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Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

M A Cmagazine UHO


Delaware • District of Columbia • Maryland • New jersey • Pennsylvania • West Virginia

TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter From the President


UPDATES 2012 Annual Survey Results


Annual Financial Report


FY 2011 Final Budget and FY 2012 Approved Budget




This Year’s MACUHO-REC


Award Descriptions




Turning 40, MACUHO Matures


2012 MACUHO Conference Photo Gallery


My Time As President


EVENTS Mid-Atlantic Placement Conference (MAPC) 2013


FEATURES Ten Steps Towards Motivating Staff


MACUHO Corporate Partner Program


Student Staff Live-In Experience


The Volunteer Incentive Program


Developing a New Brand for MACUHO


RA Training Goes Conference-Style


Move In Day with IPads


Repairing our ‘Ruef’ Community



Derek Mulvey

Kenrick Roberts

Brandt Grobeis

Devin Budhram

Alicia Moore

Vinita Tandon

Jesse Michel

Greg Costanzo

Michael Bumbry

Stephanie Giangrande

Angela M. Brockman

Ann DeStefano

Anne Elizabeth Greenip

EDITORS Christina Moran Philadelphia University DESIGNERS Morgan Knepper

Kate Cassidy

Temple University

Temple University





I’M IN!”

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MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers


n November 8,

To our new profession-

Association structure with the

2012, I declared

als reading this article, think

consolidation of the Business

to you, echoing

about that for a minute. Our

Operations and Communica-

the words of

colleagues who have left the

tions functional area. Our new


MACUHO region to live and work

views on Corporate Partnerships

President, Vennie Gore, that “I

all across the country came to

and the MACUHO Magazine

am IN!” I was heartened to hear

Baltimore to reunite with their

will result in a refined, polished,

the same words repeated back

MACUHO friends and col-

and professional approach

to me by so many of you that

leagues. In his outgoing speech

to these new critical areas.

night, via social media the next

(and reinforced in my incoming

few days, and through e-mail.

speech), MACUHO Past President

opening remarks I made in

“I’m IN!” was the declaration that

Shigeo Iwamiya talked about

Baltimore: To make a success-

Finally, I repeat to you the

you are indeed committing to be a part of MACUHO, the finest housing/residence life professional organization in our region! This is my first MACUHO Magazine update to you as your new president. I’m very excited to write to you today, and I hope you are equally as


excited to hear from me! In early November, MACUHO gathered in Baltimore, MD at our

the level of involvement that

ful year in MACUHO, blend

Annual Conference to celebrate

you could have in MACUHO.

together equal parts of Effi-

our 40th Anniversary. I was

Both he and I hope that you’ll

ciency, Engagement, and Brand.

pleased to be part of the celebra-

be on that stage someday to

I’m confident that the 2012-2013

tion and was happy to welcome

accept the MACUHO gavel and

MACUHO Executive Board will

over 100 new delegates to the

the challenge to lead our As-

do just that and I look forward

Annual Conference. Our profes-

sociation for twelve months.

to the next year … together.

sion is growing by leaps and

The 2012-2013 MACUHO year

bounds; we are welcoming new

will see many new initiatives

professionals at a fantastic rate!

and challenges. In Baltimore, I

At the same time, we

announced some changes and

welcomed 19 past-presidents to

expansions of the MACUHO

the conference. We welcomed

Executive Board. I welcomed

them home. For many, this was

Joe Peltzer as the first MACUHO

a homecoming; they’d traveled

social media coordinator. I also

from across the country to cel-

announced a minor change to

ebrate our 40th birthday party.

reporting structures of our new







2012 Annual Survey Results We would like to extend a big thank you to

5.97%! Would you believe that out of those who

everyone who responded to the 2012 Annual

responded to our survey, the strongest growth

Survey this summer. 129 respondents answered

in our organization is in the New Jersey region

25 questions, and the results were very interest-

with an explosive 9.28% increase in participa-

ing! We learned, for example, that although it is

tion since last year? Way to go, New Jersey!

still the most commonly used tool, we are seeing that email usage as a primary means of communication is decreasing from last year by 2.7%

We would also like to announce the winners of our $25 Target gift card drawing. Congratulations to:

while social networks (+5.73%) and the MACUHO Magazine (+2.79%) are gaining popularity. We also learned that there has been an increase in graduate participation in the Annual Survey since last year (a jump of 8.12%!). Could the

• Matthew Zielinski, Busch Housing and Residence Life Office • Tamar Lawson-McPherson of New Jersey City University

stratification of communication have to do with

• Mindy Somerville of Robert Morris University

our graduate students introducing new technol-

• Conal F. Carr of Penn State University

ogy to our field? Quite possibly! And are you also noticing this next trend on your campus?

If you’re interested in finding out more about the

We’re seeing a general increase of Conference

results from our Annual Survey, please visit the full

Services responsibilities in our membership over

report, available on our website

the last year by 4.64% while the number of student conduct responsibilities has DECREASED by

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MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT The following financial information was presented at the MACUHO Annual Business Meeting on November 8, 2012.



As of Annual Meeting (11/8/2012)

As of 12/5/2012

Business Checking



Business Performance Savings



Business Savings



Total Funds



NOTE: The differences in account balances over

Thanks to the great work of Jennifer Thorpe, our

the last month reflect settlement of the expenses

sponsorship coordinator, we raised $11,550 in 2012

from our Annual Conference in Baltimore and

via our Corporate Partner Program. This money

interest accrued on the savings accounts.

was used in part to support the annual conference, and the remainder will go toward supporting new MACUHO initiatives in the future.

