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 or who have transferable experiences.

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

Most of the work and responsibilities of a CA occurs in the evening hours when residents are home. At a basic functional level, CAs must be available to attend a weekly 2-hour staff meeting and serve on an on-call rotation, which requires staff to be present in the community from 5pm-8am. For details about on-call, please 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 since it can vary based on resident and operational needs. A CA’s primary responsibilities are to provide individualized support to students, work with a student leader team to coordinate and host regular community events, and assist with routine building operations.

What do On-Call responsibilities entail?

Each Grad CA serves on an on-call rotation of 4 Student Leaders. CAs must check in and be present in their community no later than 5pm and must remain in the community until they conclude their on-call shift at 8am the following day. The CA On-Call responds to needs from the community which can include, but are not limited to: facilities concerns, lockouts, policy violations and noise disturbances. The staff member on-call also conducts nightly rounds of the community to ensure the safety of residents.

How many nights will I be scheduled for On-Call shifts?

During a typical quarter, there are around 55 weeknights, and 22 weekend nights which are split between a rotation of 4 CAs. On average, that comes out to about 20 total nights of on-call responsibilities per quarter.

Will there be much interaction with undergraduate populations on campus?

While our Student Leader 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. Mercer Court Apartments has five total buildings with two buildings designated solely for graduate students. The Graduate CAs provide leadership and support of the two graduate housing buildings.

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 Student Leader spaces are for the Student Leader and cannot accommodate partners/roommates.

How does compensation for the position work?

Graduate CAs are compensated with room and board. CAs receive a single studio apartment that is partially furnished. Parking is available to all residents, including staff, at the rates set by Transportation Services, who manage the Mercer 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 Student Leaders enjoy using their meal plan at the District Market on groceries and cooking in their apartments or at Cultivate for a sit-down meal. Mercer Court also has an in-house coffee roastery and a café-style coffee shop called the Husky Grind.

CAs receive additional compensation for volunteering to provide 24-hour on-call coverage during break periods.

What is the contract length?

The CA position is a 12-month commitment, beginning the week of Labor Day through the end of August.

Is there an opportunity to start early?

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

How have previous Graduate CAs benefited from the role?

The Graduate CA position is a student leader role that can be used to enhance your graduate experience and develop transferable skills to support your career goals. The Former CAs – Where Are They Now? resource provides insight to what past CAs have found most valuable from their experience and what advice they have for prospective or current Grad CAs.

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

Please contact Mallory Kester,  Mercer D/E Resident Director at malkest@uw.edu.