Residence Life at Reed

Division of Student Services

Position Description


The role of the House Adviser is to assist in enhancing the residential housing experience for students at Reed College, in agreement with the mission, vision, and values of the department of Residence Life at Reed College:

“The Department of Residence Life facilitates a residential experience in which students feel supported in their academic pursuits, personal growth, and participation in an interdependent community. We envision a vibrant, safe, and inclusive living environment where every student is actively engaged. It is our intention that students develop a sense of pride and investment in Reed.”

—Residence Life Mission and Vision Statement


Successful candidates will have demonstrated ability and/or potential to:

  • Support the mission, vision, and values of Residence Life and Reed College
  • Be a leader and a positive role model for students
  • Address and mediate conflict
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships within a diverse environment
  • Be open to change/new ideas, and be able to take direction in a non-defensive manner
  • Maintain a non-judgmental and approachable demeanor
  • Be in good disciplinary standing in accordance with Reed College policies and the Honor Principle. Applicants may not be eligible for the HA position if they have received two or more AOD violations at Reed
  • Be able to meet or exceed all job responsibilities listed below

HA Responsibilities

Professionalism and Teamwork Returning HA Responsibilities and Compensation 
Community Building Language House HA Duties
Programming Apartment HAs Duties
Administrative Duties and Communication  Co-op HAs Duties
Supervisor Relationship

Professionalism and Teamwork:

  • Assist with the operations of Residence Life, including, but not limited to: housing lottery, HA selection process, Resident Director search, and storage
  • Attend and participate in bi-weekly area group meetings, area group programming, and response to community issues
  • Participate in all Residence Life evaluations and assessments (including program and staff evaluations)
  • Attend and participate in all staff in-service training sessions
  • Assist in staffing and coordinating Orientation Week activities
  • Uphold Residence Life policies and procedures, including those outlined in the Housing Contract

Community Building:

  • Help create a safe, healthy, and inclusive atmosphere within your area group and residence hall in order to facilitate academic and residential learning
  • Collaborate with your residents to establish and uphold community expectations and norms as agreed upon during floor meetings
  • Promote self-governance in accordance with the guidelines of the Honor Principle
  • Proactively address deviations from community norms and/or resident concerns
  • Articulate and educate residents about Residence Life policies and procedures, including those outlined in the Housing Contract
  • Maintain accessibility to your residents through holding regular office hours and having a felt presence within your community
  • Limit outside employment to 10 hours a week unless special arrangements are made with your Resident Director
  • Maintain an approachable and nonjudgmental demeanor with residents and staff
  • Facilitate conflict resolution through direct communication with residents or by consulting with appropriate resources, such as your Resident Director, the Dean’s Office, or the Honor Council
  • Practice appropriate student support and referral services, including, but not limited to:
    • Develop and practice active listening skills
    • Learn about and promote Reed College student resources 
    • Serve as a non-confidential resource and referral source for students in need of personal, academic, health, or mental health support services
    • Build and maintain trust with your residents by adhering to the Student Employee Confidentiality Agreement, and disclosing sensitive or private information only to appropriate individuals as needed
    • Address students who are perceived to be engaging in behaviors that adversely impact the wellbeing of themselves or the community
    • Exercise good judgment in accordance with the limitations of your job training and responsibilities, providing referrals as needed
    • Refer crisis situations to the RD on call and/or other appropriate resources
    • Acquire a knowledge and understanding of the AOD policy and violation process
    • Serve as a support and referral source for students engaged in the AOD process


  • Coordinate thoughtful, community-enriching programming in collaboration with your community, fellow HAs, and your Resident Director
  • Complete all active programming, including quarterly educational programming, two social programs per semester, and quarterly area-wide programming (in collaboration with RD and HAs)
  • Complete at least three passive programs per semester, including one educational or resource-based bulletin board
  • Complete all individual programming, including quarterly one on one conversations with each first-year resident and an intentional effort to connect with every other community member one-on-one
  • Hold office hours two evening hours each week as coordinated with your Resident Director
  • HA programming requirements may vary some by assignment, and HAs are expected to communicate with their RD to ensure they are completing all requirements

