Community Mentor Position Description

NOTE: The duties and responsibilities in this position description are subject to change. Questions can be directed to the Housing and Community Life Office at

Start Date:  Tuesday August 9, 2016 at 8:00 a.m.
End Date:  Monday May 15, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Winter Break:  You can leave for winter break at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 18, 2016 and must return by 12:00 p.m. Thursday, January 12, 2017.  It is not an option to stay the night of December 18, 2016.

The Community Mentor (CM) is a part-time, live-in paraprofessional staff member for the Office of Housing & Community Life.  The CM’s primary responsibility is to facilitate relationships among residents and to help build a community that is culturally rich, intellectually stimulating, fun, sustainable, service driven, and inclusive and respectful of diversity.  The CM takes responsibility for supporting the mission of a liberal arts education.  By facilitating a safe and healthy environment, the CM supports the intellectual and emotional development of students. The CM works closely with the Residence Hall Association (RHA), the Area Coordinator and residents in order to pursue program excellence both within the area and across the department.  The CM position is one that requires dedication, flexibility, commitment, and enthusiasm, since staff members are required to respond to changing needs and situations.  The CM plays a significant role in enhancing the role that Housing & Community Life plays in the fulfillment of the mission of Willamette University, the strategic initiatives of the Division of Campus Life and the mission and core values of the Office of Housing & Community Life.  This position reports to an Area Coordinator.

Specific responsibilities for CMs include:

  1. Community Development and Programming
    1. Support the development of community and a sense of ownership and responsibility among residents; mediate conflicts when necessary.
    2. Know your residents’ names within the first month of their arrival. 
    3. Identify academic needs and co-curricular interests of students.  
    4. Design and implement active and passive programs supporting social and educational needs responding to the community. 
    5. Meet with residents through intentional interactions.
    6. Work with residents in planning and implementing appropriate community programs.
    7. Support community by attending area, departmental, and campus programs.
    8. Collaborate with RHA, residents, and staff to promote the best possibly living/learning community.
  2. Crisis and Emergency Resource
    1. Perform “On Call” duty responsibilities of the position based on area needs.
    2. Have a working knowledge of procedures to follow in emergency situations. 
    3. Assist students, staff and university personnel in resolving emergency situations.
    4. Respond to personal crises and medical emergencies.
  3. Counseling and Advising
    1. Be available, visible, and responsive to your residents. 
    2. On a paraprofessional level, assist students in addressing personal, social and academic needs. 
    3. Be knowledgeable and prepared to make appropriate resource referrals.
  4. Administration
    1. Execute assigned administrative tasks thoroughly and promptly.
    2. Disseminate and post appropriate information to students.
    3. Promote a safe and healthy environment using a team approach with Housekeeping, Campus Safety, Maintenance, student governance bodies, etc.
    4. Use programming funds responsibly.
    5. Assist with the housing room selection and room change processes.
    6. Assist in selection process of new staff members.
  5. Leadership and Government
    1. Support the Residence Hall Association (RHA). 
    2. Attend meetings and activities sponsored by RHA, as designated by your Area Coordinator. 
    3. Encourage the development of leadership skills among the residents. 
    4. Facilitate student involvement in the democratic decision making process.
    5. Further develop personal leadership skills.
  6. Community Standards
    1. Promote, uphold, and enforce federal, state, and local laws University Standards of Conduct, the Housing Contract,  and other university policies.
    2. Respond to residents’ behavior in a fair, consistent, and equitable manner.
    3. Serve as an advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and multicultural understanding.
    4. Assist students in developing behavioral standards appropriate to group living in an academic institution. 
    5. Proactively provide resources, such as mediation, to residents and address issues that have the potential to become behavioral problems in the community. 
    6. When necessary, developmentally confront individuals whose behavior is unacceptable and provide documentation to Residence Coordinator.
    7. Serve as an advocate for residents to support their understanding of and representation in the judicial process and their student rights and responsibilities in the area.
  7. Commitment to Academic Success
    1. Aid in student retention by promoting academic success through one on ones, assessment efforts, assisting with acclamation to college and facilitating faculty interactions.
    2. Possess knowledge of and ability to articulate the goals of a Willamette liberal arts education.
  8. Communication
    1. Attend and actively participate in all staff meetings as directed by the Area Coordinator or other Housing & Community Life staff. 
    2. Maintain open and timely communication with staff on matters of importance to the students/unit/system. 
    3. Transmit and interpret information from University offices and programs to the students in a timely manner.
    4. Transit departmental, RHA, area program information to students in a timely manner.
    5. Submit Incident Reports within 24 hours of the incident.
  9. Lockouts
    1. Assist with lockouts as requested from 5:00 p.m. until midnight when on call. 
    2. Provide documentation of lockouts.
  10. System Wide Initiatives
    1. Participate as directed by Area Coordinator in system wide initiatives such as committees or special projects.
  11. Facilities Management
    1. Assist with Health & Safety Checks and common area inventories, reporting any needed repairs, supplies, and/or damages and submitting work orders when appropriate.
    2. Assist with inventory cards, key cards, and key audits prior to opening and throughout the academic year and at closing.
  12. Community Safety
    1. Assist with fire drills.
    2. Assist with Health & Safety Checks/
  13. Assist with Opening & Closing
    1. Assist with the opening and closing of the residential facilities.
  14. Training, Staff meetings & Staff Team Development
    1. Actively engage in fall orientation, in-service training and other developmental and training sessions as designated by the Associate Director or other Housing and Community Life staff.
    2. Fall Training 2016:  All new and returning staff will participate in an intensive training session starting August 10, 2016. CMs cannot have any other commitments between August 10 and August 29, 2016.
    3. Spring Training 2017: This training takes place the Thursday, Friday and Saturday (January 12-14, 2017) before classes begin spring semester.
    4. Attend weekly staff meetings and in in-services Tuesdays from 9:00pm-11:00pm. Only staff with approved academic conflicts are excused.
    5. Attend and contribute to staff team development programs as designated by the Area Coordinator.


