Become a Residence Life Assistant

The Residence Life Team is looking for dedicated, caring and enthusiastic individuals to join our team. 

Are you interested in developing your leadership skills, providing guidance and support to students while they transition to university life, and having a positive impact on the residence community? Then become a Residence Life Assistant! 

Residence Life Assistants (RLAs) are full-time students whose role is to ensure the needs of students at their sites are being met. Residence Life Assistants build community, and provide frontline support to students living in residence. They create a safe and positive environment for students by building relationships, promoting responsible behaviour and providing guidance and support to students. Residence Life Assistant act as a responsible presence in residence overnight and on weekends. Students can speak to their Residence Life Assistant on any issues affecting their wellbeing – homesickness, a noisy neighbour, and problems with their flatmates or any other concerns. 

There is a Residence Life Assistant on duty every weekday evening and 24 hours at weekends/University closed days during term-time, so there's always someone students in the residence can call on for support or advice.

Download the job description to find out more about the role. 

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Learn about the support Residence Life offers and the important role Residence Life Assistants play 

Hear from our current RLAs

You will get in touch with people from all over the world and experience what those new cultures have to offer. Furthermore, this role can help you improve your management and communication skills. You develop your problem-solving ability and learn to mediate and sometimes handle difficult situations, which are totally applicable to the outside world.

Apostolos Sdrolios, St Mark’s Residences

Being there for students and helping make them feel comfortable is amazing. You can see the difference after just a simple conversation when someone is down. As well as also being a student yourself you get to meet a variety of people that you may become friends with.

Samya Saleh, Clarence Dock Village

It's the perfect opportunity to connect, help out, and understand people from all different backgrounds all around the world. I have also found that having a chance to connect with site staff and help around the site makes me feel more at home.

Leif Holden, Central Village

Being an RLA, there is a strong sense of responsibility and leadership. I think the job encompasses lots of skills that are useful for everyday life, the CV and future career. I definitely feel I am a lot more confident talking with new people, parents, than I was before doing the role.

Tochi Don-Okeke, Leodis

Applications are now open

Please complete our application form in order to apply. 

Professional development

We understand how important it is to gain transferrable skills that can be used to help you with future professional and personal goals. This is why we are committed to your ongoing training and development. All RLAs receive role specific training before students move into residences. You can expect to gain skills in:

  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Problem solving

Compensation

Residence Life Assistants hold voluntary worker status. All RLAs receive an offer of free accommodation in exchange for their work with the Residence Life team. More information on our accommodation offer can be found at the end of the page. 

Our hiring timeline

  • Applications close on 31 January 2023
  • Interview offers will be sent out in early February 2023
  • Interviews will take place in February 2023
  • Offers and placements will be sent out to succesful candidates in late February or early March 2023
  • Meet your RLA team in March 2023
  • Onboarding training session in April 2023 
  • Comprehensive week of training in September 2023 before role begins

What's involved

You'll work as part of a team with three or four other Residence Life Assistants in your residence. You take it in turns to provide a responsible student presence during evenings and weekends. 

You act as a link between the Residence Life Warden(s), residence office staff and students.

Typical duties could include but are not limited to:

  • responding to any calls received on the Residence Life Assistant duty mobile
  • welcoming students at intake weekend and running freshers events
  • helping new residents settle in
  • offering help and advice to residents, in some cases signposting them to professional support services
  • dealing with noise complaints
  • admitting locked-out students or new arrivals to their rooms
  • visiting flats on a regular basis
  • conducting welfare checks on students
  • attending and providing support at social events organised by the Residence Life Social Committees

Working hours

Each residence operates a rota and you’d be on duty for at least one day in every four. A weekday rota starts at 6pm and finishes at 8am the following morning. A weekend rota starts at 8am and finishes at 8am the following morning.

Each day/night involves periods of being “on duty” - when you are carrying out designated tasks, and periods of being “on call” - when you are available to respond to any calls you receive.When you’re on call you are free to carry on with your studies or sleep as normal until you receive a call. You should stay on site or not more than 10 minutes’ walk away. You need to keep the duty mobile phone with you at all times so you can deal with any issues.

Skills and experience

The Residence Life Assistant position is open to any full time registered undergraduate or postgraduate students at the University of Leeds with a mature outlook, who have:

  • at least 6 months’ experience of living in halls type accommodation (not necessarily in the UK)
  • a willingness to participate in the community life of the residence
  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to handle disciplinary or welfare issues responsibly
  • good problem solving skills
  • the ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • the ability to use your own judgement and initiative to make decisions
  • a willlingness to be resident in allocated accommodation until the end of the appointment period (except for limited unavoidable absences)
  • an understanding of the needs of students resident in University accommodation

and have experience of: 

  • a position of responsibility with students or young people (aged 16 – 25)
  • organising social, sporting and cultural activities
  • leading a team

Training

All Residence Life Assistants recruited before September receive a comprehensive training package, including fire safety training, first aid training, student mental health issues, typical Residence Life Assistant scenarios, and more. 

Training is a compulsory requirement of the Residence Life Assistant role and for 2023/24 this training will take place from Monday 4 September 2023 to Friday 8 September 2023. If you are not able to make these dates, we would recommend that you do not apply for this role as due to the intensity of training we are unable to reschedule this.

Residence Life Assistant accommodation

To be an effective Residence Life Assistant you must live in the residence. This is why we provide you with free accommodation whilst you are an RLA. 

We can’t tell you exactly what kind of accommodation you will get, as all of our residences are different. Residence Life Assistants do not live together in a single flat but are instead spread around the residence, living amongst other, typically first year, residents. All rooms are single occupancy, meaning that we cannot offer RLA accommodation to couples or families.