University of the Pacific, Housing & Greek Life is a featured program.
University of the Pacific was founded in 1851 and is California’s first chartered institution of higher learning. Originally founded by Methodist ministers in Santa Clara, California, Pacific moved briefly to San Jose before settling in Stockton, California in 1924. Pacific is a private, non-religiously affiliated university, but still maintains a loose affiliation with the Methodist church given the roots of the institution. Pacific is a three-campus system serving more than 6,400 students on three campuses – The main campus in Stockton and graduate campuses located in San Francisco and Sacramento. Pacific continually ranks in the Top 50 of the U.S. News & World Report “Best Value” list and currently is in the Top 20 of National Universities in their “Campus Ethnic Diversity” category.
Quick Facts (Stockton Campus)
Athletic Conference: West Coast Conference
Undergraduate Students (Stockton Campus): 3810
Graduate/Professional Students (Stockton Campus): 1376
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Freshmen Persistence Rate: 88%
Housing and Greek Life Intro
Housing and Greek Life at University of the Pacific has a residential portfolio of 2,085 beds and also serves nearly 500 students in Greek organizations that do not reside in University-owned Greek facilities. Nearly 50% of all undergraduates on the Stockton campus live on-campus creating a vibrant residential campus climate in the heart the 13th largest city in the state of California.
Housing and Greek Life Mission
The Housing and Greek Life (HGL) Office will provide students in residence halls, apartments and the Greek community with safe and secure facilities as well as programs and services that promote our core values of community, learning, and development.
Housing and Greek Life Core Values
We believe that community is created when respectful dialogue is encouraged, inclusiveness is nurtured, and active communication is supported. By reinforcing these principles, HGL fosters environments where students are able to learn from each other, establish healthy group norms and values, and create strong campus connections.
We believe that learning is an on-going and life-long process that can happen anywhere and at any time. HGL intentionally creates physical and social spaces for this deep and rich learning to take place. This approach to holistic and life-long learning will set students on the path to develop themselves as productive and active members of society.
We believe that a well-rounded student and constructive citizen must have their intellectual, social, spiritual and physical needs recognized and supported. It is through these ideals that students are able to learn about themselves, recognize their values and beliefs, identify career goals, and explore their personal life path.
New Direction Forward
In fall 2014 Housing and Greek Life received the approval of the University and of the Board of Regents to progress a comprehensive housing master plan that would call for the phased plan to fully renovate nearly 50% of their campus stock. Phase I of the process would involve building a new, apartment-style, residential facility to house students during the renovation. Phase II would result in a 300 bed, traditional-style residence hall being gutted and added upon to create a new 500+ bed, suite-style residential facility for 2nd year students. Phase III would be done over the course of two years and would result in ten traditional-style residence halls, housing 660 students, being fully renovated and adjusted to be four traditional-style residence halls to house approximately 800 first year students. Phase IV of the process would include constructing three new facilities in the Greek Neighborhood to create housing for two chapters that have facilities away from the Neighborhood. The third building would serve as a residential facility for individuals in chapters without facilities as well as a leadership center for staff and students within Fraternity and Sorority Life.
The Graduate Staffing Model
A unique characteristic at Pacific is the staffing model for Residence Directors. In 2004, University of the Pacific developed a Master’s of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership program out of the Benard School of Education. With the establishment of the program, the staffing model for RDs at Pacific adjusted to all staff being graduate students in this program. Though Housing and Greek Life will be adjusting some positions to professional level staff members, the foundation of a graduate staff member overseeing a facility will still be embedded within the staffing plan and program moving forward. Currently 15 residence directors, all in the graduate program, are responsible for the 2,085 residents in Pacific’s 23 different residential facilities. Though graduate level, these staff members are empowered to be day-to-day managers of the communities they oversee and supervise RAs assigned to their community. RDs are able to make direct connections and linkages between their daily work and the learning that is taking place within their program.
What’s it like to work as a graduate residence director?
Learn more through the testimonials that follow:
Being a graduate residence director at Pacific has been a unique experience that I couldn’t imagine having elsewhere. Our Housing and Greek Life Department has designed a program that gives us transferable skills, professional development and autonomy within our position. I will be graduating from the position with full confidence that it has set me up to be a successful housing and student affairs professional. The position has given me the opportunity to learn skills in a variety of areas within Res Life as well as the opportunity to participate in other areas of student affairs which has helped make me a qualified candidate during my job search.
My favorite thing about the position would have to be the group of students I have the opportunity to work with. I’ve met so many students through my interactions with my resident assistant staff, hall government members and even the students I interact with from other housing communities. They all come with unique personalities and backgrounds that make every interaction different. It has been an honor to work with so many successful young adults that see me as a mentor during their time at Pacific.
As a graduate student, I have been able to take what I’ve learned in the classroom and translate the information into action with my residents and RA staff. One of the greatest projects I got to work on was assessing the needs of residents living in cohort-style residence halls. By interviewing student leaders who participate in Hall Government, my research partner and I were able to listen to voices of the residents in our own communities. For the residents, the biggest impact was that people were taking time to listen to their comments and concerns. The project gave the residents a voice. The data collected was given to the Associate Director of ResLife which was important to us, as the researchers, and the residents.
The thesis project I worked on during my graduate program followed the journeys of the women who performed in Pacific’s The Vagina Monologues. The project focused on the development of each performer’s female identity. Using the Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) Theory by Yosso (2005), each week the women were given a discussion topic and/or an activity. Each week aligned with the seven capitals of CCW. The first week focused on familial capital and how a person’s family unit impacts female identity development. Similarly, week two looked at the ways in which society shapes female development. Week three focused on language to show how important language is in expressing each monologue. During week four the women were able to paint how their spirituality impacted their development. Navigational capital was week five, and the women talked about the different ways they have to navigate different social settings as a female; they spoke of code switching the challenges that come along with navigating systems where they are the minority. Week six focused on resistant capital; during this week the women used PlayDoh to sculpt how society deems women should be molded. The women were then able to smash their sculptures and mold themselves into whoever they wanted to be. The last week focused on aspirational capital, and the women reflected on the inspirations that fuels their drive. Overall, the major themes that arose from this project were self-empowerment and clarity (clarity meaning a better understanding of themselves as females).
I enjoy working in Residential Life at Pacific because it has given me every opportunity to grow and develop as an emerging professional. Within my role, I have been able to learn how to supervise a staff. I have been able to build and advise a hall government. These two experiences alone have helped to define my leadership style, my philosophy on learning, and my approach to advocacy work. Working in ResLife has unlocked a passion that I didn’t fully recognize before coming to Pacific. The department has given me the tools to navigate my future endeavors and has supported me along my grad school journey. I know, without a doubt, that I wouldn’t be the leader that I am today if I didn’t have the opportunities ResLife has given me
Serving as a Graduate Residence Director (GRD) has provided me with countless opportunities to expand as a leader, supervisor, and student affairs professional. This is my first year as a GRD and this is also my first time serving as a direct supervisor for a staff of undergraduate students. The first thing I learned from this position was the importance of interdependence. I now understand that I hold a lot of independence in this job, however in order for me to succeed it is vital to utilize my coworkers and office staff for advice and assistance. The best part about being a GRD is applying the in-class teachings into practice. I have been able to learn about Student Development Theories and concurrently apply them within my staff and students living in the complex of buildings I supervise. Moving forward, I feel that the GRD position has given me a staple understanding of working within the student affairs profession and has prepped me for life outside graduate school.
Meet the Staff
Submitted by Torry Brouillard-Bruce, Executive Director for Housing and Greek Life