FY 2011 Final Budget and FY 2012 Approved Budget We ended the 2011 fiscal year with a small

year extends from January to December.

surplus of just over $11,000. This money

Access to the final budget for FY 2011

was moved forward and reallocated in

and the budget approved by the Execu-

the fiscal year 2012 budget, for which the

tive Board for FY 2012 may be found on

Executive Board approved an operat- under the “Latest News” link.

ing budget of $84,603. MACUHO’s fiscal




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MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers





Case Study Wrap UP With another conference closed and the 40th

their recommendations for the administration.

celebration of MACUHO over, the Personal and

They then had 10 minutes to present and take

Professional Development Committee (PPD) would

questions from our judges and the audience.

like to thank the Baltimore Host Committee and the Executive Board for a great conference. If you were unable to join us in Charm City or

This year our esteemed judging panel included Katie Boone, past MACUHO president and Director of Residential Life at UMBC; Craig

were there and didn’t get the scoop on the case

Allen, past MACUHO president and Director

study competition, here is a quick wrap up.

of Residential Services at TCU; and Kevin Feil

PPD once again sponsored and organized the New

Director of Residence Life at York College of

Professional Case Study Competition. There was an

Pennsylvania. Through their deliberation, Chris-

unprecedented 25 people who said they were in-

topher Bryant from Shepherd University and

terested in the competition. Unfortunately we could

Natalie Liston from Shippensburg University

only choose six teams of two to participate. We are

were selected as the winning pair. Christopher

hoping this interest continues to future conferences!

and Natalie won free registration to the 2013

This year’s prompt centered on a fictitious in-

MACUHO annual conference in Pittsburgh, PA.

stitution at which the administration was contemplating putting security cameras in the resi-

Thank you to our judges, all those who participated,

dence halls in reaction to the vandalism, safety

and the PPD Committee (especially Jess Oswald

and security concerns, and parent concerns.

who organized and guided our participants)!

Each group had a little more than a day to put together their reaction to the prompt as well as

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MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

This Year’s MACUHO-REC Our Region’s Best (ORB) Award Recipients Each year, Residence Life supervisors from

• RA Halei Van Dyke - Felician College

throughout the Mid-Atlantic region are invited by

• RA Sarah Hann - University of Delaware

the MACUHO Recognition, Education & Connec-

• RA Madison Helmick - University of Delaware

tions Committee (REC) to nominate outstand-

• RA Sarah MacDonald - University of Delaware

ing student staff members from their universi-

• RA Martin Petrella - University of Delaware

ties who go above and beyond the call of duty

• RA Stephanie Schmidt - University of Delaware

and exemplify a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

• RA Vincent Tavella - Delaware Valley College

Winners receive an award plaque and conference registration for attendance at the upcoming MACUHO SSLI Conference. We would like to congratulate the fol-

• R A Alyssa Calderon - York College of Pennsylvania • RA Heather Dachiu - York College of Pennsylvania • RA Jackie Gibat - York College of Pennsylvania

lowing three RAs for being selected by the

• RA Meredith Hunt - York College of Pennsylvania

MACUHO REC committee as the 2012 Our

• RA Kelly Kolb - York College of Pennsylvania

Region’s Best (ORB) award recipients:

• RA Joe Mayes - York College of Pennsylvania • RA Kristen Gioffre - Towson University

RA Victoria Winslow – University of Delaware RA Tiffany Marriner – Delaware Valley College

Congratulations again to the winners and

RA Michel’le Bryant – Fair Leigh

the nominees; we hope to see even more

great RAs nominated next year!

Dickinson University

We had a total of 19 nominations, making


the selection for this year’s award recipients very difficult. All the RAs nominated are ex-

Steven Couras

cellent and we look forward to hearing about

Co-Chair MACUHO-REC Committee

their continued success at their universities.

Assistant Area Coordinator Office of Residence Life

The MACUHO REC Committee would

Stevens Institute of Technology

like to recognize the following RAs for being nominated by their supervisors:

Dawn Ohanessian Co-Chair MACUHO-REC Committee

• R A William Capon III - Stevens Institute of Technology • R A Carolina Pelaez - Stevens In-

Assistant Director for Training and Development Housing and Residence Life Seton Hall University

stitute of Technology


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Award Descriptions Mid-Level Professional Award Intended to recognize significant contributions to our field by mid-level professionals. The recipient should be someone who has worked fulltime in the field of housing and residence life for between 4-8 years. The first Mid-Level Professional Award was presented at the 2007 Annual Conference in West Virginia. The David Butler Distinguished Service Award Intended to recognize contributions to MACUHO which are lasting and significant over a period of years. The recipient should be a consistent participant in and supporter of MACUHO activities. The James Hurd Outstanding Service Award Intended to recognize outstanding contributions to MACUHO by a committee members or executive member over the past year (since the last Annual Conference). The Ann Webster New Professional Award Intended to recognize significant institutional and/or regional contributions to our field. The recipient should be someone who has worked fulltime in the field of Housing/Residence Life for less than three years. The Vendor of the Year Award Intended to recognize outstanding contribution and commitment to the work and mission of the Association by a vendor. The Professional COLORS/Commiment to Social Justice Award Awarded to the individual who has done outstanding work in educating students, staff, and faculty of diversity related issues. Excellence in Operations Award Awarded to the individual(s) who have demonstrated excellence in housing operations, assignments, and/or facilities management.

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MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

MACUHO Awards 2012 Presidents Gavel

Shigeo Iwamiya

Nominated and Host Awards

Ann Webster New Professional Award

Morgan Sharpless

James Hurd Outstanding Service Award

Olan Garrett

David G. Butler Distingished Service Award

David Clurman

Vendor of the Year Award

Bar Z Adventures

Mid-Level Professional Award

Laura Randolph

Commitment to Social Justice Award

Tim Cherney

Excellence in Operations Award

Karen Kostelny

Host 2012 Chairs

David Clurman

Brian Medina

Outgoing Board Member Plaques - Committees

Recruitment & Retention Committee Co-Chair

Jane Sanchez

Rec., Educ., & Connections Committee Co-Chair

Dawn Ohanessian

Personal & Professional Development

AJ Nudo

Outgoing Board Member Plaques - Regional Coordinator’s

Delaware/Maryland Regional Coordinator

Joseph Uter

Central Pennsylvania Regional Coordinator

Sherri Sadowski

North East Pennsylvania Regional Coordinator

Chris Ottey

New Jersey

Lynn Riker

South East Pennsylvania

RJ Carroll

West Virginia Regional Coordinator

Stephanie Hurley

Outgoing Board Member Plaques - Officer’s/Director’s/Coordinator’s

Director of Annual Programs

Dana Severance

Macuho Magazine

Matthew LaBrasseur

Macuho Magazine Editor

Deborah Scheibler


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– TURNING 40, MACUHO MATURES – MACUHO’s 40th birthday only shows that,

launched a text-based evaluation system to reduce

like any good wine, we get better with time.

its own paper use for the conference. The Diversity

This year’s annual conference worked to high-

Committee hosted a service-learning project with

light the many wonderful years in MACUHO’s

Baltimore-based Moveable Feast, where partici-

history, providing hundreds of professionals

pants prepared hundreds of meals and discussed

with the context to the many changes clearly

this opportunity during the afternoon PDP session.

evident over four decades. The Tremont Plaza

Shigeo Iwamiya also unveiled our new asso-

Hotel and Grand space was a way to show how

ciation logo. We encourage you to go to www.

