On Sunday, January 15, the Columbia University Resident Adviser (CURA) Collective announced on Instagram that Residential Life has cut the RAs’ weekend duty shifts down from 24 hours to 11 hours, effective this past weekend.

According to the Instagram post, Tara Hanna, Executive Director of Residential Life, announced the change to Resident Advisers on January 9. The new policy reduces RAs’ weekend working hours by 13 hours, as on-duty shifts for RAs (when RAs are required to remain in or near their residential building and be able to be reached by phone) previously covered an entire 24-hour period.

This change from 24 to 11 hours per shift is significant for international students working as RAs. According to CURA’s post, “This win was a direct result of the advocacy of international student RAs. They pushed for the change because international student workers violate their visa terms if they work over 20 hours in a week (or work a 24-hour duty shift, for instance).”

The change in weekend duty hours follows December’s announcement that RAs will receive a $1,000 raise in pay for the next academic year, which came after many months of organizing on the part of the CURA Collective, beginning in the Spring semester of 2022.

According to CURA’s post from yesterday, “With this win [of the reduced hours] alongside our recent raise, we have now secured fairer working hours and more just compensation. This semester, we plan to build on these wins and continue improving the RA role.”

Email sent to CC/SEAS 2023-24 RAs from Residential Life on January 9 at 11:37 am:

Dear RAs, 

Happy New Year! I hope that you are all finding time to rest and recharge over break. 

I write to share an important update with you regarding RA duty expectations. Beginning this semester, RAs will no longer be on duty for 24 hours on the weekend/applicable holidays. Moving forward, similar to on the weekdays, RAs will only be on duty from 9:00pm – 8:00am on the weekend/applicable holidays. 

Based on feedback collected during RA lunches and individual RA conversations with Res Life leadership, this change was made in efforts to reduce the number of hours RAs are required to work in a given week. The leadership team and I continue to appreciate and value your direct feedback.  

An update will be sent about this change to the residential community and all duty signs will be changed prior to the weekend. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to you all returning back to campus and for another semester working together!

Safe travels back! 


Dean Hanna

Tara Hanna

Executive Director of Residential Life

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Student Life

Undergraduate Student Life

Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

T: 212-854-3482 | tkh2105@columbia.edu

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