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Desk Receptionist

Date: Jun 3, 2021

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University


The Desk Receptionist (DR) is an undergraduate part-time student staff member of Housing & Residence Life and a member of the University’s Office of Campus Life.  The Desk Receptionist fulfills a vital role in the residence hall system by helping ensure the safety of the halls, assisting residents with concerns, and welcoming guests and visitors. The DR is supervised by a Desk Supervisor with the support from the Assistant Director for Residence Life and is expected to work closely with other staff members (other DRs, Resident Assistants, Community Directors, Facilities Management Members, and University College Program Associates, etc.) within the building, as well as across campus.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Full time enrollment as an undergraduate (minimum 12 credits and a maximum of 17 per semester)
  2. Cumulative GPA at, or above, 2.75 and term GPA at, or above, 2.5 (GPA’s must be maintained from the date of application until the date of separation)

Additional Information

  1. This is a 10-month position from August 2021 through May 2022.
    • Fall 2021 Arrival: Early to Mid-August
    • Spring 2022 Arrival: Early January
  2. All Desk Receptionists must attend and fully participate in staff training in August and January prior to the start of the academic semester.
    • Fall Training: Early to Mid-August
    • Spring Training: Early January
  3. All Desk Receptionists are expected to work a minimum of 10 shifts during the opening of residence halls in August 2021.
  4. The residential front desks at American University are a 24-hour operation throughout the entire academic year. This position has “nontraditional” business hours making it likely staff will work evening (10:00pm-8:00am) and/or weekend hours.
  5. Desk Receptionists are expected to work a minimum of 10 hours per week.
  6. Desk Receptionists are required to work one break (Thanksgiving Break, Winter Early Arrival, Spring Break) over the course of the academic year.

Principle Accountabilities


  • Turn in completed HR and payroll forms to the Desk Supervisor or Assistant Director for Residence Life
  • Be timely and professional in all written and verbal communications with Housing & Residence Life staff and AU community members.
  • Compile accurate and timely reports for supervisor as requested (shift logs, digital systems management.).
  • Complete and submit bi-weekly online timesheets on time.
  • Confront, document, and follow through on violations of published University and Housing & Residence Life policies, regulations, and procedures in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Treat information concerning staff and/or students with the utmost confidentiality.

Community Facilitation

  • Treat concerns of all customers with attentiveness and seriousness.
  • Serve as a liaison between students and the supervisor.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of the University’s facilities, services, and resources.
  • Ensure that the desk is clean, all binders and logs are in appropriate locations, and all supplies are stocked.

Principle Accountabilities

Role Modeling and Policy Compliance

  • Be well versed in, personally abide by, and help enforce University policies including the Housing Agreement.  DRs must also abide by all regulations in federal and local jurisdictions.
  • Understand that all actions of a DR (including those engaged in outside of the residence hall) are observed by residents, other DRs and staff members.  DRs must hold themselves to a higher standard in all action.
  • Follow outlined emergency response protocol when necessary at the desk.


  • Assist in the opening, closing, and staffing of the residence hall desks at break times.
  • Prepare and maintain accurate records regarding room changes, maintenance, damages, and policy violations.
  • Assist other Housing & Residence Life staff with no-show verification process, vacancy lists, room change, public area inventories, room inventory forms and other administrative processes as determined by the supervisor.
  • Follow proper key distribution procedures to maintain accuracy and security. DRs must not create or issue keys to anyone, including themselves, without following proper documentation procedures.

Principle Accountabilities

Customer Service

  • Maintain positive relationships with fellow Desk Receptionists, Resident Assistants, Community Directors, HRL staff, Facilities Management, and Program Associates.
  • Attend DR meetings to schedule desk shifts and receive additional training.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with Desk Supervisor, fellow Desk Receptionists, and Housing & Residence Life office by checking staff mail, phone messages, and e-mail messages daily. 
  • Support efforts of front desk staff in creating a safe living environment for the residents.

Other duties as assigned

  • The nature of the DR position does not allow for all duties to be explicitly described.  There will be times when hall staffs are requested to assist in an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance.  These situations will be presented as thoroughly as possible at the time of need.

Hours Worked and Salary

  • Hourly Wage: $15.00/Hour  
  • Work hours per week: 10 (Min); 27 (Max)

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC