Community Adviser

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


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.

What is the best part about being a CA?  Some thoughts from this year’s team…

  • “Being a CA means building Community for the Community within the Community.”
  • “The best thing about being a CA is being able to fill in any and all gaps that I can to support my RAs.”
  • “I think the best part about being a CA is getting to work with the most incredible people. It feels great to be able to work with people who genuinely want to work with you too. I've been incredibly lucky in getting to meet people who are willing to put in 100% of their effort whenever they can.”
  • “The best part about being a CA is that your RAs are always appreciative of the work that you do. Sometimes, as an RA, I felt unappreciated for the work that I did for my residents. But my staff always makes me feel like they appreciate my work and it encourages me to continue to work hard for them.”
  • “Best part about being a CA? You get a shiny Columbia University debit card with your name on it! Just kidding!  What I truly love about being a CA is the amount of freedom I have. The sky's the limit when it comes to implementing creative ways to support your staff, planning events, and starting initiatives that affect a whole community. You really see and feel the impact you are making!” 
  • “Dr. Suess said: ‘You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose!’ I really like that quote and think it describes the CA role well because this job is as much as you choose to make of it. The CA role can be extremely rewarding when you push yourself to benefit your staff and your residents as much as possible.”
  • “Best thing about being a CA: Helping your Residence Hall Leadership Organization (RHLO) grow into a dynamic and autonomous group of exceptionally involved residents.  It's been truly rewarding knowing I've had an impact on fellow students' first year at Columbia, especially through RHLO, which has empowered students to shape the spaces in which they live."

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