Louisburg College Department of Housing and Residence Life is a featured program.
While community college may be an option for many, Louisburg College stands apart as a residential 2 year college and the oldest residential 2 year college in the nation!
For the first time in 12 years Louisburg College implemented a Resident Assistant [RA] program in the residence halls for the fall, 2013. Previously, the College had a number of different student leader positions in Residence Life including the most recent “Peer Leaders” [PL]. The transition from the more informal PL position to the more formal RA position made for a very busy summer of planning for the Community Director staff. The RA program was created from the ground up during the 2012-13 academic year and implemented in the fall, 2013. The department is now in the second year of the program with our second group of RAs and all aspects continue to evolve in a positive manner.
Residence Life professionals know RA Training is a huge undertaking, but what many Res Life professionals have never had the opportunity to do, is to create a Resident Assistant Training from scratch. Topics were selected, the schedule created, presentations written, food logistics planned, outside presenters arranged, and all the little details managed. RA Training was a big task for the 2013-14 CD Staff.
The CD staff utilized their individual expertise and collaboratively worked in areas of new to many of them. Gleaning from both resident and RA experience, along with guidance from the Director of Housing and Residence Life [DHRL], training was quite a success. Twenty-one student leaders gathered in early August to make history, as members of the first RA staff since 2001.
With a new academic year upon us, the Department of Residence Life at Louisburg College has done it again! RA Training for the second year in a row was a great success! Twenty-two sophomores completed a week of RA Training and hit the ground running this fall as we continue to strengthen our young RA program.
Highlights from the 2014 RA Training program include a very engaged group of student leaders who were excited to get started! The RAs took part in multiple hands-on, interactive training sessions including sensitivity training and team building. The purpose of sensitivity training was to break down barriers and build knowledge. Topics discussed included diversity, community, social justice, stereotypes, and an in depth look at microagressions. The CD staff led the RAs through a number of activities and discussions on how the topics were prevalent on campus and specifically with the demographic of students at Louisburg College.
The purposes of the team building exercises were to bond the RA staff, facilitate learning and understanding, and develop communication and problem solving skills. One of the many team building exercises that the RA staff participated in was a “Blind Hike”. The hike is completed by a completely blind folded group, leader included. The group is often times directed toward an undisclosed location and tasked with finding a well known location, without knowledge of their starting point. The group has to work together to get each and every person from location A to location B.
The Louisburg College CD staff had to work to create a comprehensive program inclusive of a programming model, program proposals and evaluation documents,
Policies, Procedures and Forms
An aspect often taken for granted at institutions whose RA programs have been established for years are the policies, procedures, and forms associated with a Residence Life program. As our program transitioned we worked to establish policies and procedures, an RA duty model, duty reports, incident reports, duty protocols and numerous other documents.
A written assessment of the first semester of the RA program was completed by the RA staff to determine what went well and what needs work with regard to the continuing evolution of the RA program. Adjustments have been made as the Louisburg College RA program transitioned into the second semester and again as we just began our transition into the second year of the RA program. Alterations continue to be made to the RA program, based on feedback of the outgoing RAs, as well as the CD experience over the prior year.
Submitted by Nicolette Stanfill, Community Director, Louisburg College, Louisburg, NC