Programming basic y2k success sdsm&t department of residence life proposed student success programming model adapted for sdsm&T by: Brian Craig Steinberg assistant director of residence life for programs march-dake hall director

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CPR Certification: Find a red cross CPR instructor and ask him/her to teach a CPR certification class.

Spirituality in today's world: Discuss issues facing those choosing to lead spiritual lives; bring in community ministers and student leaders.

Hold a Cinco de Mayo celebration and incorporate Hispanic diversity awareness.

Hold a program celebrating Black History Month during that month.

Have members of various student organizations come in and talk about their organization, what they do, how they do it, and how to join if interested.

Have someone from the Career Center come talk. They can talk about how to find a job, what job you would be best suited for, etc. This is also a good program for halls with a lot of upperclassmen. 
Service Program Ideas.

Have a contract renewal party for your wing.

During Room consolidations, have a party for the residents to be room consolidated.  This can give them an opportunity to meet each other and decide who they wanted to be consolidated with.

Hold a registration information session in which an RA can explain how to register for classes to the new freshman.

Hold a "professor pick" in which students could tell each other which professors they have had, which one were good and which ones were challenging.

Have someone from the Career Center come talk. They can talk about how to find a job, what job you would be best suited for, etc. This is also a good program for halls with a lot of upperclassmen.

Have members of various student organizations come in and talk about their organization, what they do, how they do it, and how to join if interested.

Run a food or clothing drive.

Have your residents get involved with March of Dimes Walk America Program. 
Recreation Program Ideas.

Take a group of residents to go bowling or shoot pool in Surbeck.

Dominoes: Pull out three sets of dominoes for students in lounge.  Buy two litters of soda and just have good communication and commradere.

Midnight Madpeople (men and women!): A group of residents, usually accompanied by an RA, run at 11:00pm every other night.

Hold a volleyball tournament.

Have members of various student organizations come in and talk about their organization, what they do, how they do it, and how to join if interested.

Have a "movie night" every once in a while, on the floor, in a resident’s or RA’s room.

Hold "Study Breaks" from time to time. Use food, "caffeine break"-sodas, coffee, etc., holiday decorating (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day), hour t.v. show, go shopping, make fudge, rice crispy treats.

Go on a trip to the cheap movies (or regular movies).

Visit a skating rink.

Have a common night that anyone who wants to can meet in the t.v. lounge to watch a particular t.v. show. For instance, "Friends" or "E.R." on Thursday night. Also, plan t.v. nights on special occasions; Academy Awards, Superbowl, etc.

Hold a scavenger hunt.

Hold an Easter Egg Hunt and other holiday celebrations.

Hold a pumpkin-carving contest for Halloween. 






13. Resources

Something that will help you make matches with your residents is being resourceful.  This section is designed to develop your resourcefulness in two ways.  First, we want you to know who and what resources are at your disposal.  Become an expert at knowing where to go for everything, from information to a new idea.

The second kind of resourcefulness is using a variety of ways to relay information.  Remember, we are interested in having residents be active participants on your hall.  Therefore a challenge before you is to think of innovative and involving ways the residents on your hall can exchange information. Many ways can be found in the programming section of BASIC.  Resources are also readily available and mentioned in the program section of BASIC as well.  Here are some examples:

Auto Parts Clinic- Before residents leave for Spring Break,  have a local auto parts store  do a demonstration in the parking lot on how to change a flat tire, check oil, and other car maintenance.

Norwest, First National Bank, Black Hills Credit Union, etc. - You could arrange to have an info session on establishing good credit and staying out of debt.

