Graduate Housing Assistant (GHA) Position Description


Graduate Housing Assistant (GHA) Position Description

  • Academic Year Employment Dates: August 19, 2018- June 24, 2019
  • Summer GHA Employment Dates: June 25, 2018 -August 24, 2018

General Summary

The Graduate Housing Assistant (GHA) is an essential member of the Northwestern Residential Services staff whose primary role is to facilitate the social, academic, and personal transition of graduate residential students to the Northwestern community. The GHA is a student-staff member in Residential Services who is an integral member of the Engelhart, McManus, and Garrett Place communities. The principal GHA duties involve three main areas: administrative duties, event planning/community development, and on-call responsibilities. GHAs report directly to a Residence Director, and indirectly to the Assistant Director, and Director of Residential Life. GHAs work collaboratively with all Residential Services staff. GHAs in McManus are co-supervised by the Kellogg Housing Coordinator. This is a 20 hour a week position.

General Responsibilities and Duties

  1. Serve in a duty rotation to ensure safety, security, and policy enforcement within the residential area. Submit reports to supervisor with details of incidents as well as maintenance requests as needed. Work break periods, when needed. (25%)

  2. Plan individual and community wide programs to meet the needs of the students, support department initiatives and large-scale programs, and collaborate with university offices. (20%)

  3. Perform administrative tasks. Assist with resident check in and check out; administer keys for lockout situations. (15%)

  4. Communicate regularly with supervisor, staff team, and central office staff. Complete administrative tasks, including but not limited to weekly staff and supervisor meetings, paperwork, and staff trainings. (10%)

  5. Develop relationships through intentional interactions with residents in the residential area to build community and create a welcoming environment. (10%)

  6. Respond to both emergency and non-emergency situations, properly refer and report incidents. (10%)

  7. Attend bi-weekly staff meetings and department trainings, including but not limited to, fall and/or summer training. (10%)

  8. Perform other duties as assigned.


  • GHA positions are available for graduate students enrolled at Northwestern University full-time.

  • Candidates and GHAs must be in good academic and conduct standing with Northwestern University.

  • Preference will be given to individuals who have prior residential life or similar experience.

  • If you are a Kellogg student planning to participate in exchange during the fall, winter or spring quarters you are not eligible for the academic year GHA position. If you planning to be away for the fall, winter, or spring quarter for other reasons you are also not eligible for the academic year GHA position.

  • A background check will be conducted for all individuals selected during the hiring process. Employment is conditional upon a successful background check.

Physical Requirements

This position requires frequent overnight response to student emergencies, which includes interrupted sleep and ability to wake up from a phone call while sleeping, the ability to lift up to 10 lbs., and the ability to walk up and down stairs.


Each GHA will receive an apartment in their assigned community. A one bedroom apartment will be provided, but another unit type may be assigned (without additional compensation) if a one bedroom unit is not available. The apartment includes utilities, cable TV access, and wireless internet. Free laundry facility provided in the building. $150/month in earnings is also provided. GHAs are expected to live in their apartment during the time of their employment.

Staff requiring a two bedroom apartment will be provided rent credit comparable to a one bedroom apartment and are responsible for the difference in rent.

Staff members who leave the position will be required to vacate the assigned apartment and may be required to relocate to a different apartment community within 48 hours of when their termination letter or verbal resignation is received.

Mandatory Dates

  • Academic Year Employment Dates: August 19, 2018- June 24, 2019

  • Summer GHA Employment Dates: June 25, 2018 -August 24, 2018

Additional Information

Northwestern University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator, and employer. Northwestern University does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, or other protected group status in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or services or in the educational programs or activities it operates.

Residential Life invites you to approach us early in the application process and contact AccessibleNU (; 847-467-5530) if you think you may require a housing accommodation. In addition, we welcome you to work with us and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (; 847-491-7458) if you think you may require a work-related accommodation.

At Will Employment: Either the staff member or Northwestern University may end the employment relationship at will, with or without cause or advance notice, at any time during or after the orientation and review period.

Graduate Housing Assistant Extended Position Description

Please note this may be subject to change.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Attend bi-weekly 2 hour staff meeting, as well as meet bi-weekly for one-on-one meetings with Residence Director for staff development, programming planning and to receive community updates.

  • McManus GHAs will attend a bi-weekly meeting with the Residence Director and Kellogg Housing Coordinator.

  • Attend and participate in mandatory and ongoing training.

    • Summer GHA Training

    • Fall GHA Training

  • Assist with ongoing check-in and check-out processes.

  • Complete all reports including duty logs, incident reports, program planning and evaluation forms, and staff evaluations, in a timely manner.

  • Serve as a liaison to students and administrative offices, and collaborate with campus partners.

  • Be available to educate interested applicants about the GHA position and assist with the selection process, as needed.

  • Assist with all major check-in and check-out evenings and weekends. Submit time-off requests at least one week prior to the time away. GHAs must not make travel arrangements without consulting with their supervisor first. This includes university dates around holiday closures and break periods.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Safety and Security/On-Call Responsibilities

  • Participate in an on-call duty rotation during nights and weekends (8:00 PM – 8:30 AM) throughout the academic year and break periods, as well as weekend day duty (8:00 AM-8:00 PM). While on duty, the GHA will carry a university issued cell phone and remain within the assigned buildings to respond to the needs of the residents. GHA must be able to be on scene and respond to a situation within ten minutes.

  • 4 GHAs serve on the McManus night duty rotation and 5 GHAs serve on the Engelhart & Garrett Place night duty rotation. This number is subject to change if there are staff vacancies.

  • Perform on-call duties, including: lock-outs, assisting residents with maintenance concerns, confronting and documenting policy violations or inappropriate behavior. GHAs will also assist residents with these items during times when not on-call.

  • Enforce rules and regulations such as noise concerns, property damage, fire safety, and other potential policy violations in a consistent and professional manner.

  • Assist with duty coverage at any of the graduate housing buildings (Engelhart, Garrett Place, or McManus) as needed.

  • Ensure the security and safety of the building by aiding with fire alarm evacuations, educating residents on security protocol for the building, and maintaining an alert and engaged community.

  • Appropriately manage building keys.

  • Respect the confidentiality of privileged information.

  • Build and maintain a good working relationship with all University staff.

  • Provide suggestions and recommendations in order to improve the living experience for residents and their families.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Community Development Responsibilities

  • Create intentional and meaningful interactions with residents

  • Implement community development model

  • Propose, advertise, facilitate, and evaluate building-wide social and education programs throughout the year, specifically, monthly building wide programming.

  • Plan and implement one individual program every month.

  • Support fellow staff members through attendance at programs and activities.

  • Publicize campus events by posting fliers, banners, posters, electronic means, and/or word of mouth.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Legal Requirements

  • As required by the Higher Education Act, also known as the Clery Act, the GHA is considered a Campus Security Authority (CSA) and is required to report all crimes of which they are aware. Upon request, the GHA is also required to complete a reporting verification form.

  • The GHA is a mandated reporter under the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act and is required to report any reasonable cause for concern that a child may be abused or neglected to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The GHA is required to sign a statement that acknowledges their mandated reporter status.

  • The GHA is expected to respect the confidentiality of their residents and to uphold the confidentiality requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).