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 students 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 to 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:
- 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.
- 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.
Director of Residence Life
The Director of Residence Life is ultimately responsible for maintaining the educationally based residence hall communities that are conducive to both living and learning. The Director directly supervises the full-time professional members of the department and indirectly supervises the Graduate Assistants and Resident Assistants. The Director oversees various budgets within Residence Life. The Director works closely with the Residence Hall Directors in Bowman East and West to coordinate the First Year Experience (FYE) program. Lastly, the Director represents the department, and the interest of students in the Residence Halls, on numerous campus wide committees.
Associate Director of Residence Life
The Associate Director coordinates all aspects of the housing process, to include housing during periods of time when classes are not in session (e.g. early arrivals, breaks, and summer) and housing for visitors to the campus. The Associate Director manages the housing assignment process, building occupancy, summer projects, and coordinates the equipment replacement process. The Associate Director works on single requests and petitions for releases and exemptions from the residency requirements. The Associate Director is the department’s liaison with the Physical Plant staff and helps to ensure safe and clean residential facilities as well as working on renovations of existing buildings, summer projects, and new construction projects. In addition, the Associate Director is responsible for such things as storage areas, damage billing, and the keyless entry system.
Assistant Director of Residence Life
The Assistant Director is responsible for a majority of the programming of the department, to include overseeing the recruitment, selection, training, and appreciation of the student staff (Resident Assistants - RAs). The Assistant Director also directly supervises the Graduate Residence Hall Director and the office’s Graduate Assistant. In addition, the Assistant Director coordinates the residential student conduct process and the Community Development Model.
Residence Life has an Administrative Assistant who manages the day-to-day operations of the office. The Administrative Assistant provides overall office reception, manages the key system, assists with room changes and housing assignments, and provides overall communication with all of our constituents.
Residence Hall Director (Full Time & Graduate)
The Residence Hall Director (RD) is a live in, professional position within Residence Life. The RDs are the primary persons responsible for managing a residence hall building and supervising the residence hall student staff (RAs). There are 6 full time RDs, who are directly supervised by the Director of Residence Life, and 1 part-time Graduate Residence Hall Director, who is directly supervised by the Assistant Director. The RDs coordinate many of the activities within the Department of Residence Life and are involved with building community, programming, housing, student conduct, maintenance requests, emergency response, plus much more in their assigned residence hall.
There is one Graduate Assistant (GA) who works within the main office of Residence Life. The primary role of the Graduate Assistant is to support the on-going processes of the department. The Graduate Assistant is directly supervised by the Assistant Director.
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, and meet individually with their supervisor biweekly. The RA lives on a floor/area with 20-35 residents. Their responsibilities include building communities, being a resource to their residents, enforcing policies of the residence halls and college, responding to emergencies, referring students to campus resources, reporting maintenance problems, and planning activities for their residents.
Specific Staff names and contact information can be found in the Residence Life Directory.