  1. Professionalism
    1. Develop and maintain professional working relationships with all professional staff within the Office of Housing & Community Life.
    2. Serve as a role model to students through high standards of personal and professional conduct. 
    3. Maintain a positive and professional attitude in all aspects of your CM role.  
    4. Maintain and uphold standards of strict confidentiality. 
    5. Provide support for the supervisor and Office of Housing & Community Life as assigned.
    6. Contribute to the creation of a productive and inclusive working environment.
    7. Provide excellent customer service.
    8. Abide by federal, state, and local laws, University Standards of Conduct and University policies, including serving as a mandatory reporter.
  2. Time Commitment
    1. This is a 20-hour per week position for work related projects in and out of the office.
    2. This includes some evening events and weekly team staff meetings.
    3. Hours must be logged. 
    4. Additional work and/or participation in extra-curricular activities should not exceed 10 hours per week unless prior approval has been given by Area Coordinator.
    5. Accept no other commitments that affect your ability to satisfactorily perform the desired duties of the job unless prior approval is obtained from your supervisor.
  3. Collaboration
    1. Work collaboratively with all individuals related to individual tasks.
  4. Additional Responsibilities
    1. Perform any other job-related responsibilities as requested by the Area Coordinator or other Housing & Community Life staff.

Required Qualifications

  1. Currently enrolled Willamette student.
  2. Serve as a role model with a commitment to academics and to remain a full-time student in good academic standing with the University.
  3. Enroll in no more than 4.25 hours of academic credit without prior approval from your supervisor.  It is generally recommended that CMs carry a lighter course load during fall semester.
  4. The successful candidates will have excellent administrative and multi-task skills; the ability to work autonomously; have experience working with graphic design programs; be flexible and willing to deal with last minute changes; and have excellent oral and written communication skills.
  5. Must be available to work 20 hours per week during the academic year with evening & weekend hours required.
  6. Must live in University provided housing.


  1. CM remuneration will be equal to 100% of the prorated cost of the assigned room and C Board rate. Your account will be credited half of that cost at the beginning of each semester.
  2. As the Willamette University food program includes meal plan points, there will be no personal refunds for unused dollars.  You are responsible for purchasing any additional MPP amounts if you exhaust your semester allotment.
  3. If you are assigned to a room designed for multiple occupants, you will have a roommate.
  4. Option to upgrade meal plan to be paid by employee, with no option to downgrade meal plan.