SEAHO 2011 Apartment Style Community

Report
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!

similar documents