Residence Education

CA FAQ

Graduate Community Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to be in a specific or related program to apply?

We value a variety of applicants to serve our diverse population of residents. However, preference will be given to candidates enrolled in related fields.

My program only offers classes at night, should I still apply?

Much of the work of a CA occurs in the evening hours when residents are home, as they work to build community. At a basic functional level, CAs must be available to serve on a duty rotation which requires staff to be present in the community from 5pm-8am. For details about duty, see below.

Do I need to have previous RA or related experience?

Applicants do not need to have previous RA or student leadership experience, but candidates with these experiences will be given preference. We also value transferrable skills that can be applied to this role.

How many hours per week is this position?

The CA position is listed as 19.5 hours per week; however, it is difficult to quantify the experience. Take a look at our examples on our “Week in the Life of a CA” page – these are real weeks recorded by our current staff team and will offer a good feel for what the time commitment looks like practically.

What does duty entail?

Each staff member serves on a duty rotation in an on-call capacity. Staff members must check in and be present in their community no later than 5pm and must remain in the community until they conclude duty at 8am the following day. The CA on Duty responds to calls from the community which can include, but are not limited to,  facilities concerns, lockouts, and noise disturbances. The staff member on duty also conducts nightly rounds of the community to ensure the safety of residents.

How many nights will I be scheduled for duty?

During Winter Quarter this year, there were 53 weeknights, and 23 weekend nights with a rotation of 4 CAs – that comes out to about 19 total nights of duty during the quarter.

Will there be much interaction with undergraduate populations on campus?

While our staff team directly serves the graduate and professional community, we operate within a larger apartments area and within the unit of Residential Life. As the only graduate and professional community on campus, we lean on our other team members who are undergraduate students and staff to work collaboratively when appropriate. Autumn Training is for all paraprofessional staff including RAs and CAs, so is largely an undergraduate larger group.

What are the demographics of the community?

Mercer Court D and E house 285 graduate and professional students ranging all programs of study, ages, and backgrounds. We also have a high international student population.

I have a pet, can I bring it with me?

Unfortunately, all housing on campus at the University of Washington is pet-free (with the exception of fish). Additionally, all staff spaces are for the staff member and cannot accommodate partners/roommates.

How does compensation for the position work?

Staff are compensated with free room and board. Parking is available to all residents, including staff, at the rates set by Transportation Services, who own our parking garage. The meal plan included is a Level 4 dining plan, and can be used in any dining hall, restaurant, coffee shop, or market on campus. Current staff enjoy using it at the District Market on groceries and cooking in their apartments or at Cultivate for a sit-down meal.

CAs receive additional compensation for providing 24-hour duty coverage during break periods.

What is the contract length?

The CA position is a 12-month commitment, beginning the week after Labor Day.

Is there an opportunity to start early?

Pending staff transitions, opportunities may be available for an early start date. Please inquire if you have interest in beginning the position early.

My question wasn’t addressed here, who do I contact with further questions?

Please contact Jessica Rashid, Area Director, Apartment Life via the email address: jnrashid@uw.edu if you have unanswered questions.