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Residence Life Office

Residence Hall Living


On campus living is an integral part of SUNY Potsdam's mission and Residence Life plays a vital role in the students' collegiate experience. Our department believes that a residential environment contributes significantly to the transformational education of our students.

The core of our philosophy is the sense of community that our staff intentionally creates throughout the residence halls. The development of meaningful learning opportunities that are uniquely suited to student is central to our work. Residence Life strives to connect students to each other and foster the development of life-skills. Cooperation, commitment, and a sense of responsibility to self and others define our community that develops as a result of students living and learning together.

In addition, we intentionally facilitate community involvement in an environment that is infused with the values of civility, inclusivity, responsibility, and service. Students are encouraged to grow in their self-awareness and are empowered to make significant connections with each other in our community based on these values in order to achieve their goals and in our global society.

In pursuit of this vision,:

  • we will provide staff who are caring, dedicated, diverse, professional, and well trained in order tp provide support and guidance to our students;
  • our facilities will be clean, safe, accessible, and modern and include amenities and furnishings that contribute to student success;
  • and programs offered will promote community development and active campus involvement in order to serve our diverse students.


The Department of Residence Life Office at SUNY Potsdam provides a safe and clean environment, resourceful staff, and learning experiences for the diverse members of our residential community in pursuit of their educational goals.

Residential Learning Outcomes

Participation in our residence life program provides students with the skills, abilities, and knowledge to:

  1. Self-Discovery & Development: Students will grow in their understanding of themselves; building upon their strengths and improving their shortcomings.
    • Rationale: Personal development is a life-long process and every student should engage in self-exploration. An understanding of one's own values, talents, and attributes are the foundation for achieving personal excellence and contribute to making informed decisions and solving problems. In providing opportunities to enhance their self-concept through developing these skills, students will become more self-reliant and personally responsible.
  2. Community Engagement: Students will learn to form healthy, interdependent, and meaningful connections with others by embracing civility and diversity.
    • Rationale: An active and healthy community relies on students' involvements and ownership of their community. A comprehension of civic responsibility and accountability is crucial for establishing a community founded on respect for others with an appreciation for differences. Students' participation in civic engagement opportunities (such as volunteer community service) better prepares them to become contributing members of society.

The Staff

  • Director of Residence Life
    • The Director of Residence Life coordinates all aspects of our housing process. In addition, the Director 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 conduct process and emergency on-call coverage. The Director supervises the office's administrative assistant as well as the other professional staff in the Central Office.
  • Associate 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 Associate 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 also manages the housing assignment process, building occupancy, summer projects, and coordinates the equipment replacement process.
  • Assistant Director of Residence Life
    • The Assistant Director is responsible for a majority of the processes of the department. The Assistant Director oversees the coordination of the recruitment, selection, training, and appreciation of the student staff (Resident Assistants - RAs). In addition, the Assistant Director coordinates the residential student conduct process, professional development and the Community Development Model.
  • 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). There are 6 RDs who are directly supervised by the Director of Residence Life. Some of the RDs also have part-time Graduate Assistants GAs. The RDs coordinate many of the activities within the Department of Residence Life . The RDs are involved with building community, programming, housing, student conduct, maintenance requests, emergency response, etc. in their assigned residence hall.
  • Graduate Assistant
    • There are several Graduate Assistant (GA) who live in the halls and works with the RD to manage the larger residential areas.  The GAs work with the RD to support all of the functions that happen in their area.  There is also one GA who works out of the main Residence Life Office.
  • 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, attend ?in-service? training programs on relevant topics throughout the academic year, and meet individually with their supervisor biweekly. The RA lives on a floor/area with 20-35 residents. There responsibilities include answering questions, confronting policy violations, responding to emergencies, referring students to campus resources, reporting maintenance problems, and planing activities for their residents.
  • Administrative Assistants
    • Residence Life has an Administrative Assistant who manages the day to day operations of the office. S/He work and manage the key system, room changes, housing assignments, and overall communication with all of our constituents.


Specific Staff names and contact information can be found in the Residence Life Directory.