The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater Housing and Residence Life is a featured program.
Welcome to UW-Whitewater!
The mission of University Housing is to provide quality, accessible housing and to promote student learning and personal success in an inclusive, engaging community.
Live! Learn! Engage!
University of Wisconsin – Whitewater Overview
UW-Whitewater was founded in 1868 in Whitewater, Wisconsin and officially joined the University of Wisconsin System in 1971. The University of Wisconsin System is one of the largest public higher education systems in the country with eleven comprehensive universities that grant baccalaureate and masters degrees and thirteen colleges that grant associate degrees at two-year campuses.
UW-Whitewater is a four-year, co-educational, residential college with undergraduate and graduate enrollment over 12,000 from approximately 40 states and 40 countries represented. Originally known as the Whitewater Teachers College in 1927, Whitewater is academically known for Education, Business, Accounting, and Finance.
The University’s Mission
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is committed to the development of the individual, the growth of personal and professional integrity and respect for diversity and global perspectives. These are met by providing academic and co-curricular programs that emphasize the pursuit of knowledge and understanding and a commitment to service within a safe and secure environment.
The mission of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is:
- To provide a range of undergraduate programs and degrees, including interdisciplinary programs, in letters, sciences, and the arts as well as programs and degrees leading to professional specialization.
- To offer graduate education built clearly upon its undergraduate emphases and strengths with particular emphasis in the fields of business, education, communication, and human services.
- To engage in scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree level, its graduate programs, and its select mission.
- To create and maintain a positive and inviting environment for multicultural students, students with disabilities, and nontraditional students, and provide support services and programs for them.
- To serve as a regional cultural and economic resource center through its service initiatives.
- To provide continuing education and outreach programs as integrated institutional activities.
- To provide a variety of co-curricular activities to enhance out-of-class learning opportunities.
- To encourage and maintain a high level of personal and professional integrity in all University life and activities.
Consisting of 400 acres, UW-Whitewater’s campus is located in southeastern rural Wisconsin bordering the Whitewater Nature Preserve and the Ray Trost Nature Preserve. University buildings tie tradition with cutting-edge technology with historic schoolhouse buildings visible from the newest academic building, Hyland Hall. Also seen around campus is the University’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion with universally designed buildings and walkways.
Commitment to Serving Students with Disabilities
UW-Whitewater proudly provides comprehensive services and cutting-edge success programming for student with disabilities. Since 1972, the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at UW-Whitewater has provided a wide array of accommodations, support services, auxiliary aids and programs for students, staff and all members of the UW-Whitewater community. The commitment to serving students with disabilities permeates everything we do from educating to housing our students to create an inclusive and diverse campus community.
In 1973 UW-Whitewater was designated by the Board of Regents as the school in the UW System to provide exemplary services to students with disabilities. Serving students with disabilities is and has been part of the Universities mission since that time. The campus is ranked one of the top 10 disability friendly universities in the US for both physical as well as mental disabilities.
Though we do not track numbers of out of state students a rough estimate would be that around 1/4 to 1/3 of our students are from out of state, and the majority of the students coming from out of state are from Illinois.
UW-Whitewater is a member of NCAA Division III for athletics. Our mascot, Willy the Warhawk, proudly sports the school colors of purple and white.
UW-Whitewater Wheelchair Athletics has existed since 1973 and includes a men’s and women’s intercollegiate wheelchair basketball team competing at the highest level and featuring many current, past and future Paralympic athletes and coaches. In addition, Whitewater offers Intramural Wheelchair Basketball and an Intramural Wheelchair Football program to provide opportunities for all to participate.
In the 2013-2014 academic year, the Warhawks had a record setting number of championship wins consisting of NCAA Division III Football Championship, NCAA Men’s Division III Basketball Championship, and NCAA Division III Baseball Championship. Whitewater was the first school in NCAA history in any division to experience such a three-sport sweep in the same academic year.
University Housing & Residence Life
“The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater is committed to fostering a vibrant community in order to more effectively meet the educational and social needs of students. Living on campus has always been a valuable component of the UW-Whitewater college experience. Our residence halls are designed to be enjoyable, accessible places to live, to support the learning process and to allow residents to engage with one another. Involvement in University Housing is a tradition that dates back to the first buildings on campus.” – Frank Bartlett, Director of University Housing
University Housing is made up of five main areas: Residence Life, Technology, Operations, Facilities, and UW-TV to serve over 4,300 on-campus residents housed in fifteen residence halls and two off-campus apartments.
Specialized Housing Options
UW-Whitewater has a two year live on requirement and offers multiple specialized housing options including:
- Traditional doubles, designed singles, designed triples, suite-style, and apartment living options;
- Substance Free, Quiet Floors, and Gender Neutral housing;
- Our Global Village, an international focused community;
- Our Wellness Hall, for those interested in health or health promotion;
- Over thirty different Residential Learning Communities.
