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E MPLOY E E NE W SL E T T E R M A R C H 2014 Student Living: A practical model for building Zion » By Austin Cary Six years ago, Troy Dougherty, director of Housing and Student Living, along with a council of seven students, organized Student Living, a model that would give vision to thousands of BYU-Idaho students that building Zion is a practical and achievable goal. “What is the practical work required of [us] in [our] apartments and homes that will create and cultivate a culture of Zion?” Dougherty asked in a devotional address given January 21. “Student Living provides an answer.” Student Living is now BYU-Idaho’s official model for governing student housing because of its capacity to lift students to higher planes of thought and activity, which stands in striking contrast to the university’s previous model. Before Student Living, the university used resident assistants to enforce rules, a system common among universities. Over time, Kevin Miyasaki, vice president of Student Services and Activities, recognized students were developing a dependency upon them and never fully learning how to govern themselves. Where there is no vision, the people perish. PROVERBS 29:18 “There was a lot of ‘being acted upon’ going on, even a dependence on it—to the point where apartments wouldn’t depend upon themselves to be responsible, but would depend on other people,” said Miyasaki. “They would say, ‘Well, it’s the RA’s responsibility to make sure we are in on time,’ or, if they were not abiding by the rules, ‘The RA is not doing his job.’ We had that type of environment going on.” In addition, Miyasaki realized this dependency wasn’t the result of students lacking any capacity for self-government but rather, under the RA system, the opportunity to do so didn’t exist. “We had become BYU-Idaho in 2000, and as we became a more mature student body, we started to feel that the level of responsibility and capacity of our students increased,” said Miyasaki. “But what we had didn’t match that. We knew we needed to do something different.” continued on page 2 M A R C H 2 014 l1

March 2014 News & Notes

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