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Res Life programs educate, build bonds

April 22, 2010

UW-River Falls students found themselves transported to Greece on April 20 at the Hallapolympics campus wide event.

This event, organized by Johnson and May Hall, included ancient Greek games, a dunk tank and a Buffalo Wild Wings wing eating competition, according to Jennifer Phillips, the May Hall manager.

Phillips said that these campus-wide events are important for students to experience.

“These events give residents options and opportunities to meet people and connect with the halls in a different way,” said Phillips.

According to the Residence Life Web site, 40 percent of UWRF’s student population lives on campus. This statistic makes UWRF one of the most residential campuses in the UW System.

With so many students in the dorms, programs are important, according to Phillips.

“Bonding over education, community service, diversity, and/or social programs can form relationships that last a lifetime,” said Phillips.

Kristie Feist, the assistant director of Residence Life, said that these large events are important for students to connect with other students and to the campus.

“Sometimes these events are educational or service oriented. The events provide lots of opportunities to try new things and for students to be leaders. They are good for personal development,” said Feist.

According to Phillips, resident assistants have certain programming requirements set up by the hall managers that they need to meet by the end of the semester.

The Hall Council has weeks set aside for the executive board to plan programs. They also have leadership team weeks where the Hall Council executive board and the resident assistants get together to plan programs.

A successful event that occurred in May Hall this year was called “How Many Earths?”

Residents took an assessment of how much energy they use up daily and how many earths it would take if everyone lived like that.

They supplemented the program with ants on a log and cookies and watched Wall-E. Phillips finds that usually programs with food are successful in the residence halls.

These large events are funded through the hall councils and the Residence Hall Association according to Feist. The halls do some of their own fundraising at the beginning of the year by selling t-shirts and social fee cards.

The social fee cards allow residents to check out game equipment, movies and kitchen supplies.

Students in the Residence halls do have opportunities to be involved with the planning process, according to Phillips.

She suggests they talk to their resident assistants about planning a program for their wing or for the whole hall. If the students have big ideas for next year they can apply and get involved with their hall council.