Getting Involved

female students cheering

Lead where you live

In addition to MCU’s clubs, student government, and volunteer and cultural opportunities, students who live in campus housing form lifelong friendships and enjoy a rich variety of social activities, such as:

  • Barbecues and luaus
  • Pep rallies
  • Dances
  • Casino nights
  • Movie nights
  • Dodgeball/basketball/volleyball tournaments
  • Game nights
  • Faculty-student dinners

Leadership opportunities

The Office of Residential Life guides students as they navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by community living experiences. Our office promotes student success by fostering a community that values equity, holistic development, inclusivity and well-being. With that comes opportunities for students to develop life and leadership skills while living in residence. You’ll learn how to support others and improve your own interpersonal relationships, organization and leadership on your journey toward a better you. And, earn a few bucks along the way!

Resident Assistant

A resident assistant (RA) is a live-in peer leader who facilitates a positive, safe and supportive community for the residents in student housing. RAs are the crucial link in creating an environment that helps students develop independence and learn to live cooperatively with others. As a premier student leadership experience, the RA position can be a great opportunity to build personal and professional skills that prepare graduates who are capable of communicating effectively, managing multiple priorities, resolving and managing conflict, and getting a head start in their chosen profession. To indicate your interest, please fill out this form. For more information on how to apply, read our frequently asked questions below.

Orientation Leader

An orientation leader (OL) is an ambassador who guides new students and their families through their transition to Marymount by serving as a resource and role model for the newest members of our Mariner community. This is a rewarding experience for positive, hard-working students who want to share their Mariner pride with incoming students and their families. To indicate your interest, please fill out this form. For more information on how to apply, read our frequently asked questions below.

Frequently asked questions

Interested parties must be current undergraduate or graduate students at the time of application, maintain full-time status during employment and successfully complete the Dynamics of Leadership course.


First, we request that you fill out an interest form. Interested students also must enroll in Dynamics of Leadership that meets once a week from January 13-March 6, 2020. Choose the day that best fits your schedule. The time does not conflict with any other undergraduate courses. Space is limited, so enroll soon!

ID133-01 Mondays 7 p.m.-8:40 p.m.

ID133-02 Thursdays 7 p.m.-8:40 p.m.

This one-unit course can count as an elective credit toward your degree. All students who enroll and successfully complete the class will be considered for both positions. If offered a position, you will have the opportunity to accept or decline.


Among the objectives you can expect from the course: 

  • Learn how to build community with incoming and returning MCU students
  • Learn how to work on a team with others who may have different strengths and weaknesses
  • Understand how gender, culture, diversity and multiculturalism affect leadership
  • Understand the importance of inclusion when working with college students
  • Learn the importance of professionalism, communication and student leader perception on campus

Unfortunately, you cannot because the training and job commitments overlap in August.

The recruitment process for both positions is the same, so you will be considered for both roles. If you are offered a position you do not want, you can simply decline it. There is no commitment until you accept a position

That’s okay! You will still receive one unit of credit (pending successful completion) and gain great leadership skills, which will help you in any field you decide to pursue in the future. You are not required to accept any offer you receive. We recommend you enroll in the course even if you are hesitant about applying for either position.

The term of your RA contract is August 2, 2020 through May 11, 2020. You will be expected to move into the Villas on August 2, with training scheduled from August 3-23. Please note there are mandatory dates all RAs are required to work, which will be provided during the course.

While we have the right to adjust job requirements and responsibilities as needed, some of the academic-year duties will include the following:

  • Meet with your direct supervisor one hour every two weeks (weekly for first six weeks)
  • Attend two-hour staff meetings once a week
  • Work a two-hour “office hours” shift once per week
  • Fulfill one overnight “on-duty” shift per week (meaning you hold the “RA phone” and answer any calls from 8 p.m.-8 a.m. the following morning)
  • Be “on duty” over the weekend (weekends are in a rotation)
  • Host four community programs (also known as “sectionals”) per semester
  • Post one passive sectional per semester (i.e., interactive, decorative poster)
  • Support large-scale events day-of (monthly commitment)
  • Handle additional monthly tasks (i.e., community living agreements, Mariner Success Initiatives)

RAs are “on duty” during holidays, winter break and spring break. We consider this a volunteer opportunity and offer additional monetary compensation. However, some holiday coverage may be required if we do not recruit enough volunteers.

Resident assistants receive free room and board for the academic year. This includes a single bedroom (no roommates) furnished with a full-sized bed and dresser in a three-bedroom Villa with up to five housemates. The three-bedroom Villa features two full bathrooms, a fully furnished living room, gas stove, refrigerator, Wi-Fi, DirecTV, a one-car garage, a one-car driveway, and a back or front patio. You can find more information on amenities here. “Board” means you will be provided a free meal plan. You may “swipe” and eat at the Villas or at the Bistro Café on the Oceanview Campus.

Orientation leaders are paid an hourly wage of $13 an hour.

Your OL contract will begin in July, with move-in expected early August. Specific training dates will be announced later. Successful candidates are required to assist with Preview Day, Admit Day, Advising Days and New Student Orientation, which have yet to be scheduled but will be provided during the course.

While we have the right to adjust job requirements and responsibilities as needed, some of the academic-year duties will include the following:

  • Participate in all meetings, training sessions and orientation events outlined in the application
  • Welcome new students and their families to Marymount with enthusiasm and acquaint them to campus services, activities and facilities
  • Assist with organizing, preparing and presenting orientation activities
  • Serve as a leader and guide groups of students and their families to their orientation sessions
  • Collaborate with fellow orientation leaders to perform daily tasks
  • Communicate in an effective and professional manner
  • Maintain a positive attitude and respond calmly and rationally to problems or unexpected events that may arise
  • Abide by and reinforce all Marymount California University policies and procedures
  • Provide feedback to assist in the evaluation process

These positions can be a lot of work, but many students find the experience and skills they gain worth the effort. The pre-requisite Dynamics of Leadership course will detail the requirements of each position and teach you how to manage your time. Plus, you can always meet with your supervisor who will support you every step of the way and help you work through any challenges you experience.

Absolutely! Again, taking the Dynamics of Leadership course is not committing you to either role. Enroll in the course, feel it out and decide from there. In the end, you will earn one unit and learn a lot about leadership and how to work with others.

Suesue Eldanaf Walkwitz
Assistant Director of Residential Life

Jeremy Booker
Director of Student Life

Office of Student Affairs
(310) 303-7254

Campus location
Cecilia Hall 209