CULTURE at WCSU
Create Undergraduate Learning Through Unique Residential Experiences
By choosing to live on campus at WestConn, you have joined the ranks of our CULTURE™, an exciting residential experience, one in which you take on greater leadership challenges, where your involvement carries rewards, where your academic life is supported by peer assistants and in-house staff resources, and your academic accomplishments are recognized and rewarded.
The Department of Housing & Residence Life at Western Connecticut State University will Create Undergraduate Learning Through Unique Residential Experiences. Through programs, activities, and initiatives, we strive to foster self-authored individuals. We believe this can only be accomplished with the active participation and support of our students, our department and the University community at large.
What are we doing in our Residence Halls to bring CULTURE ™ to life?
- Learning about ourselves, the campus and each other.
Discovering common interests
- Opportunities to interact and try new things.
- Great time to meet new people.
- Joining clubs and organizations.
- Acquiring good study skills.
- Encouraging and modeling good study habits.
- Creating a floor environment conducive to academic success.
Developing community standards
- Positive social norms – people do what they see.
- Teaching the rationale of university policies.
- Learning how our actions impact others.
- Encouraging personal responsibility for the community.
- Expand and enhance a student-centered residential culture of guidelines, policies, procedures and general behavioral expectations.
- Improve each student’s academic achievements through residential academic initiatives.
- Educate and empower students to make responsible decisions and good life choices.
- Increase accountability to other students in our living/learning environments.
- Promote civility and tolerance.
- Provide more opportunities for student leadership development.
- Increase participation in positive campus experiences (hall councils, programs, etc.)
- Retain resident students in greater numbers.
- Develop and maintain residence hall and residence life traditions.
- Decrease public area and other damages.
- Prepare students to leave college able to advocate for themselves and their needs in the larger society through active involvement and participation.
RAs hold intentional conversations with residents, designed to help residents set goals, evaluate progress and discuss issues pertaining to their academic and personal growth and success.
A system of points are awarded to (or subtracted from) a resident student, based on participation in hall activities and leadership demonstrated. Points are used to calculate priority in the room assignment process. .
Academic Resource Mentors (ARMs)
Student staff members who are selected through a rigorous application process and trained as assistants for resident students. They provide resources and resource referrals, coaching and one-on-one work with individual students who are struggling with Satisfactory Academic Progress issues or Grade Point Average requirements, and they facilitate a variety of academic and life skill enhancement programs throughout the year.
Student volunteers with a 3.0+ GPA who offer assistance to students struggling in particular classes or programs. These students are identified in each residence hall via bulletin boards and signs near their doors, detailing the classes or topics in which they are willing to lend assistance. PASS members are available to students from all halls, whether a student lives in that hall or not.
A series of programs, continually being added to or amended, which either recognize academic achievement, provide skills’ building workshops, or enhance peer-to-peer relationships. Some of the initiatives currently in place are:
- Academic Recognition Ceremonies
- Academic Recognition via campus advertising
- Study Halls
- Skills Building Workshops (note-taking, studying for tests, time management, learning styles)
This program brings nominated faculty members into the residence halls to interact with students in their “home” environment. Students are able to get to know faculty members outside their normal classroom environment, as human beings rather than as strictly professors, while the profs learn more about the student as a whole person. Often the interaction is casual – discussions around the dinner table, for example, but can also be more formal, such as the professor presenting a program in the hall about a subject dear to their hearts.