Residence Life Staff
Our main office is comprised of a Director, an Associate Director, Assistant Director – Community Development, Assistant Director – Staff & Academic Development, Assistant Director – Learning Communities, Leadership, and Inclusion, and a Graduate Residential Learning Advisor.
Our fifteen buildings and two off-campus apartments are broken into seven complexes overseen by a live-in staff team comprising of a Complex Director, a master’s level full-time professional, and one or two Assistant Complex Directors, a part-time professional obtaining their graduate degree.
Leadership Opportunities for Students in the Residence Halls
At UW-Whitewater, students have many opportunities to get involved within the residence halls including volunteer and paid positions.
Our Resident Assistant (RA) staff help facilitate positive learning communities in the residence halls. Every residence hall floor has at lease on RA who is available to serve as a resource for residents, to offer individual assistance, and to promote community development by interacting individually with students and encouraging group interactions. We currently employ 135 RAs to provide leadership, be positive role models, and maintain a hall environment that is conducive to student learning in our residence halls.
Leadership Involvement Team
Our Leadership Involvement Teams (LITs) are organizations for student involvement in activities and airing concerns in our residence halls. LIT is open to anyone who lives in the residence halls and they plan social & educational programs for their perspective complex. Our Assistant Complex Directors are the LIT advisors and are responsible for meeting with LIT members one on one to promote personal growth as well as advise the organization to promote group and community enrichment.
Residence Hall Association
The Residence Hall Association (RHA) is an organization established to promote interaction among residence halls. In order to achieve this purpose, RHA provides services and activities for the benefit of the residents. Residence Hall Association is here to represent the residents in UW – Whitewater Residence Halls, bring leadership and programs to foster community and to provide social, cultural, and intellectual development. RHA also reviews and upholds University Housing policies and procedures and acts as a link between administration and the residents.
National Residence Hall Honorary – Linda Long Chapter
The National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) is a service & recognition organization of the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH), Inc.. NACURH believes in the value of student involvement in all capacities of life in the residence halls including the educational, social, and recreational realms. Chapters are made of the top 1% of the residence hall population or 15 residents, whichever is greater. The goal of the organization is to recognize and acknowledge individuals who work toward the betterment of residence hall life.
The chapter is named after a longtime Assistant Director of Residence Life and the first NRHH Advisor at UW-Whitewater. Due to Linda Long’s efforts to establish NRHH and get it moving on the UWW campus, the group honored Linda by naming their chapter after her.
Jitters is a 100% volunteer run coffeehouse for students, by students. In early 1997 a few creative people started to show interest and support for creating a coffeehouse in their building. These individuals all saw the potential for Jitters to help create a lasting, strong, and vital sense of community. It would soon become a place for the campus’ artists, poets, authors, musicians, actors, comedians, dancers and other assorted folks to enjoy a cup of joe and a good time. Jitters hosts open mic nights, live band performances, game nights, dances, acoustic music, the occasional smoothie night, and other assorted programs.
As a volunteer run coffee house, Jitters is self-sustaining by the drinks it sells. Jitters is housed in Wells Hall, which is home to 1,100 first and second year students (about a quarter of our on-campus population). Supervised by an Assistant Complex Director, Jitters has a board of elected students to do the following:
- Director of Development – works on the master plan of Jitters, works with LITs to keep them volunteering in the kitchen, and implements sustainable initiatives.
- Director of Finance – in charge of the books, record keeping, & planning ahead for future maintenance.
- Kitchen Manager – runs the kitchen, keeps inventory, makes sure we’re stocked, make sure it’s clean.
- Co-Event Coordinators (2) – reaches out and books different performers, in charge of set-up, plans, and coordinates all events happening in Jitters.
- PR Director – promotes Jitters, develops fliers, and works with social media.
- Technical Director – runs the website, maintains the register, and deals with other technology as needed.
- Volunteer Coordinator – maintains accurate records of volunteer hours, implements a volunteer incentive program, and coordinates all volunteer shifts.
The board meets once a week on Sundays to discuss all updates, fill volunteer shifts, and make sure Jitters is running smoothly. Our residence hall Leadership Involvement Teams each have a Jitters representative that is responsible for attending meetings, updating their LIT about what is going on with Jitters, and coordinating a volunteer night with the LIT once a month. If Jitters cannot fill a shift with volunteers, it’s not open.
Jitters is a Residence Life initiative, leadership opportunity, and service for students. We do not currently collaborate with our Dining Services, but respect our on-campus dining contract by obtaining permission and having shifts open when dining options are more limited (early shift: 7PM-9:30PM; late shift: 9:30PM-Midnight). Jitters also only currently serves ice cream drinks, coffee & espresso, as well as popcorn.