‘classy’ we can be while also maintaining our to see the new format, colors, and

core values and strengths as an association.

how this expresses a new chapter to MACUHO’s

For those who attended the conference,

history. These many changes were an effort to

you hopefully explored the many opportuni-

enhance and better emphasize the many great

ties offered to professionals in our field. Whether

things already accomplished through MACUHO now

you attended the Committee Expo, introduced

updated for an era filled with tweets and apps.

yourself to exhibitors, attended the many outstand-

Finally, we want to thank all of you who

ing workshops, or simply networked with col-

attended, volunteered, presented, and planned

leagues over good food, there was ample reason

for the 2012 Annual Conference. Without your

to be thankful for MACUHO’s “family-feel.”

participation and assistance, the Host Commit-

Attendees may have also noticed new initiatives for the annual conference. For those with smart-

tee would not have been able to provide such an amazing opportunity for so many in our region.

phones and tablets, the Guidebook App was a free download for conference attendees to manage their


schedule, check out vendor website information,

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and see the evening entertainment options without

David Clurman and Brian Medina

the use of a paper. The Program Committee also

Host 2012 Co-Chairs


MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

2012 Highlights by the numbers • Nearly 300 delegates representing over 140 college and universities registered • 56 workshops were presented over the 3 days of the conference • 47 exhibitors with 55 display booths attended the conference • 19 past presidents of MACUHO were in attendance • $4036 was raised from the annual basket raffle

Program Award Winners at the 2012 Annual Conference Region’s Best Marcellus Connor, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore “Tips and Tools to Becoming a Friendlier Housing Professional” Best Presentation by a New Professional Dillon Eppenstein, Philadelphia University - “The Declining Involvement of Men on Campus and the Impact of Men’s Expectations and Perceptions of College” Best 30-Minute Presentation Julie Mulé, Lafayette College - “Repairing Our “Ruef” Community” Best Poster Presentation Shelly Burkholder, Albright College - “The Ripple Effect: The Community Development Programming Model – Intentional Residence Education/Curriculum Programming” Turning 40, MACUHO Matures


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WI NTER IS SU E Turning 40, MACUHO Matures

Special Thanks to the Host Committee 2012!


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Martin Petrella

University of Delaware

Alexa Kline

Salisbury University

Nicole Rizzuto

College of Saint Elizabeth

Pananya Kamkourkong

Felician College

Kyle Stuber

Montclair State University

Samuel Case

Rowan University

Brandon Quiles

Rutgers University- Camden

Felix Gouanette

Shepherd University

Erin Hensley

Marshall University

Amanda Gilmore

DeSales University

James Thren

Shippensburg University

Huong Nguyen

Washington and Jefferson College

MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

Special Thanks to our Sponsors! AJ Stationers – Binders and Index Tab Dividers ASI Campus Laundry – CHO Reception Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions – NJ Regional Dinner Design Collective, Inc. – Casino Night, including Refreshments Chartwells – Host Shirts Foliot Furniture – Karaoke Night L.A.M. – Conference Bags MacGray – SEPA Regional Dinner Public Identity – Name Badges Stanley Security – Wireless Access

Turning 40, MACUHO Matures


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MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers


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Back in 2001, when I attended by first MACUHO conference in Cherry Hill, NJ, I sat in the

of both regional and interna-

leadership structure changed

tional associations of ACUHO-I.

through the year and created a

During my time, I tried to focus

group of individuals that made

audience towards the back of

my attention on learning beyond

me look amazing as well. Dana,

the room during the recogni-

the conference, and kick started

Grace, Shana, Jen, Olan, Derek

tion dinner and wondered who

our webinar program. I am glad

and Lulu, thanks for all the hard

all the people were on stage

I was able to use my connec-

work you did, and I couldn’t have

and listened to them talk about

tions that I have created through

done this without you! While

MACUHO. They spoke as if it was

the power of social media and

the Director team was hard at

the one of the most amazing

bring them on as presenters as

work, Sean, Joe, Greg, Crystal and

experience of their career. Their

well. I hope you were able to

Olan, I can’t even express how

stories were remarkable and I

participate in these amazing

much it meant to me to be part

was moved that an organization

programs throughout the year.

of this group. The elected officer

could have this kind of profound

Also, in anticipation of our

group helped me see the bigger

effect on so many people. At

40th Anniversary conference in

picture and showed me the way.

that very moment, I promised

Baltimore, MD, I started com-

A president is often defined

myself that I would someday

municating with our past presi-

by their supporters, and I have

be president of MACUHO.

dents. It was one of the most

to say, everything I did within

amazing experiences to be able

MACUHO is because the execu-

Reading, PA, I had my opportu-

to connect with all of the men

tive board was there to support

nity to make that promise come

and women that carried the gavel

me for every step of the way.

true. When taking the presidency,

before me. Many of the past

the one thing I promised myself

presidents shared their cherished

For everyone that was involved

is that when I look back when it

memories of their presidency and

in a committee, region or a task-

was all over, I wanted to say that I

helped me see the long line of

force, you are the reason that our

did it all without regret. It was an

amazing talent I represented as

association is where it is today.

absolute joy to get to know you,

well. Seeing so many of the past

It’s the programs at the confer-

and work on so many projects. I

presidents all in one room during

ences, it’s the placement confer-

got to see MACUHO in a whole

the 2012 conference will be an

ence that continues our growth,

different way, and got to connect

experience that I will never forget.

it’s the mentoring of the next

10 years later, in 2011, at

with so many other presidents 20 |


During 2011 and 2012, our

But the list doesn’t stop there.

generation, it’s our attention to

MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

construction and facilities, it’s our

towards our common goal of

and you gave me one of the

relationship with our vendors,

creating a better experience for

biggest opportunities that I could

it’s our recognition programs,

housing professionals, and thus,

possibly imagine. You essentially

it’s our regional drive-in confer-

creating a rich experience for our

were my spotlight that helped

ences, it’s our social justice ini-

students all around the region.

me shine. Thank you for allowing

tiatives, it is in our very fabric

I did my best to represent the

me to serve as your president,

of every little involvement and

association in a positive way and

and I am eternally humbled by all

commitment that our members

let the Housing and Residence

the support and love I received.

give to our association that

Life world know that there is

makes all of our programs work.

amazing talent in MACUHO. You


It has been humbling to watch

taught me everything I needed


all of our professionals work

to know to fulfill the presidency,


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Mid-Atlantic Placement Conference (MAPC) 2013 February 21 and 22, 2013 | Reading Crowne Plaza | Reading, PA By: Alexander Tsikerdanos

It is that time of the year again. The leaves have begun to turn and it feels like it will snow any day now. That means it is time to start thinking about the Mid-Atlantic Placement Conference (MAPC)! Since 1996 professionals have been using the MAPC to recruit and be recruited by the schools of the Mid-Atlantic region. Many recent graduates have found their starts in our field at Delaware, Lancaster, and now in Reading. Here are the top three reasons to attend the MAPC: • Low Cost. Attending a national conference can cost you hundreds of dollars. Early bird registration is only $70 for candidates and $95 for employers. With minimal travel costs, you cannot afford to pass this up. • Warm Atmosphere: The MAPC Host committee prides itself on creating an environment where candidates and employers can feel comfortable. • Stay Connected! The annual conference isn’t the only time to catch up with friends

Registration is open now, and Early-Bird

and colleagues! There are plenty of op-

registration ends January 21st. Sign up

portunities to catch up at the MAPC.

through the MACUHO website today!

Interest in the MAPC has continued to grow over

“Mid-Atlantic Placement Conference:

the years. The host site of last year’s annual con-

Making successful employment matches in

ference, the Reading Crowne Plaza was a great

the Mid-Atlantic Region since 1996!”

site for us last year’s MAPC and will be a great site this year. You will not find a more cost-effective and accessible opportunity. If you have been to the MAPC before, we hope that you will come back. If you have never been, join us in Reading!

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MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers


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TEN STEPS TOWARDS MOTIVATING STAFF By: Becky Falto, an Area Coordinator in the Office of Residence Life at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.

As we approach the start of a new semester, it’s a good time to review how your staff is doing and find ways to help them stay motivated now that the kickoff highs are over! This is especially challenging for student staff. Here are ten tips to help you keep your staff morale high.

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MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

1. Start by setting realistic expectations for

4. Challenge your staff and provide them with

yourself as a supervisor. While you play a significant

new experiences that can help them learn and

role in creating a work environment that is positive

grow. Balance having staff members work in their

for your staff, you need to remember that you can’t

strong areas with having them work on their weaker

single-handedly determine their level of enthusi-

areas as well. But don’t set them up for failure or

asm for the job or remove their personal obstacles

being overwhelmed. For example, don’t have them

and challenges. If you come into the job thinking

take the lead on designing event flyers if they truly

that you can do this, you will always feel like you

struggle with creative tasks; just don’t exclude

are coming up short. Instead, view yourself as the

them from these functions either. That person can

person who gives them the tools and surroundings

be part of a team to help plan the event publicity,

where success is possible. When a staff member

but the team should be led by someone who has

struggles, your role is to help them identify those

a genuine interest and talent for this kind of work.

challenges and the resources available to them.

Then, it is a win-win. When possible, create opportunities for staff to develop new skills, via resources

2. Reflect on your own work experiences and

such as manuals, training sessions, and attendance

look for times in your career when you’ve been

at professional development functions such as

most motivated. Why were you more moti-

MACUHO’s Student Staff Live-In (SSLI) conference.

vated then? What work conditions helped contribute to that feeling? What did your supervisor

5. Reward your staff in ways big and small for

do to help boost your morale and productiv-

a job well done. When staff members go above

ity? Can you create similar conditions for your

and beyond, praise their efforts in front of other

staff? Often the best way to figure out what

staff members to not only congratulate them but

your staff may need is to identify when you

also to inspire the others to do the same. Even

yourself have (or have not) had that need met.

when they have simply done a good job handling their regular job duties, do what you can to ac-

3. Get to know your staff and what their inter-

knowledge that what they’re doing is not always

ests and skills are. Try to assign work based on

fun or easy. For instance, when an RA on my staff

that information whenever possible and ap-

does a great job checking and prepping rooms

propriate. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy

before residents move in, I’ll offer to buy his or

to overlook this strategy during busy times and

her lunch on our budget as a thank you for a

it is so important for engaging staff and keeping

task that is very tedious and physically demand-

them interested. For example, suppose you super-

ing. It’s a small gesture but one they appreciate,

vise resident assistants who are planning a large-

which often motivates them to continue doing a

scale event. Why not assign the more artistic staff

good job. It shows them they’re appreciated.

members to handle the event publicity, while your more logical, detail-oriented staff members can

6. When a staff member is not meeting expecta-

handle gathering the needed supplies, and the

tions, address the issue privately. Speak with the

more outgoing, social ones can serve as facilitators

person one-on-one to better understand what

of the event? This is just a general example but it

factors may be contributing to the situation. For

pays to keep looking for ways to give staff leader-

instance, a staff member who is constantly forget-

ship opportunities which utilize their strengths.

ting deadlines may be having personal problems. This doesn’t mean you should let poor performance


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slide, but you may be able to help them figure

supplies. I firmly believe we should give our staffs

out solutions to the issue. Even when that is not

the same respect we would want because even if

possible and a staff member has to leave the job,

they are students, that doesn’t mean they don’t

it helps your reframe the situation for them as not

warrant common courtesy. I want my staff to see

an opportunity for them to work on improving their

that I give them the same consideration that I ask

circumstances instead of simply being “let go.”

of them, which can in turn help motivate them to be more balanced, productive employees.

