Western Connecticut State University Housing and Residence Life is a featured program.
In Development! iMatter was developed by one of our RDs, Samantha DiFalco, in response to discussions we had been having as a staff regarding the poor choices our residents were making in terms of drinking, not going to class, personal safety, etc.
One of the goals was to have students sign a pledge (much like the No Texting While Driving pledge), which can be seen on the link above by clicking on the pledge button. We have done very little to promote this other than the web page, and I don’t think very many students have taken advantage of it on their own. We have, however, produced some posters that we’ve used to help students begin to think critically about their own behavior and its consequences. (These were early posters from 3 years ago – not very graphically pretty, but got some information out!) We are hoping to put together a team that kind of guides some programming efforts with the iMatter program over the course of this year.
The web page talks a little about the ideas behind iMatter, and provides links to our HRL coming events (programs happening in and around the halls), a quick link to campus resources, to the Academic Success Spot, and to the Pledge. We have used the iMatter logo as a bit of a theme, creating a bookmark that gives 3 big tips to becoming successful roommates; we’ve given out bags with the logo on it which say “iMatter in Housing & Residence Life at Western Connecticut State University.”
Every college student deserves to have the best experience possible while pursuing an education.
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iMatter is a holistic approach to your college experience. iMatter is a means to look at your daily activities with respect to how YOU want your college experience to go. It looks at things such as:
- Study habits
- Work ethic
- Campus involvement
- Personal goal-setting
iMatter promotes self-growth through education, use of resources, self-advocacy, community, and personal involvement in the campus community.
iMatter started when we thought about student behavior and the alarming trends we noticed. Students were making poor decisions on a daily basis: clubbing Wednesday through Saturday, drinking excessively, missing classes, not showing up to judicial meetings… So we thought, other than hiring an undercover “student spy” to see what motivates students to make the decisions they do (which, of course, is not realistic!), we could approach these issues through iMatter.
As you’ll see to the side, there are a few things that iMatter has happening right now. One key element is the addition of iMatter-related materials to our regular RA/ARM programs. These will be the great programs that you already attend, but will have something extra – more information, a special guest, etc., that will add a little more substance to the program. Check out the Upcoming Events to see if a program you’re interested in is an iMatter program.
The Community Resources button will bring you to a list of contacts on campus that can assist you with many issues that arise for students – some that we mentioned above, but others as well. If you can’t find a resource you’re looking for, make sure to ask your RA, ARM, or RD for help (and remind them to add your resource to our list once you’ve found what you’re looking for.
The Academic Success Spot is a page that introduces the ARMs in each building, as well as providing a list of links to resources that can help make you a better student. There are study guides, hints for taking better notes, writing resources, and a slew of other thoughts and ideas for you to use at your convenience (although it’s a good idea not to wait until the paper’s due to look at the tips!)
The Pledge is the last button. The goal of the iMatter Pledge is to get you to think about YOUR self-worth in relation to your actions. Similar to Oprah’s Pledge Not to Text and Drive, or the Spread the Word to End the Word Pledge, our pledge is a promise you make to yourself to think about the decisions you are making.
Submitted by Maribeth Griffin, Director of Residential Programs & Staff, Western Connecticut State University