Community Adviser

Thank you for your interest in the Community Adviser position with Residential Programs!

If you have any questions about the CA position, please contact our Associate Director Keith Blankenship at kpb2118@columbia.edu who oversees the Community Adviser Committee. 

 

What is a Community Adviser?

The Community Adviser (CA) is a paraprofessional staff member of the Office of Residential Programs who is a leader among the RA staff and is responsible for facilitating community standards.  As such, this position is different than other leadership opportunities at Columbia in that CAs are expected to challenge themselves to achieve higher levels of awareness of people’s perceptions, including the RA staff, maintaining appropriate sensitivity and awareness of working styles and needs.  CAs supplement and complement the process of formal education by establishing a strong community, including within the RA staff, thus enhancing the quality of life in the residence halls.  The successful CA is concerned with the growth and development of the team and is expected to promote an environment conducive to the overall wellness needs of the RAs.  CAs must demonstrate sound interpersonal skills, initiative, dependability and a positive attitude.  The CA is directly responsible to the Graduate Hall Director/Associate Director.

 

Personal Development

  • Must be willing to engage in conversations and trainings focused on allowing RAs to better understand their own identities;
  • Challenge yourself to achieve higher levels of awareness of people’s perceptions, maintaining appropriate sensitivity and awareness of cultural norms, diversity, and diversity education;
  • Exhibit effective listening and intervention skills that demonstrate and understanding of as well as a sensitive and  appreciation for diversity;
  • Maintain positive working relationships with other staff members and offices on campus;
  • Respond to all emergency situations in a calm and responsible manner;
  • Be open to feedback as part of regular supervisory meetings as well as formal evaluation periods;
  • Recognize personal limitations;
  • Recognize the limitations of your role and seek appropriate resources;
  • Take responsibility for the decisions that you have made;
  • Use common sense and good judgment;
  • Consult with your Associate Director/Graduate Assistant before making decisions as warranted.

Community Development

  • Facilitate community standards with the RA staff, and review and/or update the standards throughout the academic year;
  • Responsible for the development of a well-balanced programming effort in the area in which he/she lives
  • Serve as a coordinator, motivator, and resource person in encouraging RA team programming;
  • Attend and be active in building, FIR, DIR, SIC, area, and university functions;
  • Attend RA programs;
  • Create an all CA, campus wide event per semester;
  • Work with the GA to assess the needs of the RAs on a continual basis;
  • Continue to create opportunities for staff cohesion and connection throughout the year.

Advising and Counseling

  • Get to know as many residents as possible;
  • Work with your supervisor to make appropriate referrals;
  • Be visible, available, and approachable;
  • Respond to and document the range of community situations;
  • Uphold the established standards of confidentiality.

Information, Communication, and Resource Referral

  • Attend all staff meetings;
  • Check and respond to your email and your campus voicemail at least once per day;
  • Be familiar with, communicate, and enforce policies and procedures in a positive fashion;
  • Be familiar with campus and community resources and provide such information to residents;
  • Maintain regular and frequent communication with your graduate assistant;
  • Attend scheduled one-on-one meetings with graduate assistant.

Maintenance and Safety

  • Understand, adhere, and familiarize residents with fire safety evacuation procedures, maintenance reporting, community safety, emergency and fire evacuation procedures;
  • Report needed repairs according to established procedure;
  • Familiarize residents with maintenance reporting, community safety, emergency and fire evacuation procedures;
  • Respond to emergencies on a 24-hour basis.

Staff Standards

  • Role model appropriate behavior at all times.  A CA is a CA no matter where they are, including on-line communities;
  • Be familiar with, enforce, and be able to explain campus policies/regulations in a positive manner;
  • Establish community standards and emphasize the interplay between community and individual needs;
  • Encourage students to take responsibility for their own actions and increase their consideration for others;
  • Refer disciplinary matters to your Associate Director/Graduate Assistant.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Prepare to be the first to arrive and last to leave for each semester, holiday break, etc.;
  • Complete assigned paperwork and administrative tasks as per your Associate Director/Graduate Assistant; 
  • Meet the requests from our university partners, including, but not limited to Housing, Public Safety, etc. as per your Associate Director/Graduate Assistant;
  • Document damage or vandalism immediately on an Incident Report;
  • Maintain main building bulletin boards as well as account for RA monthly bulletin boards;
  • Create newsletters for your area;
  • Track all programming within your area;
  • Maintain programming calendar for the area.

Decision Making

  • Recognize personal limitations;
  • Recognize the limitations of your role and seek appropriate resources;
  • Take responsibility for the decisions that you have made;
  • Use common sense and good judgment;
  • Consult with your Associate Director/Graduate Assistant before making decisions as warranted.

Duty Responsibilities

  • Duty provides an opportunity for CAs to be creative in connecting to residents and maintaining a visible presence in their area;
  • Participate in a rotating, on-call duty schedule, determined by area needs;                                                
  • Fall Duty begins at the conclusion of Fall Training and runs through the conclusion of Fall Semester   finals, including breaks and holidays; 
  • Spring Duty begins when visiting students arrive in January and runs through the day after Commencement, including breaks and holidays;
  • Make rounds of the building (as established by your supervisor), making sure to address any security and/or behavioral concerns;
  • Complete thorough incident reports;
  • Follow all other duty procedures as outlined by the Office of Residential Programs and your supervisor.

Personal/Paraprofessional Development & Departmental Responsibilities

  • Attend all meetings and training on time, including in-services, August staff development, January staff development, etc.;
  • Balance time commitments;
  • Recognize limitations and work to improve;
  • Be receptive to paraprofessional and personal development;
  • It is understood that involvement in clubs and organizations may conflict with the CA position from time to time.  However, it is expected that the CA position be the first consideration after your academics.  Any positions or significant time commitments outside of the CA position must be discussed with and approved by your supervisor BEFORE you commit to the outside activity.  Your supervisor may limit time available for any outside commitment;
  • Challenge yourself to achieve higher levels of awareness of people’s perceptions, maintaining appropriate sensitivity and awareness of cultural norms, diversity, and diversity education.

 

Compensation

  • Free room within one of the undergraduate residence halls or brownstones;
  • $850 annual stipend – stipend is received in 3 installment payments over the course of the academic year.
Departments: 

Residential Programs

Visit

515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6805

Fax: (212) 854-6815

Office Hours
Monday–Friday

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.