Residence Hall Living
The residence halls are a vital part of the collegiate experience and an integral part of the College’s mission. At SUNY Potsdam, students spend a major portion of their time at college outside of the classroom, and the residence halls are at the center of the students’ day-to-day life. The College’s Residence Life Department believes that a residence hall should contribute to the student’s educational and personal growth. At the core of this philosophy is the sense of community, which staff members strive to create in the halls. While students may not always agree, you are expected to treat every member of the College community with respect, especially the hall staff, and comply with their requests. Cooperation, commitment to the welfare of the group, and a sense of responsibility to self and others define this community that develops as a result of living and learning together. We believe the essence of this commitment can be seen in the residence halls, which provide an opportunity for exchanging divergent views and beliefs and sharing in the diversity of our campus community.
The key element to a successful residential experience is the willingness to get involved. You can have an impact on the direction of your hall and the College through your participation in activities. We hope that you make the most of this opportunity by accepting the challenge and responsibility of being an active and concerned member of the residential community.
The Department of Residence Life Office at SUNY Potsdam provides a safe and clean environment, resourceful staff, and learning experiences for the members of our residential community in pursuit of their educational goals.
We aspire to be a distinctive educational community where intentional student learning is our focus. We will be a catalyst for student excellence by providing staff, facilities, services, programs, and activities that foster student retention and success.
We will provide staff who are dedicated, knowledgeable, well-trained, supportive, professional, and diverse.
Residential Learning Outcomes
Participation in our residence life program provides students with the skills, abilities, and knowledge to:
- Become Self Reliant: students will learn to become independent and self-confident.
- Attain Personal Responsibility: Students will learn to be accountable for their actions.
- Build Relationships in One's Community: Students will learn to form healthy, interdependent, mature connections with those in their living environment.
- Understand and Develop One's Own Values, Talents, and Attributes: Students will learn to perceive and recognize the distinctive elements of themselves.
- Make Informed Decisions and Solve Problems: Students will learn to determine possible outcomes by weighing all options and selecting the most appropriate course of action.
- Reach One's Personal Best: Students will learn to achieve individual excellence.
Director of Residence Life
The Director of Residence Life coordinates all aspects of our housing process, both new and returning students and manages the occupancy of the halls after opening. The Director works on single requests (including medical singles) and petitions for releases and exemptions from our residency requirements. The Director works with the Physical Plant staff on renovations of existing buildings, summer projects, enhancement of the facilities, and new construction projects. S/he is involved in overseeing various budgets. S/he is ultimately responsible for maintaining the educationally based residence hall communities that are conducive to both living and learning. As such, the Director will be involved with the resident student discipline process and emergency on-call coverage. The Director supervise the office support staff as well as the other professional staff in the Central Office.
- Assistant Director of Residence Life for Housing & Operations
The Assistant Director is Residence Life’s liaison with the Physical Plant staff and helps to ensure safe and clean residential facilities. In addition, the Assistant Director is responsible for such things as storage areas, damage billing, and the keyless entry system. S/He coordinates housing for periods of time when classes are not in session (i.e. early arrivals, breaks and summer), as well as for visitors to the campus, (i.e. graduation and conferences). S/he is also involved in the housing process, summer projects, and coordinates the equipment replacement process.
- Assistant Director of Residence Life for Staff & FYE
The Assistant Director is responsible for a majority of the staff in the department. S/he directly supervises the full-time Residence Directors, part-time Graduate Residence Directors, and indirectly supervises the Resident Assistants and Mentors. The Director oversees the coordination of the recruitment, selection, training and evaluation of all of the RD staff. In addition, the Assistant Director coordinates the First Year Experience (FYE) program and is responsible for FYE staff training and development, large-scale program planning, and the Residential Fellows program.
- Area Coordinator
The Area Coordinator lives in the halls and is the primary person responsible for managing a large residential area/quad. The 3 ACs are supervised by the Assistant Director of Residence Life. The ACs directly supervise the GA in their area as well as the student staff of RAs. The ACs coordinator many of the activities within the Department of Residence Life. The ACs are involved with building community, programming, housing, student conduct, maintenance requests, etc. in their assigned residence hall area.
- Residence Hall Director
The Residence Hall Director (RD) lives in and is the primary person responsible for managing a residence hall building and supervising the residence hall student staff (RAs and Mentors). There are 3 RDs who are directly supervised by the Assistant Director of Residence Life. The positions are split between full-time RDs and part-time Graduate RDs. The RDs coordinate many of the activities within the Department of Residence Life . The RDs are involved with building community, programming, housing, student conduct, and maintenance requests, etc. in their assigned residence hall.
- Graduate Assistant
The Graduate Assistant (GA) lives in the halls and works with the AC to manage a large residential area. There are 3 GAs who are supervised by the ACs. The GAs work with the AC to support all of the functions that happen in their area.
- Resident Assistant
The Resident Assistant (RA) is probably one of the better known positions on campus. Each residence hall has a staff of RAs who are selected for their enthusiasm, organizational skills, maturity and willingness to help others. They participate in training sessions, attend weekly staff meetings, elect several “in-service” training programs on relevant topics throughout the academic year and meet individually with their RD biweekly. The RA lives on a floor with 15-30 residents and answers questions, confronts violations, refers students to counseling, solves maintenance problems, and plans activities for their residents.
- Academic Peer Mentor
The Academic Peer Mentor (Mentor) is an upper-class student who lives on an all freshmen hall within the First Year Experience program. The Mentor provides many programs for the students within the building, especially academic ones. They also serve as peer mentors, helping students with daily tasks and adjustments without dealing with discipline issues. Finally, each mentor has administrative and programming responsibilities within FYE.
Specific Staff names and contact information can be found in the Residence Life Directory.