RHA Resource File Index - The Resource files were established to facilitate the exchange of ideas among member schools. The NACURH Resource Files contain over 25,000 pages of information on a wide variety of topics.  This is an excellent source of new, different, and sometimes wacky programs.  It also includes controversial or new policies (i.e. Visitation, co-ed halls) being implemented at other universities, as well as advisor stuff, leadership info and major programs.  To get this information, all you need to do is visit the NACURH website at:

A. Hall Council

Your hall council can be a very valuable resource if used correctly.  They can help you address the needs of the students for programming or other areas of interest.  The council can help you publicize events in the floor, hall or the university itself.  Attending hall council meetings may open the door for a relationship with them.  Planning programs together, or holding hall council programs with floor meetings may boost the attendance of both events. Residents may be more willing to attend programs that are associated with the hall council. Finding out what the needs of the residents through your hall council and implementing these programs with the council will give a rise in attendance and bring the community closer by addressing their needs.

B. Outside Resources

Let’s explore exactly what we mean when we talk about outside resources.  When your car breaks down, if you know nothing about cars, you take it to the mechanic.  That would be using an outside resource to take care of one of your needs.  There are a lot of resources in your town and on your campus that can be very useful to you as an RA.  Think about the people you know, the stores and businesses in town, the surrounding community members, parks, clubs, and organization in the area.  All of those things can be used as outside resources. 

C. Let your Fingers do the Walking from A to Z

Use the front of your campus phone book and your local yellow pages to generate the longest list possible of available resources and how you might use these resources as an RA.  This is a great list to copy and share with your fellow RAs.  Say the word and I am sure your hall director will be happy to facilitate the exchange of this information!  Don’t forget that you have some great resources listed in your RA manual and from the training sessions.

D. Resourceful Ways to Exchange Information

Information is relayed every day in a variety of ways. Sometimes you might gather information from a magazine, newspaper, or a brochure. You might also hear it on TV, see it in a movie, or discover it on a TV commercial. Other ways can be through the internet or e-mail. In election years, we gather information by watching debates and having discussions with people around us. There are many, many, many ways to relay information. Why then, do we in residence life, rely so heavily on traditional "programs"? Why do we time after time invite presenters to come to our residence halls and talk at our students? Because we have new students each year that have similar needs to those of the previous year, each new year those presenters and resources can be tailored to the individual needs of the new freshmen, also, repetition is good and is an effective way of educating.

E.  Department of Residence Life Web Page

There is a special section for resident assistants on the Department of Residence web page dealing with programming issues and ideas. 






14. Bringing Closure to Your Community

Have you ever been part of a group that came to an end?  Probably the most current example would be leaving high school or junior college.  This experience took up a significant amount of time in your life.  You formed solid friendships over those years and found your own role to play as a member of the group.  You may have been the quiet one, the athlete, the brain, or even the class clown.  You took chances and lived each day with the comfort of knowing a routine.  For good or bad, this was your life and you knew it well.  Then you came face to face with transition.  You decided to go to college.  You may have decided to attend a college in your hometown or perhaps another state, regardless, you had to make a change from what was normal or comfortable.  William Bridges (1988) offers a better understanding of change and transition by defining both.

"Change requires people to make transitions and it is these necessary transitions rather than the changes themselves that are difficult"(Bridges, 1988, p. 15).  "Change occurs when something new starts or something old stops, and it takes place at a particular point in time.  Change often starts with a new beginning"(Bridges, 1988, p. 15).  Examples of this might include changing from high school to junior college or from junior college to a four-year college.  Change defined this way also might include a move from one residence hall to another or moving from the residence hall to an apartment.

"Transition cannot be localized in time.  It is gradual psychological process through which individuals and groups reorient themselves so that they can function and find meaning in a changed situation.  Transition must start with an ending -- with people letting go of old attitudes and behaviors" (Bridges, 1988, p. 15).  Examples of this might include graduation ceremonies, formal dances, awards banquets, or even time capsules to pass on the wisdom of your group to those who will follow in your footsteps.  Do you recall any of these events taking place when you left high school or junior college? How did you feel about these events?  Did they provide an opportunity for you to say goodbye and feel more positively about the change you were about to make?