For more information about Jitters, please visit their website: uwwjitters.org
Diversity Advocates (DAs)
The Diversity Advocates are a group of UW-Whitewater students recruited and trained by University Housing staff to provide diversity programs in the residence halls. The DA program is designed to raise awareness and to promote understanding and appreciation of the diversity of our community. The DAs also provide correct and current information which allows students to think about issues that relate to difference and diversity. The DAs provide two certificate programs for students: Safe Zone I and Safe Zone II, as well as seven presentations.
DAs are paid per program they facilitate. Approximately 25 DA programs are hosted a year and about 200 residents attended a DA program last year. Training for DAs is ongoing and on a one on one basis as they develop facilitation and discussion skills as well as a deeper understanding of diversity and diversity issues. During bi-monthly meetings topics of diversity are discussed and programs are scheduled by our Residence Life Diversity Intern who is overseen by our Assistant Director – Learning Communities, Leadership, and Inclusion. This is also a group that our professional live-in staff have an opportunity to help advise as a collateral assignment.
AODA Peer Educators
Our AODA Peer Educator program is designed to enhance and educate the students of UW-Whitewater to empower them to live a healthy lifestyle and make responsible decisions regarding substance use. Our peer educators are UW-Whitewater students recruited, trained, and supervised by University Housing. The goal of the AODA Peer Educators are to provide correct and current information which allows students to think about issues that related to substance use and to break down myths and misconceptions about substance use.
AODA Peer Educators are paid per program they facilitate. At least 15 AODA programs are held each year with each complex having minimally one marijuana and one alcohol program. The Peer Educators have three programs they offer and training consists of learning the material for the programs through shadowing or putting on programs for each other. The Peer Educators meet about twice a semester and are supervised by our Assistant Director – Community Development. This is also a group that our professional live-in staff have an opportunity to help advise as a collateral assignment.
The Student Conduct Hearing Board is an integral part of our residence hall communities. The Conduct Board listens to the information from both sides of an alleged violation of community standards and renders a decision of either not-responsible or responsible. If responsibility is found, the Conduct Board also recommends appropriate sanctions. The Conduct Board receives extensive training throughout the year and while is a volunteer position, must be applied to and selected to participate.
Successful Campus Partnerships
University Housing values our many campus partners. Below are a few of the many offices we work closely with to best serve our students.
Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD)
University Housing and the Center for Students with Disabilities works closely together to provide inclusive and accessible housing to all of our students. The innovative ways we work together would be room accommodations that CSD case workers complete with incoming residents about their needs when it comes to their physical living space. Our department receives two copies, one goes to facilities for the accommodations to be completed in the room such as removal of furniture, a specific height needed for a clothing rack, etc. and another copy goes to the Complex staff to make sure the work was completed before the student moves in. These accommodation plans can range in request from a single room to physical changes to air conditioning to service animals to furniture removal, etc.
Another innovative program that is a collaboration between University Housing and CSD would be our summer Transitions Program, where students identified through the CSD office come to campus a month early to take courses and adjust to campus life while it’s moving at a slower pace. UWW houses those residents and offers programmatic support as they learn to live on their own for the first time and this includes students with physical as well as mental disabilities.
In the fall of 2014, University Housing started an Adopt-A-Team program in collaboration with Athletics to gain more student support at home games for those teams who had lower attendance. Since the beginning, each complex has had an opportunity to Adopt-A-Team and provide support through game attendance, creating door decorations for players, and inviting the team to socials held in the residence halls.
Residential learning communities – over 30 academic based
In collaboration with academic staff, the First Year Experience Office, and University Housing, UW-Whitewater offers over 30 residential learning communities who operate on a cohort model in taking core classes together including their New Student Seminar course, live together, and participate in activities hosted by their academic staff advisor and residence life staff.
Liaison-ships between Residence Life & Underrepresented Student Organizations
Residence Life recognizes the importance of supporting underrepresented students as well as keeping abreast of issues happening on campus or off that could affect our student body. In collaboration with our underrepresented student organizations, Residence Life has a liaison from our office attend the student organization meetings once a month to share information about our office such as upcoming processes like housing reapplication, as well as get a good idea of what the student organizations are discussing or planning such as events, speakers, and campus climate.
In collaboration with Academic Advising, the First Year Experience Office, and academic staff, Mapworks is a powerful early alert system that takes a self-reported survey and highlights risk factors to academic & social success, as well as retention. New Student Seminar instructors as well as Peer Mentors utilize the system in the fall to help promote and teach positive academic behaviors. RAs and residence life staff utilize the system to have early interventions with students who self-report concerning behaviors. Academic Advising utilizes the system to refer students who missed advising meetings or who have not yet registered for classes for follow-up by their housing staff.
In Residence Life specifically, while the majority of the live-in staff work and interact with Mapworks and Mapworks students, the Assistant Director – Staff & Academic Development is the main office contact and administrator that works specifically with Mapworks.
Submitted by Amanda Murphy, Complex Director, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater