Section 9.2: Types of Programs
Weekly traditions are designed to give students an on-going opportunity to connect with other residents on their floor. These events will be scheduled for the same night and day each week to provide a consistent schedule. Residents can choose to attend all of the events or come as their schedule permits. Traditions should be based on interests and needs of the residents, and while long term consistency is encouraged, traditions can change from block to block based on resident schedules and commitments.
Examples include: Scheduling a time one evening a week for residents to eat dinner together with their floor. Hosting a weekly movie night with snacks. Coordinating a weekly study session in the hallway. Getting together for a group exercise activity in the aerobics room.
Student Engagement Opportunities (SEOs)
Student engagement opportunities are interactions that staff will attempt to have with each resident on their floor every block. These conversations should be used to get to know residents on a deeper level. Also, there should be some time devoted to helping the resident set goals for their personal, social and academic development.
If you aren’t able to connect with a resident during the block you must be able to demonstrate that you’ve made a reasonable effort to reach out to that resident.
As a means of helping to remember what was discussed during your interactions we would encourage staff to take notes or log interactions in a manner that works best for that RA. Pro Staff will never ask to see these notes, but writing down when you spoke to someone and making a few notes will benefit your conversations down the road, especially if it’s someone that you aren’t able to connect with often.
Campus Activities (CAs)
Campus activities are programs where staff will select an event that is being sponsored by a Cornell-affiliated group/organization and attend that event with their residents. Staff must publicize the event in advance and there must also be some sort of intentional community development activity offered either before the event, or as a direct follow-up to the event. Please note that while residents may be involved in the activity that is chosen, staff are not allowed to select activities that they are actively participating in or that they are required to be at as a member of the sponsoring group/organization.
Examples include: Making signs to support a floor mate on the basketball time before attending their game and sitting with other residents on the floor. Attending a speaker on campus and then going to Zamora's Market for coffee and a conversation afterward.
Bulletin boards are a helpful resource and a great way to connect with residents. Bulletin board ideas and topics should be creative, interesting, and relate back to a theme that your floor will be focusing on for that particular block. Part of the bulletin board should be informative and a portion of the board should provide an opportunity for passive interaction between residents. Also, it's always a good idea to find ways to talk with residents directly about what's posted and try to tie the information from your bulletin boards back into your weekly traditions or community builders.
Examples include: study skills, resident name word search, dress for success tips, social media safety
Community Builders (CBs)
Community builders are events that require residents to be physically present and share in a collective experience. These hands-on programs are to be designed around meeting the needs of your residents based on your conversations and observations. They should be well planned in advance, be developmental or educational in nature and also have some sort of follow-up aspect included.
Examples include: College living, Stress management, sexual health, study skills, resume writing.
Occasionally staff can utilize a more passive community builder activity. These programs are designed around meeting student needs and encouraging discussion amongst residents, but allowing them to receive and process the information at their own pace.
Examples include: Floor newsletter, educational bulletin boards, door hangers/flyers.
All-hall Programs (AHPs)
All-hall programs are active and/or passive community building programs where staff will work with the other RAs in their building to plan an activity that meets the needs of the students in their respective areas. Each staff member should have an active role in planning the activity, and should be in attendance.
Examples include: Rock the Vote, hall Olympics, disability dinner, community service project.
Door Decorations are personalized tags that help residents identify their room and also create a sense of community and connectedness amongst floor members. Door decorations can be as artistic and intriguing as you’d like them to be as long as they’re more than just a name printed on a sheet of paper.
Examples include: Welcome mats, home state outlines, CD covers, puzzle pieces, seasonal symbols.