One of the main functions of RHA is to organize campus programs and events (i.e. the phrase “programming”). Programs can be anything that encourage residents to leave their comfortable, *cough* little rooms and interact with others. Programming is used to {homeschooled|educate residents], build a sense of community within the residence halls, as well as allow student to relax from the riggers of academics. The following are a few examples of some of the more extreme programs I’ve come up with and/or come across in my research:

Educational Programming

This programming is generally required for RHAs and RA to do by the Department of Residential Life. Its main purpose it to expose residents to information the Department feels is important for the resident. Done correctly, educational programming can be just as fun as a regular programming. One example of this type of programming is the program our {Residence hall Association|RHA] did in conjunction with our campus police called Get R.A.D. We had everyone in our activities room (which is padded with a mat material) when out of nowhere a total stranger burst into the room and tries to attack our guest speaker. Our guest speaker promptly yells our “NOOO!” and tosses the attacker to the floor almost effortlessly. Now, while this scenario was planned, it got the resident’s attention and got them interested. Remember, if you don’t keep the crowd’s attention, you lose them as well.

Building Community

Students who move to a campus not within 10-20 miles of their home are 10 times more likely to quit college or university at the end of their freshman year. The number one reason cited is that they didn’t feel welcome. Building a strong sense of community in residence halls is essential to student success as well as allowing RHA to thrive. And there is no better way to build community then good old fashion competition. We like to have a Residence Hall Olympics at the beginning of the year, usually during the first or second away football game. This allows students to group together as a hall to defeat the others. Usually the hall that bonds together the most wins hall of the year at the end of the year.

Relieving the Stress

This is probably the easiest type of program to have/put on. Anything (legal!!!) goes! I’ve heard of thing as complex as people putting together a one-day trip to go snowboarding and as simple as buying some pizza’s and renting a movie. I do suggest that you do something everyone will want to do. Low turnout is a fact of life, but don’t let it be because no one likes your program!!!


Here are just a few quick rules to successful programming:

  1. Be Creative: Don’t be afraid to try something new to get peoples attention
  2. Be Responsible: Put up advertisement on time, get things in advance, make sure you have help should you need it.
  3. Be Flexible: You may have the entire program planned out, and then the Department wants you to change it or you can’t find the supplies you need. Don’t panic. You can think of a remedy, and or find something else to make it work!

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