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RA Training: Building Community

Slideshow to accompany a round table discussion on building community in the residence halls

Rebecca Laroche

on 30 June 2014

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Transcript of RA Training: Building Community

Building Community
Simple Steps to Starting a Community
Your Guide to Developing a Great Residence Hall Community
Building a
-Be Available/Accessible
-Show a Genuine Interest
-Be Objective and Honest
-Talk, Talk and Talk some more!
Build Community
One Resident at a Time:
The Domino Effect
Building the Floor Community
Bringing them together
Building the Floor Community
Bringing Everyone Together
Successfully Beginning a Community
+Being Available, Showing a genuine
interest, being objective and honest.
Building the Community One at a Time
+Domino effect
Building the Floor Community
+Building relationships within residents,
+Building your relationship with the
Session Outline:
What's the Big Idea?
Being Available & Accessible
To build a strong relationship with your floor you have to spend time on your floor. Walking around, leaving your door open, posting your class schedule, letting your residents know your email, or other contact information are good ways of making your presence felt and seen.
Begin every semester right. At the start of each semester you have a whole lot to catch up with and more opportunities to initiate a conversation. This is your golden chance to set a trend of chatting and exchanging dialogue between you and your residents. Make sure you spend ample time on your floor in the beginning of each term and specially the first one.
Show a Genuine Interest
Find out what their hobbies are:
Know what your residents are involved with beyond school activities. Try and see if more than one of your residents is involved in the same thing- If YES! then bring them together. If someone plays in a band or on a team- rally the floor around them to build an audience

Step into their lives, don't step on them:
During move-in day you may get a chance to meet a resident's family members or special some ones. Being respectful and warmly welcoming them is a huge contribution to initiating your bond with that resident.
Knowing who your resident values can be a great insight into their lives. It can be constructively used to talk with them, promote their talents and help to resolve conflicts, but respect personal boundaries!
Be Objective and Honest
*Give yourself enough time to do your personal tasks*
You are just as much a student as any other resident on your floor. Building Community will take time so stay ahead of the game by being organized and allocating time every day for studying, run errands and get YOUR stuff done. *Multitask and do some of these things with your residents! Eat dinner with them, go to the gym or attend events on campus.

*Be Honest*
While building bonds with your residents, be sure to always portray the right/accurate picture. Your getting along well with them can not be a reason to lead them to believe that they are exempt from university policies.
Its helpful to find new ways to reach out to your residents and repeat to them the same basic principles of a Healthy and Safe Community Environment: personal hygiene, dietary balance, community living standards, respecting diversity, university policies, academic planning, goal setting...you get the point.
The easiest way is to talk to them!
Start small build the relationship and then you'll have a foundation to begin to mold the conversations to your desired shape depending on the area the individual resident needs help in.
Find the Natural Leader
Your residents may look up to a few charismatic individuals on the floor. You can rely on these natural leaders to initiate an effect you want to see on the entire floor. Once these leaders do something, even as simple as attending a program, you will be surprised to see how fast the rest will follow suit.
Rewarding one, shows all
Actions speak louder than words, we all know it. If some of your residents attended a program just because you insisted to them then a “I am so glad you came” note on their door can assure you a second visit from them. If a resident did well in their class, a “Congratulations” note will encourage them and set an example for others.
*Don’t play favorites, spread it out a little
One at a time – Domino Effect
Find the Natural Leader
Your residents may look up to a few charismatic individuals on the floor. You can rely on these natural leaders to initiate an effect you want to see on the floor. Once these leaders do something, even as simple as attending a program, the rest will follow!
Recognizing One Shows All
*Actions speak louder than words*

Send small thank you notes to residents you asked to come to your program
Congratulate a residents on a great game or a big exam they rocked!

Your recognition of others will set an example for others and make your presence felt!
Practice a Safe and Healthy
Believe it or not your residents learn from you.
Make good decisions and they will follow suit.

The same goes for university policies and conduct. The conduct that your residents assume on the floor may be derived from your role on the floor.

Put the time into making nice door tags and bulletin boards and they will appreciate it more because they know YOU care!
Now that you may have established individual bonds with your residents, to get the community going you need to bring them together.
1. Suitable Physical Environment
2. Opportunity
3. Goal
Creating The Right Environment
How can you influence your community?
1. From the first day- personalize your floor
2. Community Standards
3. YOUR influence
Can you find or provide opportunities for 2 or more residents to come together?
Start one at a Time
Target Your Audience
Bring the different audiences together
The Goal
There has to be a purpose to what you do. Why do you do it?
What does your ideal community look like?
What are some ways you plan to develop your community?
Remember- You are the FIRST Resident of your floor
*Be Genuine
*Be Available
*Be Accepting
*Be a Role Model
*Be a Mentor
*Be Equitable
* Be Consistent
Full transcript