Annual report 2016-17

The Office of Campus Living at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock develops students who are actively engaged and emerged in the campus, University District, and Little Rock communities. Our students cultivate a sense of respect for and understanding of the differences present within these communities. Additionally, our students demonstrate an understanding of self-care and life skills, equipped with the ability to advocate for both themselves and others. Well-maintained facilities, with an emphasis on safety, provide the foundation for a richly diverse campus living experience.

The Office of Campus Living at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock keeps the following values at the core of its initiatives, processes, and services:

  • Community Engagement
  • Identity Development
  • Self-care

It is the vision of the Office of Campus Living that all students will have a desire to live on campus and are able to do so in a safe and supportive environment that fosters academic success and self-growth.

Promotes student development through intentional services, programming, and structures

  • Residential Curriculum 2.0, a community development model based on 1:1 conversations, active and passive programming, and monthly themed informational bulletin boards, was implemented. This model was tailored to educate and develop students in the three following areas: Community Engagement; Self-Care; and Identity Development.
  • Resident Assistants hosted a program to inform and educate residents on the risks and safety precautions when consuming alcohol. Over sixty residents attended this program.

Encourages a healthy university community

  • Campus Living, in collaboration with Health Services and Counseling Services, coordinated the Trojan Wars session during Trojan Daze. This program provided educational programming on the topics of safer sex, pregnancy prevention, and sexually transmitted infections.
  • Information regarding the resources Health Services provides, as well as condoms, were readily available within certain areas of Campus Living, including select front desks and from Resident Assistants.
  • Resident Assistants hosted a weekly Ultimate Frisbee game to encourage residents to be physically active.
  • Provided information to each resident from Health Services’ pregnancy prevention campaign.

Advocates for the excluded

  • Campus Living has worked proactively to ensure residents and staff who identify as transgender feel welcomed within their communities. This includes accommodations and support throughout the transition process from all staff members.
  • Resident Assistants hosted two programs to support members of the military: 1) creating and distributing personalized holiday cards to active duty military during the holiday season, and 2) Valentines for Vets, which gave West Hall residents the opportunity to create and write meaningful messages to veterans that were later distributed at the Veterans Hospital in Little Rock.
  • Campus Living partnered with World Services for the Blind during an East Hall Parlor open mic night to welcome local blind members of the community to perform and educate East Hall residents on acceptance and inclusion.
  • Campus Living sponsored four staff members to attend a Safe Zone training in the fall: Assistant Director Joe Watkins, Assignments Coordinator Dustin Beam, Hall Director Carrie Owens, and Hall Director Austin Rose. Safe Zone works to improve the campus climate for LGBTQ individuals.

Provides an environment in which students can pursue their educational goals

  • Commons Hall Council prepared and distributed a Finals Goodie Bag which included study tips, snacks, drinks, and Scantrons for residents before finals.
  • Resident Assistants throughout each residential facility hosted community study nights to promote educational achievement.

Other

  • The Resident Assistant recruitment process for the 2017-2018 academic year yielded a record number of interested candidates. Almost ninety candidates applied for the twenty-one open positions for the coming year.
  • Director Marc Glidden and Assistant Director Michelle Zengulis were selected to present at the Annual Conference of the Southwest Association of College and University Housing Officers (SWACUHO) on the department's implementation and development of a Residential Curriculum community development model.
  • Assistant Director Michelle Zengulis attended the Service Learning Academy hosted by the UA Little Rock Community Connections Center. During the Service Learning Academy, Zengulis set up a service learning project that will be implemented in the Fall 2017 Resident Assistant class.  Students will be required to complete 10 hours in a pre-approved service-learning project and will complete journals, a reflection paper, and a final presentation to the class. If successful, the project will become a part of the department's Residential Curriculum for fall 2018.
  • Campus Living increased marketing and digital presence to potential and returning students. The I Found Campaign highlighted things that current residents found while living on-campus including home, brotherhood, myself, friends, and adventure. These topics were presented to potential residents as some of the benefits often not highlighted to living on-campus. Additionally, a Campus Living by the Numbers graphic was created to show returning residents the costs and benefits associated with living off-campus in comparison to living on-campus.
  • Campus Living staff are active members of the Southwest Association of College and University Housing Officers (SWACUHO), the regional affiliation of The Association of College and University Housing Officers - International (ACUHO-I). UA Little Rock, in partnership with ASU-Beebee, hosted SWACUHO's 2017 Annual Conference in Little Rock in March of 2017. Over 250 college and university housing officers from Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma attended.

An assessment of Residential Curriculum was conducted to evaluate the success of staff implementation based on significant changes to the curriculum from the past academic year. This assessment found that 88 percent of Resident Assistants believed that Residential Curriculum provided them with enough guidance to effectively program for their residents. Resident Assistants indicated that each Residential Curriculum resource played an important role in the educational and social development of UA Little Rock residential students.

During the Fall 2016 semester, Campus Living administered a "Campus Living Satisfaction Survey" which examined the following areas: Resident Assistant Evaluations; Graduate Hall Director Evaluations; Customer Service; Cable and Wifi; Grounds and Maintenance; Safety and Security. The survey received a 42.84 percent response rate (554 residents).

Areas of Strength:

  • Residents view their Graduate Hall Directors as...
    • Resources (35%)
    • Helper (30%)
    • Mentors (13%)
  • 91% were satisfied with the customer service at the Campus Living Office
  • 89% were satisfied with the amenities offered within their living area
  • 86% were satisfied with the mail services within Campus Living
  • 75% were satisfied with the provided cable service
  • 90% were satisfied with the condition of the grounds around Campus Living facilities

Areas of Improvement:

  • 39% reported they did not know their Graduate Hall Directors at all
  • 32% were dissatisfied with the timeliness of maintenance requests
  • 18% were dissatisfied with the cleanliness of their floor/area

The conclusions from these assessment methods will be utilized to strengthen the effectiveness of Residential Curriculum and improve the experience for each resident living on-campus. Campus Living plans to increase the response time for maintenance requests by ensuring that all requests are addressed within two business days. Additionally, staff will focus on the cleanliness of the residential facilities to improve residents' quality of living.

In terms of Residential Curriculum, Campus Living is seeking to improve the delivery and educational outcomes of the community developmental model, especially within our first-year building. Campus Living is working on further assessment methods for the coming year to better understand the programming and educational needs of each residential community.

  • Continue to assess, develop, and implement Campus Living's programming and resident development model: Residential Curriculum.
  • Increase the longevity of the residential facilities by identifying deferred maintenance projects, specifically in East Hall and University Village.
  • Address student issues and concerns regarding internet connectivity and cable options.
  • Reassess and develop sustainable Living Learning Communities based on resident interest and faculty buy-in.
  • Increase training and professional development opportunities for Campus Living staff.
  • Campus Living had an occupancy of approximately 95 percent for Fall 2016 and 85 percent for Spring 2017
  • As of June 2017, current UA Little Rock students wishing to live on-campus again for the 2017-2018 academic year had increased 34 percent in comparison to the previous year.
  • As of June 2017, freshmen and new resident applications for the 2017-2018 academic year had increased 12 percent in comparison to the previous year thanks to the "I found" campaign.