Experiencing fall burnout? Did you get through move in, welcome week and homecoming with great enthusiasm and now you don’t know where your energy went. End the year on a high note by following these simple steps.
- Take a mental health day. Take a day off to do something that you enjoy and will reenergize you. DO NOT USE THIS DAY TO RUN ERRANDS!!!
- Debrief with your team. How did things go? How can you make things even better next year? Celebrate your awesomeness!
- Dust off those business cards you collected from the WACE 2014 and make connections. Remember that really great idea that one school talked about? Reach out to them and put together an action plan for the New Year.
- Take the focus off yourself and perform a random act of kindness. Show gratitude toward someone who kept your energy level up through the fall crazy.
- Get back to basics. Organize your desk and file the fall away.
If you are interested in learning about the Support Services Committee please join us for our next conference call on December 4th at 10am (712) 775-7031 (109-121-228) or visit http://wacuho.org/wiki/index.php/Support_Services.
Last month, we asked you what your department is doing to educate your students around sustainability or to improve their efforts around the same topic. We hope to feature YOUR departments in future WAVES to both spotlight your efforts, as well as inspire others.
Waste reduction Effort – In-room composting program, UC Berkeley
This pilot program debuted the Fall 2014 semester in 2 different residence hall communities – one suite style and one traditional hall style. At move-in, every room received a lidded compost bin, as well which is separate from their recycling bins. The buildings participating in the program have also had bin liner dispensers installed in common bathrooms for easy access. Students participate by composting their food scraps in their own room in the bin and then can take the bin out to the larger, outdoor compost containers, which have been placed in all the trash/recycling collection areas. This allows students to participate without making special trips or adding additional steps to dispose of the compost.
The program was initiated by a student who participated in the GETH (Global Environment Theme House, a living learning community) during the 13-14 school year, who wrote a grant proposal to cover the initial cost of bins and liners. The program has been carried out as a joint effort by Campus Refuse & Recycling and Residential & Housing Services as a part of the UC Berkeley goal to be Waste Free by 2020.
Future goals of the program for this year include increased education and outreach to students in the pilot program area, as well as a push for students to compost any perishables before leaving for winter break in December. While the program has just begun, we are seeing positive results from students who are choosing to participate, and do hope to expand in future years!
We know that other departments are doing fantastic work around this topic – please email Josh or Kristin about your programs and initiatives to be featured in an upcoming WAVES, and to help us create a master list of what is happening across California.
The WACUHO Sustainability Committee is also looking for members — if you are passionate around this topic and/or hoping to get involved, join us!
Josh O’Connor Kristin Delo
UCLA UC Berkeley
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.