Residential Life

Programming for Community Development

One of the fundamental tasks of a Resident Advisor is to build community within their residence hall and ultimately the campus. Programming is a useful tool in bringing residents together to form that sense of community. It may range from getting a group of advisees together for pizza or inviting a faculty or Division of Student Life member to present a workshop.

There are four types of programming offered by Resident Advisors; educational, social, spontaneous and passive programs in the form of bulletin boards. Educational programs are intentionally chosen to provide timely and pertinent information to residents as a way of extending learning outside the classroom. Social programs should often have a larger scope than educational programs. They are intended to be an opportunity for students to get to know other members of their floor, building or area as an attempt to promote community responsibility and camaraderie.  Spontaneous programs are less formal opportunities for students to gather, socialize, attend an event together, or just unwind from the rigors of coursework. Passive programming, most often in the form of bulletin boards, can provide important information to help students as they make their way through the Hamilton College residential experience.

The community development process is crucial to the success of residential living and learning environments. RAs should be creative and intentional in their planning and implementation of these programs. We also urge residents to take advantage of these opportunities and even consider playing an active role in the creation, planning, and implementation of floor, building or area activities.