A major goal of the Residence Life Staff is the development and implementation of programs that meet the social, developmental and educational needs of students. In the college residence hall environment, the impact of where students live has a tremendous effect on their academic, social, and developmental experience as a college student. Thus, the college residence halls become more than a place to eat, sleep and study. A student cannot escape or shut out the influence present in the residence hall environment, i.e., the physical condition of the hall, the influence of one’s peers, the limitations incurred in group living, the history, values, and personality of a roommate, or the activities and standards of others on the floor.
All programs should be done with the purpose of meeting the needs and interests of your residents. It should always be kept in mind that programming is an avenue by which student needs (learning, social, emotional, developmental, and recreational) are determined and met. Programming, in this context, may include activities that are designed with purposes in themselves: discussions built around topics of interest, study skills, seminars, cookouts designed to provide social interaction, learning how to budget, etc.
The scope of possibilities is limitless. The goals to be achieved are the involvement of students with their own personal development. Involving residents in the organization of programs is very important. Students who have a special interest or pursuit are often willing to share them with other students.
The accomplishment of such goals demands a great deal of creativity, assertiveness, sensitivity, and the energy on the part of the closest and most direct contact with residents in the hall, YOU. You are extremely visible and serve as a role model, perhaps more than you realize. The key to successful programs is most definitely…AN ENTHUSIASTIC RESIDENT ASSISTANT!
Our goal is to offer programs in the residence halls which will be in accordance with the university’s mission and which will be based on the Benedictine tradition. Saint Leo was founded on the six Benedictine values: personal development, respect, integrity, community, excellence and responsible stewardship. The university’s mission states that the primary purpose of Saint Leo is to offer a quality education, assure religious dimensions, to provide community service and a caring environment. Our mission states that the Office of Residence Life provides students with a living environment that contributes to their educational and personal growth.
Programming as Community Building Community building begins at move-in day. Each RA must know the names and faces of each of their residents as well as a few facts about them. Each RA will be asked to complete a sociogram at the first in-service, which gives each RA an ample amount of time to get to know who is living on your floor and in your area. RA presence and involvement on the floor is key!
As a community-based model, RA’s are challenged to get their residents involved in program planning. RA’s should work alongside interested residents in posting advertisements, gathering supplies and running the program.