The next step you made was to college and your residence hall community.  You spent countless hours laughing and crying with your new friends over that first year.  Before you knew it, summer was approaching and it was time to move out of your residence hall. It seemed like yesterday that you had to make a major transition to college and make a change.  The odds of your entire residence hall community being reconstructed somewhere else were slim, so you had to move on.  How did you say goodbye to everyone you would miss?  Were there events or activities provided to help ease the transition?  Take another minute to reflect on what kinds of things you remember occurring at the end of the year in your residence hall community as well as the kinds of things you would have liked to do.

Whether or not you believe it, intentionally bringing closure to your community can have a lasting impact on community members.  To give you an example of how great the impact can be, we offer this story from William Bridges:

"When General Electric’s Cuyahoga, OH, lamp plant was shut down, a committee planned a big party on the final day of work.  During the last week of plant operations, graffiti paper was hung in each work group with the hope that feelings would be written.  The walls soon became filled with farewell statements, only a few of which were negative.  The last day of production, the committee planning the closing collected the graffiti and rehung it in the food-laden, balloon-filled cafeteria.  The 200 people still working in the plant gathered for a parade and spontaneously began to sing "Old McDonald Had a Farm" with words inserted about life in the plant.  Individuals made farewell statements.  A large product display balloon was deflated to symbolize the closing, and the assembled sang, "God Bless America."  The plant was shut down.  A large banner was hung announcing "The Beginning of Something New" for employees to see as they left" (Brides, 1988, p.4).

It is amazing what the effort of one plant manager could do to ease the transition of a group of people who had just lost their jobs.  Keeping this in mind, and what you might do to assist your community in easing its transition, we offer the following tips to assist you in bringing closure to your community.  Vickio (1990) uses the idea of the five D’s for Successfully Dealing with Departure and Loss:

1st D:   Determine ways to make the transition a gradual process.

2nd D: Discover the significance that different activities have had on residents’ lives this y 

3rd D: Describe this significance to others.

4th D: Delight in what you have gained and in what lies ahead of you and your residents.

5th D: Define the areas of continuity in your life.

Ideas in Making The Closure to Your Community Easier 
As mentioned, the coming of the end of a semester can be a trying time.  It is a time of change, anxiety, hope, and uneasiness.  There are a few issues you can address and here are some ideas in order to make this transition easier:

Have a "get together" for residents who are coming back the following semester.

Have an "address exchange" party for those not coming back or just for the summer/winter break.

Exchange addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers if a party isn’t feasible - utilize the bulletin board or web pages.

Post a list of graduating seniors on the bulletin board or web page to make sure other residents can wish them a farewell.

Post a list of residents who are not coming back. Include their new addresses so others can wish them a farewell or see if they will be in the same residence hall or living near each other off-campus.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. The seeds of greatness are endowed in everyone, greatness is nothing more than consistent goodness. If you are consistently good, you cannot fail to be great."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes 


15. References

Bauer, F. "The power of a note", Reader’s Digest, Dec. 1991, p. 72-75.

Bridges, W. (1988). Surviving corporate transition: Rational management in a world of mergers, 
     layoffs, start-ups, takeovers, divestitures, deregulation, and new technologies. New York: 

Carnegie, D. (1981). How to win friends and influence people. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc.

DeCoster, D. A. & Mable, P. (1980). Personal education and community development in college 
     residence halls. Washington, DC: American College Personnel Association.

Duetschman, A. (1993). Fortune cookies: Management wit and wisdom from fortune magazine. New 
     York: Vintage.

Ivey, A. E. (1994). International interviewing and counseling. California: Brooks-Cole.

King, L. (1994). How to talk to anyone anytime, anywhere. New York: Crown.

Kuh, G. D. & Whitt, E. J. (1988). The invisible tapestry: Culture in American colleges and 
     universities. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1. Washington, DC: Association for the 
     Study of Higher Education.

Lappe’, F. M & DuBois, P. M. (1994). The quickening of America: Rebuilding our nation, remaking 
     our lives.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Lorayne, H. (1995). The memory book. New York: Ballantine. Minor, Frank D. (1993). 
     Peters, T. (1994). The pursuit of wow: Every person’s guide to topsy-turvy times. New York: 

Roberts, D. C., Ed. (1989). Designing campus activities to foster a sense of community. New 
     directions for student services, 48.