7. Answer staff members’ questions as honestly as you can and empathize with them when

9. Provide staff with opportunities for social-

possible. Let them vent when stressed and let

izing with their peers on staff in positive ways.

them know they’re being heard—better they do

If your staff gets to know one another well, it will

so with you than with their peers on staff or with

help strengthen their bonds for stressful times. I’ve

non-staff, which can ruin morale and your depart-

heard it said that a sign of an effective manager is

ment’s reputation. Also, try to be as transparent as

one who can leave without the office falling apart,

possible—when appropriate, of course. This includes

and a key part of that is ensuring that your staff

admitting when you’re unsure of something or

members know they can trust and rely on one

have made a mistake. If you’ve ever had a supervi-

another. To create this dynamic, offer opportunities

sor shirk responsibility, dodge tough questions or

for them to go to dinner, attend an event together,

minimize your concern about a situation, then you

share compliments about one another both as

know how it feels. Try to avoid doing that to your

part of required trainings and as optional outings.

staff. They will be able to tell just as you can. Taking time to explain policy rational or the history of an

10. Although you may be their supervisor, be

issue goes a long way toward making your staff feel

willing to let them provide direction at times. They

you understand their concerns and care enough

will inevitably have great ideas and unique perspec-

to address them. If you want them to be honest

tives that you don’t. Make use of them. By imple-

with you, do your best to do the same with them.

menting their suggestions, they will feel validated and encouraged. You want them to feel engaged

8. Practice what you preach. If you tell your staff

with their work, and by taking direction from them

members about certain expectations you have

when it makes sense, you will help instill a sense of

for them but then consistently break your own

pride in the job that will go a long way in motivat-

rule, you cannot expect them to follow it. Take,

ing them to continue doing their best on the job.

for example, when I tell my staff when contacting me after hours is appropriate, and when it isn’t. I

These are just a few ideas on how to motivate

explain that although I “live-in,” I need space and

staff. More can be found by researching

time to myself just as they do. So, the same way

employee motivation. I recommend taking

I wouldn’t knock on their doors late for a minor

tips from a variety of sources. For instance,

issue, I ask the same from them. Then I follow my

when trying to motivate R.A. staff, I research

own rule. I don’t call them or go to their rooms

more than just residence life strategies. I also

during off-hours (barring anything urgent). Yet I’ve

seek ideas from corporate HR resources. This

worked with colleagues who sometimes see their

provides me with a multifaceted approach to

supervisor role as license to do otherwise, even

ensure I reach all members of my staff. I wish

going so far as to key into R.A. rooms to drop off

you good luck in doing the same for yours!

26 |


MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers


| 27



By: Jenn Thorpe, Sponsorship Coordinator • CALL US TOLL-FREE: 800.372.3165

28 |




MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

n 2011, MACUHO introduced

The program will be evaluated

the Corporate Partner Program.

by our partners themselves and

Corporate partner programs

by us, to ensure the success of the

are common in other asso-

program as it grows. Our corporate

ciations similar to ours. This

partners enjoyed their time in Bal-

program strengthens our financial

timore, and we enjoyed their par-

health and fortifies our relation-

ticipation in our events. If you are

ship with vendors. Past and current

interested in being involved in the

MACUHO vendors were invited to

Corporate Partner Program, please

partner with us and could enroll at

email Jenn at

three levels; Gold ($2,000), Silver ($1,000) or Bronze ($500). Exhibitors were casually surveyed at the annual conference in 2009, and research was done on similar types of programs. After many discussions at executive board meetings over a two year period, we were ready to launch. A page was added to the MACUHO website for vendors so that they could access advertising, sponsorship and exhibiting information easily. The Corporate Partner Program was also detailed on this new page. There was much success during the inaugural year as five corporate partners enrolled. In

Thank you to our Corporate Partners!

2012, we have doubled that support with 10 corporate partners. The program helps support the

Gold Butler Woodcraft

annual conference and scholarships


for our members. Reciprocally, long-

On Campus Marketing

time and new vendors benefit from

Savoy & Sons

the added value of being a partner

University Loft Co.

(for more details on the levels of

US Postal Solutions

sponsorship and benefits included, go to and click on the


“Sponsors� tab.) Added promotion

Adirondack Solutions, Inc.

in publications and at events keeps

Caldwell & Gregory

their support known year-round. In

Image Team Outfitters

addition, partners have access to our

The Brill Company

directory to continue establishing relationships that are mutually beneficial.


| 29




It was before the crack of

tation on Neighborhood Em-

theme of the MACUHO-SSLI

dawn when three University of

powerment Teams also known

Conference, Project: Inspira-

Delaware vehicles pulled up to

as NET at the University of

tion, resonated for students

the Perkins Student Center in

Delaware. As a new professional

and professionals like.

preparation for the two and a

staff member at the University of

After attending presenta-

half-hour drive to the MACUHO

Delaware, it was amazing to hear

tions, learning best practices

Student Staff Live-In (SSLI) Con-

RAs discuss their passion for

from various institutions, gaining

ference 2012 at Rutgers-Newark.

student engagement and share

leadership skills by facilitat-

11 eager and excited Resident As-

experiences and practices that

ing presentations, observing

sistants piled into the three vans

truly work in their floor commu-

the structure of the Rutgers-

and got comfortable for the trip

nities. It was also refreshing to

Newark campus, and getting to

up the New Jersey Turnpike from

see the RAs discuss challenges

know their fellow RAs better,

Newark, Del. to Newark, N.J.

and ways to improve the NET en-

each University of Delaware RA

vironment in their communities.

walked away from the MACUHO

Nine out of the eleven RAs representing the University

I attended RA Patrick

SSLI Conference with a uniquely

of Delaware presented at the

DeRosa’s presentation on the

amazing experience. RA

MACUHO SSLI conference on a

Five Practices of Exemplary

Madison Helmick commented

wide variety of topics ranging

Leadership, and I was extremely

on how Rutgers-Newark was

from engagement strategies

impressed at both his ability to

such a beautiful campus, and

and community development to

articulate James Kouzes’ and

she spoke about how apprecia-

sustainability initiatives. Each

Barry Posner’s five principles,

tive she was of the experience

RA integrated their own experi-

and that he was able to make

to attend a conference and meet

ence and practices into their

tangible connections between

RAs with such diverse experi-

presentations. Not only did they

each principle and the RA role.

ences. Each RA was reenergized

thoroughly enjoy the presenta-

More than 40 undergraduate

and excited to bring their new

tion experience, but each RA

students, graduate students, and

ideas back to the University of

also learned something new

new professionals attended this

Delaware. The trip from Newark,

about their leadership style.

presentation. It was evident that

DE to Newark, NJ inspired many

many individuals were inspired

RAs to integrate the knowl-

Helmick, Martin Petrella, and

by each of the principles and mo-

edge learned into their own

Marianna Fleish, practiced their

tivated to bring their experiences

practice and to continue explor-

presentation on the drive up to

back to their home institutions.

ing their own leadership style.

