Students cross Myers Quad in the spring.

UGA enhances residential belonging initiatives

Residential Belonging Assistants to continue the legacy of C.L.A.S.S. Advocates program

As part of ongoing efforts to foster a sense of belonging for its students, the Division of Student Affairs is launching Residential Belonging Assistants (RBAs), an enhancement of University Housing’s long-standing student mentoring, support and inclusion efforts, and an expansion of the C.L.A.S.S. Advocates (CA) program. The RBA position is currently posted on UGA Human Resources’ job listing.  

“Student Affairs and University Housing have long offered effective programming to support students’ personal and academic growth,” says Linda Kasper, Executive Director of University Housing. “Our residents will continue to have advocates and mentors dedicated to bringing them into the UGA family, and we continue to strive to support the unique needs and goals of UGA students.” 

The newly launched Residential Belonging Assistant (RBA) program in University Housing will offer multiple advantages aimed at fostering inclusivity and support within the campus community. One fundamental advantage lies in the comprehensive support provided, which will involve collaboration with partners from various departments across campus. This support will equip RBAs with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to effectively engage with students from diverse backgrounds. The RBA position will provide elevated work opportunities that align with the division’s Belonging strategic priorities, enabling RBAs to play a pivotal role in creating a welcoming environment for all students. Additionally, RBAs will have the opportunity to connect students to broader engagement opportunities, particularly focused on supporting first-year students as they transition into their academic journey at UGA. By serving as connectors, RBAs will play a crucial role in supporting UGA students, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and supportive campus community. 

A key goal of the initiative is to continue the personal connection and individual support that were hallmarks of the CA program while also expanding the student needs and experiences supported and resources offered. The RBA program will directly address the goals outlined in the Student Affairs 2025 strategic plan.  

“As we continue to prioritize community and support for our diverse student body, the new Residential Belonging Assistant (RBA) program directly aligns with our commitment to building connections. By leveraging campus wide resources, the RBA program enhances our ability to meet the multifaceted needs of our students, so that every individual feels valued and supported throughout their journey at UGA,” notes Michelle Cook, Vice President for Student Affairs. 

University Housing will hire 12 RBA positions and interest in the position is strong. Several current RAs and CAs have initial interest in the opportunity. RBAs will receive a room on campus, a stipend, and an optional meal plan.