By: Joey Sammut
One of the many aspects that students love about being at Gonzaga is the strong feeling of community. The Housing and Residence Life Department has created a Community Development Model that we feel supports this notion, as well as enhancing and building upon the work that students will be doing inside the classroom. This model is rooted in the University’s Jesuit identity and supported by the theory and best practices of the Housing Profession.
Our Community Development Model is built around four pillars:
Connection: finding a sense of place
Interaction: having intentional conversations with diverse individuals
Engagement: actively participating and investing in a caring community
Reflection: making meaning of on-campus experiences
Students who live in University housing – regardless of class standing, building location, or type of residence – will find these pillars evident in their hall environment, community events, and relationships with each other and the residence life staff. Below are some specific ways in which you and your student may notice the Community Development Model in your residence hall.
- Your student’s area or residence hall will have a theme for the year. They will see this theme in hall and door decorations, as well as community events.
- Your student’s Resident Assistant (RA) will serve as a mentor and guide for them while they live on campus. Each semester, your student’s RA will meet with them 1:1 to learn more about their college experience. The goal of these meetings is to get a better sense of the resources that students need and to be made aware of any issues or concerns as soon as they arise.
- Your student will be hearing a lot about what’s going on around campus. RAs will be taking students to events around campus and Spokane. Please encourage your student to attend these events and take advantage of what GU has to offer.
- We want your student to get involved. Whether it’s joining a club, playing intramurals, or helping plan events for their hall with their Block Council, we want your student to be an active member of his or her community. Talk to your student about reaching out to their RA for opportunities for involvement.