Throughout all of the pre-

Project: Inspiration – Success!

One group of RAs, Madison

the Rutgers-Newark campus. These three facilitated a presen30 |


sentations, it was clear that the

MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

REC Encourages You To…

STAY CONNECTED After the Annual Conference

Network with staff outside


of your department over lunch Support or help organize an event within your region




Appreciation Day


Video Thank You


Build connections on the site through your MACUHO profile

DID YOU KNOW? REC would like you to take the opportunity in 2013 to recognize all the hard work that our region’s student staff members do! International RA Appreciation Day will be quickly approaching Wednesday, February 20th! This is a day to recognize the outstanding efforts and accomplishments of Residence Life paraprofessionals everywhere. Celebrate and recognize your RAs, CAs, SAs, RCs, etc. Whoever your student staff is at your institution in a special way!! Look out for more information & ideas on the MACUHO website in early February 2013.

Favorite Candy Gifts

Write a Poem

Decorate Staff Doors


| 31



The Volunteer Incentive Program in 1,2,3 & Why It Matters By: Erin Hensley, Marshall University 1) Professional Development sdBeing involved in the Vol-

Why does it matter? The Volunteer Incentive Program is an outstand-

unteer Incentive Program

ing way to get students professionally involved

opened my eyes to the world

in Student Affairs. As a current undergraduate

of professional develop-

student and senior, attending the MACUHO con-

ment. I realized how impor-

ference further solidified my decision to pursue a

tant conferences are to stay

career in this profession. By combining opportuni-

up-to-date on current and

ties for professional development, mentoring, and

future practices and how ben-

networking, I was able to learn how to become a

eficial they can be for institutions. This experi-

more involved future professional and how to transi-

ence prompted me to become involved in national

tion into the field. Because of the Volunteer Incen-

and regional organizations in the near future.

tive Program, I am more aware of opportunities in regards to committee work, leadership positions,

2) Mentoring One of the most helpful aspects of the Volunteer

research, publishing, and conference involvement. It was an incredible learning experience, and on

Incentive Program was connecting with a mentor.

behalf of all of the VIPs, I would like to thank all

I was able to meet with someone from a differ-

of you for your hospitality and for the chance to

ent institution and gain insight on the profession.

attend the 2012 MACUHO Annual Conference.

While meeting with my mentor, I learned about graduate programs, interview tips, how to get my foot in the door in regards to publishing, and more!

How can you use it? As student affairs professionals, you may not see the Volunteer Incentive Program as some-

3) Networking

thing that you yourself can utilize; however, the

The Most challenging portion of the con-

possibilities are endless! If you would like to be

ference was networking, but it was also very

directly involved, volunteer to be a mentor for

helpful. I was given many opportunities to talk

a potential future professional or get involved

with current students and professors from

in the recruitment and retention committee.

graduate programs of my interest, was given

Both of those are great ways to interact and

tips on how to successfully network in the

give back to the student affairs community.

future, and why this is crucial in the field.

Aside from mentoring and committee work, I urge you to advertise the program to your current students or staff. It’s an incredible experience, and a great opportunity for anyone interested in entering the field. Promote the program, and hopefully it will have even more applications to choose from next year!

32 |


MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

In November, I was fortunate

genuine, intelligent, and char-

enough to attend the 40th annual

ismatic people I have ever had

MACUHO Conference as one

the pleasure of meeting. I was

of twelve students in the Vol-

amazed how quickly we bonded

unteer Incentive Program (VIP)

with each other and became

selected from a pool of over 80

friends. We are still in touch and

applicants. As excited as I was

following each other’s progress.

when I found out I was accepted

Possibly the most uplifting

into the program, the experi-

moment at the conference was

ence far exceeded my expecta-

the honor of meeting Mr. Thomas

tions. I expected to learn more

Pierce. Hearing his story and that

about student affairs and hone

of his daughter reminded me

my skills, and I did. However,

how important it is to fully live

what I got out of the confer-

your life, to appreciate the people

ence on a deeper, inspirational

around you, and to love the career

level was even more beneficial.

you choose for yourself. His in-

In the three days of the con-

domitable optimism touched all

ference, my interest in the field

of all of the VIP students, and we

days quickly evolved to match

will never forget that Lisa Pierce

everyone else’s passion. I guess

is at the heart of the program

that I “caught the MACUHO bug.”

that we were able to enjoy.

The group’s warm, friendly, and

With all my new connections

positive attitudes made me want

and a plethora of invaluable

to be a part of that community

advice, I left the MACUHO Confer-

more than ever. I certainly did

ence feeling energized, confident,

not have to look far to attain that

and ready to tackle the applica-

feeling of acceptance; all of the

tions that were waiting for me

professionals were more than

back at home in Pennsylvania.

happy to welcome us and mentor

To everyone who was involved

us throughout the conference.

in giving us all this opportunity,

Whether it was offering candid

and to everyone who mentored

advice, a complete makeover to

us while we were there, please

my résumé, or simply a business

know that the VIP program had

card paired with a smile and

a lasting impact on me and my

the invitation “let me know if

professional ambitions. From

you need anything,” it seemed

a student who experienced it

that everyone I spoke with was

firsthand, I thank you so much.

willing to share their experience and time to help me. It didn’t stop with the professionals, though. The other eleven

Sincerely, Amanda Gilmore DeSales University, PA

VIP students are some of the most MACUH O

| 33



Developing a new brand for MACUHO By: Sean P. Killion, Associate Director for University Housing & Residential Life at Temple University


ike, Coke, McDon-

a Pepsi fan) or attempting to sell

level administrators are finally

alds, Walt Disney,

me cigarettes by using cartoon

considering the experiences and

Apple, BMW,

characters like Joe the Camel

resources that have a transfor-

Target, and South-

(yes, believe it or not, before

mative affect on students and

west Airlines...

