Union College Office of Residential Life is a featured program with Reslife.Net.
Founded in 1795 as the first planned campus in the United States, Union College is a highly selective, private, residential, liberal arts college with engineering that is consistently ranked among the nation’s top colleges. Set on 100 acres in downtown Schenectady, N.Y., including eight acres of formal gardens and woodland known as Jackson’s Garden, Union is within easy reach of New York City, Boston and Montreal, rural areas and major East Coast ski slopes.
Students & Faculty
- 2,200 full-time undergraduates from 37 states and territories and 29 countries
- 47% women and 53% men (overall)
- 10:1 student-faculty ratio
- 206 faculty members; 98% have earned a Ph.D. or the highest degree in their field
- Retention average=91.7%
- 39% of Union students have a Greek affiliation
- 31% of Union students compete in intercollegiate athletics
- Trimester system (three 10-week terms) with extended winter break that lasts from Thanksgiving eve through the weekend after New Year’s Day to accommodate all fall abroad programs.
- Average introductory class size: 21; upper level class size: 14
- A wealth of interdisciplinary and interdepartmental programs and majors
- Nearly 60% of all students have an international experience
- Accelerated programs (students earn two or more degrees) include Leadership in Medicine, Law & Public Policy
Student Affairs Mission
The Division of Student Affairs is committed to the education and development of the student as a whole person. In accordance with the college’s academic mission, Student Affairs challenges and supports students as they develop the skills and competencies necessary for effective leadership, the pursuit of life-long learning and global citizenship.
Residential Life Mission
The Office of Residential Life at Union College supports both the mission of the College and the mission of Student Affairs by providing a living environment that fosters personal development, cultivates opportunities for student learning outside the classroom, encourages global responsibility, and develops engaged, active citizens through service to the community.
Professional Staff Structure
The Residential Life structure includes the Director of Residential Life, an Assistant Director of Residential Life who also manages Housing Operations, one office manager, and five full-time professionals, Residence Directors supervise various residential communities on campus. Two of the full-time professionals focus on the campus’ upper-class housing options, and three supervise first-year residences.
Our staff also works in close proximity with the Office of Greek Life and the Office of Minerva Programs, with all three departments together housing more than 90% of our total student population.
The Office of Residential Life oversees six residential communities that house nearly 1,200 students. Four of them are first-year communities and the other two are upper-class communities.
Davidson Hall houses approximately 240 first-year students in suite style living. One floor of Davidson is corridor style, but the rest of the building features suites with two bedrooms (each meant for two people) connected by one common room.
Richmond House provides corridor style living space for 136 first-year students.
Webster House is the focused-study living area for first years, but Webster’s reputation for a quiet learning environment started before the building was even affiliated with Union College. Webster House was the City of Schenectady’s former library, and has since been transformed to accommodate 50 students who elect to live in substance free housing.
West College is the home of the first-year student dining hall, and also houses 169 first years in corridor style living spaces on its upper floors.
Upper-class students can apply to live in Minerva houses, Greek Spaces, or Theme Houses. In addition, they can also be a part of our two residential communities focused on the upper-class population.
College Park Hall and the College Park Apartments are the newest residential spaces on campus. A seven-story hotel turned residence hall, College Park Hall gives students the most modern amenities of any residence hall on campus, including unique study lounges for each floor, climate control and air conditioning for each room, a 24-hour fitness center, and a food kiosk that acts as an extension of dining services.
Fox Hall is the architectural twin of Davidson Hall, and is available for sophomores and juniors who either loved their Davidson experience, or want to try living in a suite as an upper-class student.
In addition to the professional staff, Union employs 37 standout campus leaders committed to the development of a community in their living spaces. They are liaisons not only to the Residential Life office but to many other professional departments all over campus as they continuously work to educate and support their residents.
Submitted by Jared Zeidman, Residence Director, Davidson and Webster Hall at Union College