This is your Monthly Newsletter!
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To discontinue your subscription use the link at the bottom of this message. Newsletter: Welcome Back Edition

Resources for RAs and housing staff!

Newsletter Content:

  • The Pain and Payoff of the First Six Weeks
  • New Resident Assistant Blog
  • Site Resources
  • Site Updates
  • Student issues & concerns


The Pain and Payoff of the First Six Weeks

It seems like a lifetime ago when I went through my first RA training at Colorado State University. I had no idea I would end up making a career out of this crazy field of student housing!

One thing I learned in training that first year, and have seen, experienced and studied ever since is the importance of the first 6 weeks. You have likely already heard this “magic” 6 week figure from your supervisors or from other RAs, but it deserves revisiting, as this will define how the rest of your year goes.

Studies and experience have shown that it is the first six weeks of the Fall semester that define how your community forms and defines itself for the rest of the year! Read entire article and post your comments

New Resident Assistant Blog

I have officially entered the blogosphere, with a new Resident Assistant blog. here are some recent posts:

Resources, Resources & More Resources

Facebook, Blogger, MySpace - Friend or Foe of the RA?

Tips and Tricks for Remembering Names

See Blog

Site Resources

o Bulletin boards Find a great list of ideas and premade bulletin boards - Also see the premade bulletin board section.

o Door Decorations (Door Tags) Here is a list of ideas collected off of the listserve and emailed to the site. Have fun seeing what other ideas people have come up with!

o Use the message boards! This is a great way for you to interact with other RAs and Professionals all over the world! Be sure to search before you ask a question to see if there is already a thread with that topic.

o Social Programs As you have certainly learned in training and noted above, the first 6 weeks of the first semester are the most critical time in building community in your areas. The first couple of weeks are especially crucial! Socials are an excellent way to get your residents to know one another. Check out ideas for social programs at

o First Floor Meeting - For some fun icebreakers and name games for your first floor meeting, visit the games page at:

o Flyers & other document templates

Site Updates

This month, it might be easier to say what HAS NOT been updated than to list out what has. The site has hundreds of new pages, a new design, and improved functionality. This will continue to get better over the course of this year. Browse the site, check out the what's new area of the front page and keep posted for more! (If you were forwarded this newsletter, be sure you sign up for a subscription).

Student Issues and Planning

These are some issues students may face during this time of year. As you will note, these are general guidelines and will vary from student to student. This information can be useful to not only be aware of what students may be going through, but also to plan relevant programs.

Each of the following issues should spark programming ideas for you. For more detailed ideas, also be sure to check out the August & September Programming Planner. To share your own ideas, visit the blog and the discussion boards!

These are some issues students may face during this time of year. This information can be useful to not only be aware of what students may be going through, but also to plan relevant programs.


  • Homesickness - especially for freshmen

  • Roommate conflicts caused by personality differences, lack of understanding and unwillingness to compromise or the new experience of having to live with someone. See the roommate game program for a fun way to address these issues.

  • Initial adjustment to academic environment - feelings of inadequacy and inferiority develop because of the discrepancy between high school status and grades and initial college performance. 

  • Class size, especially in mass lecture halls, lack of personal interest by professors and performance expectations are also major factors. 

  • Values exploration - students are confronted with questions of conscience over conflict areas of race and alcohol experimentation, morality, religion and social expectations. 

  • New social life adjustments - including new freedom of not having to check with parents about what time to be in, having the opportunity to experience new areas, making your own decisions on when to conduct social activities and establishing yourself in a peer group. 

  • Initial social rejections - creates feeling of inadequacy when not immediately accepted in a peer group, or into a social sorority or fraternity. 

  • "En-loco parentis" problems - students feel depressed because of real or perceived restrictive policies and regulations of the college.

  • Campus familiarization - includes becoming familiar with campus, classrooms, buildings and meeting places. Long distance relationship - torn between being loyal to your significant other from home and going out with new people. Can the expectations of both people be adequately met? 

  • Financial adjustment - involves adjusting to a somewhat tighter budget now that they are in schools opposed to when they were living at home. Students who are supporting themselves have to adjust to budgeting their money also. 

  • International student adjustment - experience a sense of confusion, vulnerability and a lack of any advocate in higher positions while trying to make a successful cultural and academic transition.

  • Family problems seem amplified because the student may either be caught in the middle, relied on for the answer or because they are far away, feeling helpless in helping reach a solution. 

  • Adjusting to "Administrative Red Tape" with students soon realizing that it is usually a long and frustrating process when trying to find an answer to what seems to be a simple question, or trying to work something through the administrative process
    ~ source unknow

See calendar section for other months and for planning pages

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