2 bedroom apartment, standard tier cable, high speed Internet, partial meal-plan and $5000.00 stipend (+additional $100 for each year of service.)>


Phone: (585) 275-9390
Fax: (585) 273-5306
Email: wcsa@rochester.edu

Mailing Address:
201 Wilson Commons
University of Rochester
PO Box 270281
Rochester, NY 14627


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