Administrative Duties and Communication:

  • Check voicemail and email daily, and respond to communication with others in Residence Life within 24 hours
  • Send maintenance and housekeeping requests to Physical Plant (Cc or inform respective RD when issues are urgent or go unresolved) in a timely fashion
  • Participate in hall openings and closings, including but not limited to, completion of room/common area inventories and resident check-in and check-out
  • Complete inventories of student rooms throughout the academic year as directed
  • Participate in the Residence Life social media presence (e.g., Instagram, Twitter, blog, and Facebook)

Supervisor Relationship:

  • Communicate directly with your Resident Director regarding resident and area group issues, unless otherwise instructed
  • Receive and give constructive feedback about job performance and relationship with supervisor
  • Attend and engage in one-on-one conversations with supervisor on a bi-weekly basis
  • Create professional and/or personal goals and work with your Resident Director to establish strategies and skills related to those goals

Returning HA Responsibilities and Compensation (contingent upon funding*):

Additional responsibilities will include:

  • Arriving on campus a day prior to new HAs
  • Participating in all-day training on Wednesday, August 9 (this date will change from year to year)
  • Leading discussions or trainings during Fall HA Training
  • Participating in a to-be-created HA mentorship program
  • Serving as a formal resource for an assigned HA mentee
  • Meeting with an HA mentee once per quarter
  • Preparing and presenting one staff development activity at a staff meeting in consultation with an appropriate Resident Director

Returning HAs will receive the following compensation for these additional responsibilities: 

  • $400.00 in addition to their current compensation, to be included in the gross amount HA pay and disbursed over standard pay periods.

*Please note that these responsibilities and compensation changes will only be enacted if Residence Life's budget request is approved. We will provide returning HAs with an update once more information is available. 

Language House HA Purpose and Specific Duties:

The Language House HA works in conjunction with the Language Scholar, the Language and Literature Department and the RD for the Language Houses to make the house a center for the language and culture that it represents. In addition to stated HA responsibilities, Language House HAs are asked to:

  • Coordinate one large-scale cultural activity or event each semester
  • Collaborate in planning weekly cultural and conversation programs with Language Scholar and residents

Apartment HA Purpose and Specific Duties:

The role of the Apartment House Adviser is to oversee and manage the operation and communal aspects of the Birchwood Apartments or the RCAs, including, but not limited to, room inventories, equipment and supply management, programming, and event planning meetings. The Apartment HA works with the residents of the apartments to create and maintain a positive living environment conducive to the mission of the department of Residence Life.

Co-op HA Purpose and Specific Duties:

In addition to the general responsibilities of being an HA, the duties of the Farm House and Garden House Co-op HAs include guiding the establishment and maintenance of a cooperative living environment (in conjunction with the theme coordinator), acting as a liaison between the Co-op and Facilities and Residence Life, and actively participating in the community as a Co-op member. Additional responsibilities include participating in community dinners (approximately 5 nights a week), assigned chores, grocery shopping, and weekly house meetings.


House Advisers will receive the following opportunities and compensation:

  • The gross amount of a residence hall room and meal plan B paid equally on a biweekly basis through payroll for both fall and spring semester*
  • Development of skills in leadership, community building, conflict resolution, event planning, administrative tasks, teamwork, and professionalism
  • Participation as an integral member of the Residence Life staff team to influence and shape the experience of Reed College students

*This is amount is subject to the approved of the College's budget which is not finalized until late Spring Semester. While we cannot provide you a specific number at this time, we can ensure that it will be at least $13,150. Residence Life will inform HAs of the precise amount once it has been determined and approved. 

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Fax: 503/517-7691
Office: 28 West,
5436 SE 28th Ave.