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FYE is housed in Bowman West and Bowman East. We set aside entire floors for first year students because many want to "go through it all together" with others who are experiencing college for the first time. First-year students are assigned to FYE based on their preference and are placed within a traditional double room with another first-year student who also has expressed interest in FYE. The FYE program is committed to providing a safe and comfortable living environment where both study and social interaction can occur. Of particular note, FYE is an alcohol-free environment as the vast majority of the participants are under the age of 21. The basic components of the residential program are outlined below.

Resident Assistants

The Resident Assistants (RAs) are essential to every residence hall at SUNY Potsdam. They are returning students who provide resources and support for the residents on their floors. The FYE RAs are specially trained to better understand the needs of the first year students. They present programs and provide information to help students succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Additionally, they offer informal guidance on academics and serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs) in the First Year Success Seminar (FYSS).

Residence Hall Director

The RD is a professional staff member who is assigned to manage each of the Residence Halls. The FYE RDs have experience and training specifically in dealing with first year students. The RD supervises the RA staff and assists students with personal, social, and academic difficulties. An RD lives in each building and is available 24 hours a day if needed.


Residential Fellows are faculty and staff members of the college who volunteer their time to enhance the experience of first year students and help them in their adjustment to college. There are at least two Residential Fellows assigned to every FYE floor who serve as resource people and initiate social and educational programming for students. Some Fellows may also serve as the academic advisor and instructor for the First Year Success Seminar (FYSS) for students living on their floor.