Determinants of Resident Assistant Job Satisfaction In Privatized University Housing
The general purpose of a residence life program is the improvement of the on- campus student experience in hopes of promoting personal growth, development, and education as well as bolstering retention rates and cultivating future alumni relationships. A residence life program can be found on most four year college and university campuses. Many colleges and universities facilitate their own residence life programs in whole or in part. Other colleges and universities outsource their residence life programs, in whole or in part, to what is called a privatized university housing company. The goals of a residence life program, be it facilitated by university administrators, or by a privatized university housing company, remains the same; to enhance the student's on- campus college experience. The resident assistant (RA) is the first line of administration in most residence life programs. The RA position is typically a demanding, sometimes thankless job. It is a job in which the RA lives in, and is responsible for, a geographical sector of his or her peers. The RA position encompasses many roles such as administrator, programmer, disciplinarian, and counselor and is considered an important cog in the residence life wheel at most colleges and universities. When a student becomes an RA, they are volunteering to give up a great deal of their time and privacy for the betterment of the residents. Since there is so much pressure and responsibility placed on the resident assistants, job satisfaction can waiver. Job satisfaction within the resident assistant position is crucial since they are the day to day face of the residence life administration. If a resident assistant is not satisfied with the job their dissatisfaction could lend itself to the creation of an unpleasant living environment for their residents; which could result in frustration, chaos, and bitterness towards on-campus housing for the residents who live under the purview of such an RA. This paper is intended to examine determinants of resident assistant job satisfaction in a privatized university housing setting. It is intended to locate common threads of satisfaction for the purpose of increasing job satisfaction.