The Ups and Downs of Community Development in Apartment-Style Living SEAHO 2011: Let the Parade Begin! Jeannie Hopper, Assistant Director, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Holly Stewart, Hall Director, Valdosta State University Presentation Outline Overview of Valdosta and UTK Unique Challenges Apt-Style Living Poses for Community Building RA Training: How to Fulfill the Needs of the Residents and the Department Programming Models Currently in Use at Valdosta and UTK Questions and Advice for the Group Overview: Valdosta State University 1 Apartment-Style Residence Hall Centennial Hall (520 residents, co-ed, upperclassmen and international students) Composed of two buildings that form an enclosed courtyard Lacks a main lobby area and does not have 24 hour desk coverage Located immediately next to the Rec Center, but ½ mile from main campus Approximate 1:68 RA to Resident Ratio Upperclassmen Only All VSU Rules and Regulations Apply New Community Development Model introduced in Fall 2010 Overview: UT, Knoxville 3 Apartment-Style Residence Halls Apartment Residence Hall (954 residents, co-ed, primarily sophomores and international students) Laurel Hall (645 residents, all female, currently sorority women) Volunteer Hall (700 residents, co-ed, primarily juniors and seniors, graduate students, law school students) Approximate 1:60 RA to Resident Ratio Upperclassmen Only All UT Rules and Regulations Apply New Community Development Model introduced in Fall 2010 The Challenges Residents want privacy Fewer resident interactions in the buildings Residents don’t “need” RAs Physical structure leads to more policy violations RAs struggle with program attendance Resident Privacy Private bedrooms are extremely popular with students. Fewer Resident Interactions Why leave your apartment when your living room looks like this? Residents don’t “need” RAs Residents are upperclassmen and no longer need a campus “tour guide.” They already know it all – right? Policy Violations With so much privacy and more distance from the hallway, the opportunities to successfully break policy skyrocket. Lower Attendance at RA Programs Providing free food has always been the secret to RA success, but personal kitchens negate the appeal. RA Training: Finding a Balance Confidence is key! More students in discipline settings Older students can be intimidating even in social settings Creative programming Learn the value of passive and collaborative programming Implement new ideas like drive-by programs Positive outlook and support from supervisors Creating RA Confidence! Challenge traditional attitudes to create pride, motivation, and enthusiasm • Apt halls are no longer RA “retirement homes” • Creating RA Confidence! Train intentionally for the building type • Revamped Behind Closed Doors • Programming Embrace needs-based, collaborative, and passive programming • The Fainting Goat Gazette: Area Blog Support and Encourage the RAs Sources of appreciation and recognition go a long way in keeping RAs motivated and trying, especially when things don’t go as planned • Programming Models Valdosta State University Community P.R.I.D.E Implemented August 2010 University of Tennessee, Knoxville Apt-Style RA Community Development Model Implemented August 2010 community P.R.I.D.E. Areas of P.R.I.D.E. Personal Growth (1 Fall & Spring) Recreation (3 Fall, 2 Spring) Involvement (2 Fall & Spring) Diversity (2 Fall & Spring) Education (3 Fall, 2 Spring) Types of Programs Needs Based Individual Collaborative Passive Community Building/Spontaneous community P.R.I.D.E. Apt-Style RA Community Devo Model Six Community Development Objectives RAs will personally know, interact with, and support their residents. RAs will actively link their residents to the floor and campus community. RAs will promote and equip their residents to succeed academically. RAs will develop the personal communication and social development skills of their residents. RAs will encourage residents to explore & reflect on their values, ethics, & our diverse global society. RAs will challenge their residents to engage in safe and healthy lifestyles. Apt-Style RA Community Devo Model Methods of Implementation Electronic Weekly Report Staff Committee – 1 program per committee per month Safe and Healthy Lifestyles Academics Diversity Life Skills Floor-Wide Social Events/Activities (1 per month, completed individually) Your Turn! Questions? Ideas or Suggestions for the Group? THANK YOU!