What do you want your residents to say about their experience – after living in your building?
I think that’s a great overarching question to ponder at this point in the academic year. For me, at my new institution, our Grad’s are just now arriving. Our RA’s arrive in a week – then RA training and residents follow very quickly behind! Before we blink, it will be October – then December. Soon it will be way to late to “start making goals for your building.”
So, what are you thinking?
For our building, we are launching a campaign. I’m not going to reveal it too much at this point – want to wait till I have photos to post and show how awesome it is. But, think of it as a basic theme that will ignite the residents to take ownership over their space, building community, and help the RA’s in the process of making our building warm and friendly.
Other goals, I want our residents to use tools other than social media to communicate with those around them. Translated – I want our roommates to actually talk with one another. Specifically, when roommates are challenged with difficult situations, I know this generation of students turns to their support network (parents often) and passive agressive technology related communication techniques (using Facebook/text messaging) to ‘talk’. However, they clearly are not talking- instead they are ‘throwing their ideas out’ and never really pausing to see what the other has to say.
Moving from that goal, I want the residents in my building to have enough fun and do well enough in their classes that they realize that the residence hall is a good place. I want them to want to return, tell their friends about how great the residence hall is, and to encourage incoming students to want to live in the resident halls. I firmly believe that I picked the best department to work for — thus, I believe that I am set up for success in growing retention in my building. Or, at least that’s the nice fluffy naive goal I have for myself…
What types of goals do you have for your building? How are you going to accomplish them? What needs to happen in order for you to know you have achieved your goals? How will you measure that?