Schlossberg, N. (1989). Overwhelmed: Coping with life’s ups and downs. Lexington, MA.

Schroeder, C. C., Mable P. & Associates. (1994). Realizing the educational potential of residence 
     halls. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Vickio, C. (1990). The goodbye brochure: Helping students cope with transition and loss. Journal of 
     counseling and development, 68, 575-77.

Winston, R. B., Anchors, S. & Associates. (1991) Student housing and residential life: A handbook 
     for professionals committed to student development goals. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Ziglar, Z. (1987). Top performance: How to develop excellence in yourself & others. New York: 

16. Facilitator’s Guide

Welcome to B.A.S.I.C. Training!

What is BASIC?

Building A Strong Involving Community, is a resource guide and model to help the Resident Assistants build a community on the individual’s floor and residence hall.  It is our intention to develop a model that not only encourages planned activities on a floor, but that also gives "credit" to Resident Assistants for taking the time to get to know residents’ names, utilizing residents’ strengths, and helping residents get to know one another.  The BASIC model is interested in everything that an RA knows about and does with her/his residents. Through BASIC we encourage the RA not to plan every activity that takes place, but instead to help residents utilize one another.  Think of RA’s as facilitators, not as the sole providers for residents.

Where did the concept of BASIC come from?

The concept was born from the questions, concerns and feedback the Office of Residence Life at Miami University received during the 1993-94 year.  The staff of the "Upper-class Program" shared that the model we used first was too structured and did not allow for autonomy.  Many felt that the model second semester did not provide enough structure or support to the staff in their programming efforts.  Both models neglected to address the difficulty that the RA staff has building community on their floors and the tremendous amount of time it requires.

Is the model highly structured?

The model can provide as much or as little structure as you need.  The model was developed with not only the RA’s, but also the advisors in mind.  If the advisor is highly proficient at community building and planning activities, she/he can use as much or as little of what we have provided as she/he desires. However, if the advisor is somewhat apprehensive about building community or planning activities, this model will provide plenty of guidance.  The only thing each advisor must do is develop a plan to complete each step with their RA staff and develop a specific way to evaluate each RA on her/his work. 
What is the basis of BASIC?

BASIC supports Charles Schroeder in what he defines as the Four Essential Principles for Learning Communities.  He explains that the four principles for learning communities to evolve are Involvement, Investment, Influence, and Identity (Schroeder, 1993).  Since the publication of the first four I’s, Frankie

D. Minor (1993) has identified two additional I’s, Introduction and Interaction.  We believe that the last two I’s added are so important, that we have listed them first.  The 6 I’s don’t necessarily occur in the following order and some may overlap with one another.  We will refer to the 6 I’s throughout this model in order for the sections to be understood in a clear manner.

B.A.S.I.C. Assumptions

In order for this Community Building Model to be successfully carried out, we are making the following assumptions about our students and staff.

We assume that all residents are good at something.

We assume that all residents are interested in experiencing or accomplishing something.

We assume that all advisors and RA’s are interested in educating students.

We assume that all advisors and RA’s are interested in developing involving communities on their floors.

We assume that each advisor will work with his/her RA’s to determine the proper implementation and evaluation for the model.

We assume that all advisors will monitor the work of his/her staff members though the BASIC monthly evaluation.

BASIC Monthly Evaluation

1. How are each of your staff member’s completing the model?  Where are they in the process?  How are they using the model and web page?

2. What programs/activities are being planned within the hall or on the floors?  Have they received programming ideas from BASIC or community members?

3. How is Hall Council using the concepts?

4. What are some of the challenges you or your staff are encountering?  What suggestions do you have for addressing them?



Due the the 1st Tuesday of each month. Use back if needed.

Note: The Department Staff member responsible for BASIC oversight will periodically ask for the evaluations.











Facilitator's Worksheet








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