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Apply to be a Community Associate

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Community Associates (CAs) are Stanford’s graduate residence staff whose mission is to create communities that foster wellbeing and sustainable connections in graduate housing.

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Program Information

Stanford University provides housing to over 72% of its 9,400 graduate students in a variety of housing configurations; from studio apartments for singles to courtyard apartments for students with families. Community Associates (CAs) are Stanford’s graduate residence staff whose mission is to create communities that foster wellbeing and sustainable connections in graduate housing.

CAs are selected by the Graduate Life Office and report to the Dean within their assigned area: Escondido Village (EV) Singles and Couples, EV Families, Kennedy Residences, Rains, Munger, Lyman, Escondido Village Graduate Residences B, C, D and Off-Campus Subsidized Housing.


  • You must be a current matriculated graduate student.
  • You must be eligible to be paid for the full academic year (autumn-spring quarter). Admin Guide: Limits on Hours
  • You must be enrolled all three quarters of the academic year (fall – spring).
  • You must be physically present on campus and cannot be away from campus more than 2 weeks total per quarter.
  • You must have housing priority years. For more information, go to Assignment Guarantee and Priorities.
  • You are required to live in the neighborhood you are assigned to.
  • You may not have been found responsible or have an open investigation for serious university and housing policy violations.
  • Returning full-time matriculated graduate/professional students with housing priority will be prioritized.


  • Stipend is $1500/quarter during the academic year and $1200/summer.
  • Exemption from the housing lottery (you are required to live in your assigned area/neighborhood).
  • You may request to exempt one roommate, who must also have housing priority years.

Appointment Description:

CAs are expected to work both individually and as a team to be visible and approachable leaders in their communities, with responsibilities in the following three areas:

1. Being a helpful resource and of service to residents.

  • CAs are available and visible to residents and participate in the life and activities of the residence/neighborhood.
  • CAs listen attentively to student concerns and questions and are the first point of contact for residents’ problems, issues or conflicts. CAs provide first-line of support, problem-solving, and/or conflict mediation before cases are referred to the GLO Deans.
  • CAs work closely with GLO Deans to provide a range of support, including outreach relevant to the welfare of residents of concern in their neighborhood. CAs work closely with GLO Deans and other University personnel (Housing, CAPS, SUDPS, etc.) to provide comprehensive response to resident or community crises or emergencies.
  • CAs treat conversations with students with respect and discretion, and bring questions or concerns to the Graduate Life Deans.
  • CAs are knowledgeable about, and refer students to University resources and departments, particularly GLO, Vaden/CAPS, Housing etc., and serve as liaisons between these offices and their residents for information affecting student health and well-being.
  • CAs provide emergency response information, resources and leadership to residents.
  • CAs, working with GLO, Housing, and other partner offices, inform residents of relevant University policies and promote compliance.
  • CAs consult with and make referrals to GLO as appropriate and needed regarding resident issues.

2. Connect with residents and build healthy community through information and programming.

  • CAs plan and provide local residential welcome and orientation programs to new  students. They also participate and assist in campus-wide orientation programs (NGSO). 
  • CAs initiate and maintain positive relationships with students living in their residence hall or neighborhood.
  • CAs participate and assist in the assessment of the needs and interests of students within their house, and to attend to the general well-being of residents.
  • CAs create, plan, and implement social events on and off-campus for their residents to promote inclusion, socialization, relaxation, fun, and a sense of community. CAs must comply with university planning policy and guidance.
  • CAs work in collaboration with, or provide assistance and support to partner offices and organizations such as VPGE, R&DE, and the GSC to improve academic and life experiences of graduate students living on campus.
  • CAs use programming as a way to publicize themselves as a resource (this includes advertising events, sending neighborhood emails, and connecting with residents at events).

3.  Perform administrative responsibilities and tasks defined and assigned by GLO and CA area.

  • CAs are required to attend and participate in all training programs and activities to become familiar with and informed of graduate student issues, resources, relevant policies, and basic student services skills.
  • CAs attend all required staff meetings with GLO staff and CA area.
  • CAs inform and work with CA leadership and GLO about any absences.
  • CAs complete all necessary paperwork and documentation as required and assigned by GLO and CA area such as event and expenses record-keeping. 


What percentage of an assistantship appointment is this position classified as, or how many hours of work per week does the position require?

CA appointments do not have a fixed percentage or hours attached to them. Please check in with your department to make sure you can receive an additional $1500 stipend each quarter without having it affect your funding.

How do I know which CA areas to prioritize in my application? Which areas should I apply to?

Follow the Housing Availability chart below to determine which area is right for you. We recommend that you prioritize areas that offer your housing preferences.

Are there areas that have more CA openings than others?

It varies each year, but EV Singles & Couples is one of the bigger areas that usually offers more openings than others. However, it depends on which housing type you want to live in and the availability of those spaces in the different areas. 

Are co-terms eligible to apply?

Returning full-time matriculated graduate/professional students with housing priority will be prioritized. Please note second-year co-terms do not have housing priority.  

Why can’t CAs be first-year grad students?

We want CAs coming into the position to have already experienced at least a year of campus life at Stanford. We also don’t want to overwhelm first-years with additional responsibilities and time commitments.

What does the application and interview process look like?

The application will ask for basic demographic questions that will also verify your eligibility for the position. You will also be asked questions that help us understand your interest in building community and supporting residents as a student leader in graduate housing. Deans will offer interviews based on the strength of your application and the availability of spaces in the areas you prioritized on your application.

Interviews are 30 minutes long and will be an opportunity for deans to gain a deeper understanding of your interest in the position and what you can bring to the graduate community.

How long do grad students usually stay with the CA program?

It varies depending on each CA’s circumstance and their degree progress, but most CAs stay on until they graduate. We do understand when CAs can no longer continue due to academic obligations and/or personal priorities. We encourage CAs to be communicative about their plans with their dean if these issues come up.

What does training look like for this role?

Community Associates are required to attend CA Training during the Spring Quarter and prior to the start of Fall Quarter. These trainings include: Team Development, Session with Campus Partners, Event Planning, and Protocols. 

Join the Community Associates Team

Do you enjoy facilitating new connections among neighbors through events? Are you interested in paid student leadership opportunities? 

Don't know which CA area to apply to?

Follow the flowchart to determine which type of housing is right for you. Please note that area availability is not guaranteed and subject to change.



Questions? Email the Graduate Life Office.