By Justin Vacca
As part of the Academic Relations Committee, we are looking at exploring the relationship between residence life and academics. Specifically, we’re looking at how schools incorporate academic support into their residence life structure. For example, how are living and learning communities (if applicable) structured into the residence hall system? Is the focus on freshmen and first-year students or is there intentional support for all residential students? We will be gathering data and doing some research into what has worked and what hasn’t worked at schools in our region so those schools looking to add to or alter their current systems can benchmark accordingly. If you have any ideas as to additional things we should be looking for or researching within this topic area, let us know!
by: Jenna Hazelton
As student affairs professionals, we are used to working with one another collaboratively for programming within our residence halls. But how does that translate to working with faculty members? Faculty members bring a wealth of knowledge and ideas to our students living on campus, but sometimes, working with them can take a few extra steps to ensure a successful event. Below are some suggestions when programming with faculty members on your campus:
- Plan ahead of time: Many faculty members are working around class schedules, office hours, grading, conferences, and their own research. Their schedules tend to be a little more structured but also very packed. Planning in advance can be very beneficial as they may not be used to working with Residential Life/Housing staff for late night or weekend programming (which is typically when our students are more prone to attend events).
- Attendance: As Residential Life/Housing professionals, we’ve all put on (or attended) programs with little to no turnout. As the educators that we are, we sometimes use this as a learning opportunity for our staff members (more advertising, better advertising, different day/time, etc). Faculty members may have a more difficult time understanding this and therefore, you may want to put some extra effort in to recruiting for your event (offering things like food/prizes, incentives, extra credit, etc).
- Communication: Sometimes faculty members may not know what they need until it’s too late. Chances are, they are used to the same classroom each and every day that may have things like a dry erase/chalkboard, technology, computer, projector, and other necessities. However, not all of our residential spaces are equipped the same as classrooms. Communicating ahead of time for things such as program needs, technology, print-outs and other things can save a lot of hassle. Try to think proactively about what someone may need (but may not realize they need).
- Creative Advertising: Some students may shy away from something labeled a “lecture” or “series” no matter how interesting or unique the topic/area of interest. If your staff can be creative with their advertising (including the program name, presenter and what the program is) it may draw more students in. Some faculty members may enjoy the relaxed environment of a residence hall to get to know students (and this can be a great way to advertise it).
- Follow-Up: Though a very small gesture, even a small thank you note or “swag” type of item from your office/department can show a faculty member how much you appreciated their time. It will keep the relationship strong and hopefully they will want to partner with you in the future for additional programming opportunities.
Oops, we did it again! Open our communities to new and returning members, I mean. As we look back at preparations for opening, one of the important aspects to the success of housing and residence life programs is our reliance on paraprofessionals to help us support our students. Among these student workers and volunteers are: office and desk assistants, facilities support workers, orientation leaders, dining employees, conference services assistants, resident or community advisors, and residence hall association officers (and others, I’m sure).
How many of us held one of more of these positions? I bet a lot of us. It is clear that the leadership opportunities and mentoring we provide for our paraprofessionals contributes significantly to their success as scholars and future leaders. In fact, many of our finest aspire to enter student affairs.
This month is the annual Careers in Student Affairs month sponsored by our sister organization the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). In addition to the local training and mentoring of our paraprofessional teams there are national and regional opportunities open to the talent who will succeed us.
WACUHO’s major contributions in the region include our RAPs and participation in PACURH. WACUHO also supports NASPA’s Regional Careers in Student Affairs Day to be held at Azusa Pacific University on October 25, 2014. I would encourage you to consider participation, by sending aspiring students and new professionals. Here is the link to their program.
NASPA also has a number of free and low cost development opportunities this month. Check them out at here.
It will be easier for all of us to dream of our retirement: feet up, cool refreshing beverage, and maybe a novel (or binge tv watching) if we help the next generation get a strong start. Let’s continue providing the necessary scaffolding to promote student success at our institutions. Happy October!
2014-2015 WACUHO President
It’s that time of year again! Renew your Institutional Membership to WACUHO!
The 2014-2015 WACUHO Institutional Membership renewal is open via RegOnLine at this website address:
If you have any questions or comments about this process, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RAP season is just around the corner and the committees are working hard to get them ready.
Here are the dates and locations of the RAPs this year:
- Northern RAP – Saturday, November 22, 2014 at Sonoma State University
- Central RAP – Saturday, November 8, 2014 at Occidental College
- Southern RAP – Saturday, February 7, 2015 California State University, Fullerton
Stay tuned for more information.
The Time and Place Committee is currently processing the 2016 WACE Conference Bids. The deadline to submit your bid for WACE 2016 is Friday, October 10, 2014. Also, we are seeking a host site for 2017 from the Northern or Central regions of California. If your member institution is interested in hosting or co-hosting, please contact the Time and Place Committee at email@example.com. The deadline to submit your bid is December 5, 2014.
Here at Cal Poly Pomona, we’re making final preparations for PACURH 2014. Our student leaders have spent the past year planning this conference, and they are thrilled to finally be able to welcome all delegates to campus. From November 14th-16th, student leaders from Alaska, British Columbia, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington will travel to Pomona for a weekend of programming, boardroom, and networking. As the conference co-advisors, we could not be prouder of how hard the Team has worked in making their vision a reality. Since the first day of bid-writing, our students have grown both personally and professionally. The entire CPP University Housing Services staff will be on hand to lend support in any way we can. We sincerely thank WACUHO for its tireless support of our student leaders. We hope to see you at PACURH!
PACURH 2014 Conference Co-Advisors
California is in a water crisis! Sustainability has been on everyone’s mind (or it should be). So what does sustainability mean at a university? Each of our campus’s missions is to educate the leaders of tomorrow and generate thoughts, leadership and research. Through undergraduate and graduate programs, we are giving students the knowledge and training they will need to face these critical issues in their fields. And we have to keep sustainability in mind!
As Residential Life and Housing departments, the WACUHO Sustainability Committee asks you: what is your department doing to educate your students around sustainability ? Water conservation? Sustainable purchasing? Waste management (trash, recycle, compost)? Transportation Alternatives, a student’s individual carbon footprint?
We have an amazing opportunity to education and impact our students around these sustainable practices. We can make a major impact on our environment if each one of our live-in students makes a small sustainable change that they will practice for the reminder of their life
So… what is your campus doing?
The WACUHO Sustainability Committee is looking for members, so join us! The WACUHO Sustainability Committee is also looking to create a master list of campaigns that we can share on each other campuses! If you are interested please feel free to contact us,
Call in and hear from mentors in our profession. Ask questions, make connections and spend an hour with colleagues who understand what it is like to be in the middle.
Call 1-805-360-1000 and enter code 448986#
Fall dates will be at 9 a.m. on:
- October 23rd – Skills – Human Resources – Ramona Hernandez
- November 6th – Skills – Fiscal Resources and Control – Budgeting – Tom Ellett
- November 20th – TBD
- December 4th – Skills –Maggie Malagon (Occupancy basics)
- December 18th – Open roundtable
Want more information or to see resources from current and previous Mentor Chats Check out our Web Page.