the early 1990s, cigarette com-

lead to improving retention. For

what do these companies have

panies targeted advertising to

years, those in the housing and

in common? BRANDING. Ac-

children). What, you might ask,

residential life areas have known

cording to BrandZ’s fourth annual

does this have to do with me, my

of our importance; however,

ranking of the top brands in the

role in higher education or, more

more and more universities are

world, in 2009, a year of global

importantly, our housing field?

stressing the importance of on-

economic turmoil, when every key

The answer is quite simple.

campus, residential experiences

financial indicator plummeted, the

Over the course of the next

and are looking to partner with

value of the top 100 brands in-

decade, the number of college-

our departments to illustrate

creased by 2 percent to $2 trillion.

age students entering our

the value of living on-campus.

Growing up during the 1980s and

colleges and universities will

1990s, I was exposed to many

continue to decrease. Coupled

as building a perception of your

attempts by companies to market

with the fact of increases in

organization in the mind of con-

and brand their products to me,

tuition and decreases in state

sumers. In many cases, brands

whether they were trying to sell

funding, students have seen a

help consumers relate to orga-

popular consumer products,

steady increase in the overall

nizations in a human way that

like Coke and Pepsi during the

cost of their college education.

evokes feelings, emotions, at-

Cola Wars (sorry, Coke, but I’m

Now, more than ever, senior-

titudes, and beliefs. Through

3 4 |


Branding is simply defined

MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

brands, consumers feel more con-

The research firm said the year

As MACUHO celebrated its 40th

nected to a company and hence

got off to a slow start but hit $128

anniversary in Baltimore, MD this

build stronger relationships. The

billion by the end of March, with

past November, the Executive

process of developing environ-

that month in particular jumping

Board determined that one of

ments that help our students

4.5 percent year-over-year.

the priorities it wanted to focus

build relationships is exactly

Internet advertising grew by 12.1

on was the creation of a new

what we do in housing; however,

percent, the most of any media

MACUHO logo and branding

we rarely take credit for it nor

channel, but still only accounted

document to help the asso-

do we align ourselves strategi-

for 2.6 percent of the quarter’s

ciation improve its brand and

cally within our organizations to

total ad spend (equivalent to

value to its members. Given

capitalize on building our brand.

outdoor advertising’s spend

that in recent years, we have

share). Meanwhile TV dollars

invested in improved communi-

Office of University Housing and

rose by 2.8 percent and ate up

cations and enhanced informa-

Residential Life has worked to

61.9 percent of total ad spend.”

tion technology as directed by

build a stronger brand within the

According to a June 25, 2012

our strategic plan, it seemed

University community and has

article in Advertising Age, the

like the appropriate next step to

partnered with several depart-

increases seen the nation’s 100

consider developing and execut-

ments to ensure it remains vital

biggest advertisers in 2011,

ing a new brand for the future.

to the organization while inte-

boosting total U.S. ad spending

grating its brand with the Uni-

by 4.8%, hasn’t been seen in

next strategic planning initia-

versity’s brand. This process is

traditional outlets. Money is

tive, my hope is that we will

an example of integrated mar-

being diverted into unmeasured

continue to place a high impor-

keting communications and is

disciplines such as various digital

tance on marketing and branding

seen throughout all successful

plays including search marketing,

in our profession and associa-

businesses around the world.

online video and some forms

tion as this will be an important

At Temple University, the

As MACUHO launches the

area for us in the future.

“Branding is simply defined as building a perception of your organization in the mind of consumers.” According to the July 10th, 2012

of social media, promotion and

For more information about

edition of AdWeek, “Between the

direct marketing. According to

marketing and branding strate-

Olympics and the U.S. presiden-

the article, the appeal is clear.

gies in housing and higher edu-

tial election, 2012 is a biggie for

Marketers are putting money into

cation, feel free to contact Sean

brands, so much so that they got

disciplines that directly connect

Killion at

out of hibernation early. The first

them with targeted consumers.

quarter is usually quiet for adver-

The idea of directly connect-

tisers, but the period’s global ad

ing to your target consumer has

spend increased by 3.1 percent

major implications for our profes-

from last year, according to

sion considering the trends we

Nielsen’s Global AdPulse Report.

are seeing in higher education.

Developing a new brand for MACUHO


| 35



RA TRAINING GOES CONFERENCE -STYLE By: Stephen Flemming, Resident Director, Rowan University

As professionals in the field, we often get opportunities to partici“It was nice to have different work-

pate in local and regional confer-

shops that we chose to go to because

ences. During the experience, we

we personally thought we would benefit

make new connections and collect

from them. It was also nice to see return-

innovative ideas about topics we

ing Resident Assistants present infor-

want to learn more about. Even

mation that they thought was relevant

better, we are learning from people

and valuable. It also showed that they

who have been there and done

have taken something away from the

that. Why shouldn’t such a re-

job that was necessary for those taking

warding experience be available to

on the job to know. It was not only in-

student staff? Why not bring this

formative, but also interactive, which

fun, unique style of learning home?

helped get conversation going and

Last summer, first-year RAs at

allowed for the newer Resident Assis-

Rowan University experienced a

tants to meet their fellow employees.”

returner-led conference—a new

-Resident Assistant (RA) Kaitlin Kemp

addition to the annual training schedule. Returning RAs led sessions on topics that they felt would benefit the first-year RAs.

36 |


“Having the conference led by return-

The forty-five minute presenta-

ing RAs provided a more down-to-

tions were divided into sessions to

earth experience, which made the

provide participants with a variety

conference more relaxed, enjoyable,

of topics to choose from. Begin-

and easier to get along with everyone.

ning with a whole-group address

Also, the returners were able to convey

and ending with recognition of

relevant information that had helped

those involved in planning and

them in their past experiences.” –

executing the event, the day was

John Gaffney, a fellow first-year RA

truly a conference experience.

MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

A Different Way of Learning As we progress through grade

on the individual. They become

year staff to hear from people

responsible for their own learning

other than their supervisors.

school, there is very little choice

and, in turn, absorb more infor-

associated with learning. Even

mation they find to be necessary.

in colleges and universities,

Within the RA group there

This style is not only beneficial for the first-years. To develop a command of a certain topic and

academic programs prescribe

are very helpful, and sometimes

build a presentation, the pre-

an extensive list of core require-

underutilized, sources of knowl-

senter must become comfort-

ments and general education

edge. They can provide first-

able with that topic. Odds are,

courses that leave little room for

hand accounts of what it’s like

as they plan their presentations,

electives. Motivation and learning

to be an RA at your institution.

your presenters will also learn

are very closely linked. For one to

They have been in the trenches.

something. Furthermore, ques-

truly learn there must be incen-

They are, of course, your return-

tions will very likely arise during

tive to do so. If an RA chooses to

ing RAs. The conference-style

the presentations to challenge the

go to a particular session of this

training provides an opportu-

presenter. These are all helpful

conference, they are more likely

nity for collaborative learning

in that they help make the pre-

to gain from it. Choice is impor-

that encourages a partnership

senter stronger in that area.

tant to the learning process as

between first-year and returning

it places a level of responsibility

staff. It also allows for the first-


| 37


Factors That Matter

best presentations is a proposal

this. You could choose someone

form. On it, RAs can list who they

who was an RA years ago at

planning a conference is not

are working with, the topic of

your institution or a town icon.

always an easy task. A lot

their presentation, a brief outline

Just remember, the goal of the

goes into making a conference

of the material covered, and any

key note is to give the group

happen, even a home-grown

materials they may need. From

something to take with them

conference. Recruiting people

there, your team can decide

when they leave their chairs.

to present, screening presenta-

relevance of the presentation

tions, and evaluating the confer-

topic to first-year RAs and select

sessions, have a graduate or pro-

ence are all factors that matter.

the presentations accordingly.

fessional staff member outside

As many readers can attest,

Usually, larger events such as

Group the presentations so

of each room to monitor how

this will require collaboration

there are a variety of topics for

crowded it gets. That person

between multitudes of people.

each session. If you have three

could also sit in on the presen-

Some of those individuals may

different proposals for program-

tation. This person can also

be on the forefront, such as your

ming, distribute those amongst

distribute a written evaluation

fellow graduate and professional

the different sessions instead

and for ushering the RAs to

staff members. There are the

of having them in one session.

where they need to be next.

people who book the rooms, set

Look closely at logistics; limit

up the rooms, print the programs,

the amount of chairs in each

and provide the catering. There

room so that each presentation

is nothing wrong with one person

gets a reasonable audience.

taking the lead on the project, but delegation is a must. The biggest question is will

Evaluation and Recognition Your RAs have gone to their sessions and had lunch. Now, it’s time to bring the whole

It’s Go Time! So conference day is here! Your

group back together and close your conference. This is the

it be a requirement that all re-

returners are pumped for what

perfect opportunity for you to

turning staff must present? If

may be their first time presenting

process the event and recognize

participation is mandatory,

and your first-years are anxious

everyone that made it possible.

consider working as a team

about what may be their first

Ask probing questions for both

to mindfully group returners

“conference”. Choose who will

the presenters and the first-year

to present together. If it is not

address the group as a whole.

RAs. What was it like for you to

mandatory, your team will need

During that address, make sure

learn this way? What did you like

to gather interest and deter-

your rules for the conference

about it? Did you enjoy present-

mine who will present. Those

are clear and give directions to

ing? What would you like to see

that do not present can partici-

where the sessions will be. In

change for next year? These are

pate in the conference alongside

addition to covering that, it may

all questions that could stimu-

the first-year staff members.

be fun to have a key note speaker

late conversation and provide

of some sort. Be creative with

information for you as you

An effective way to choose the

38 |

As the RAs disperse to their


MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

plan for next year’s training.

Cloud-Hosted, Package Logging and Notification Software

It is extremely important to recognize everyone who made the event possible, especially the presenters. Making certificates for the presenters acknowledging their contribution is a great way of saying thank you. You

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and your team can decide if you

■ Reduce time spent on packages

■ Reporting and management tools

would like to do this publicly

■ Alert by email and SMS

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during the closing or privately.

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■ Intuitive design and functionality

■ Improves student experience

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■ Nothing to download, nothing to install

Speaking from past experiences, I know many RAs enjoyed being recognized in front of their peers. Recognition of graduate and professional staff members is also important, but a verbal commendation would suffice. RA training teaches the ins and outs of the RA job. RAs learn how to mediate situations, confront incidents, build community, and work as a team, but, more importantly, RAs learn to interact with each other, respect differences, and manage their time effectively. Most importantly, the groundwork is laid for a cohesive, working family. The returner-led conference comple-

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| 39




WITH IPADS Barbara Lea-Kruger

40 |


Move-in is one of the most exciting and

campus until they were fully checked into

emotional days for students and parents.

their rooms,” said Douglas Berger, execu-

It is also the first introduction to college

tive director of Business Services who is

life for many residents. Manage move-in

in charge of Penn’s Residential Services.

poorly, and the frustration and dissatis-

“Although we had recently transitioned to

faction residents experience can have a

an online housing assignments program,

negative impact that will take a long time

there was a disconnect between our new

MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

for staff, and the institution as a whole, to overcome. But managed successfully, move-in can create a sense of pride in the institution and leave both parents and students feeling secure and comfortable. “The common vision across all of our departments is to ‘Set the Standard,’ and that means ensuring that move-in for each of our residents and their families is a singularly enjoyable and efficient event,” said Marie Witt, vice president of University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Business Services that oversees Residential Services. “To reach that goal I asked our staff to push beyond the routine and look for innovative ways to improve our operations.” That can be a tall order. Each year, the University of Pennsylvania welcomes over 6,700 residents in 11 college houses.

streamlined assignments technology and the paper-based registration process which was a legacy of our previous system.” According to Berger, his staff realized

The campus is situated in the densely-

that in order to solve this problem they

populated, urban neighborhood of West

needed a technology that would easily

Philadelphia, where crowded city streets,

deliver information from the database

limited parking, on-going construction and

to the complex “on the street” op-

historic structures are the norm. But the

eration. Following the example of their

staff embraced Witt’s challenge and un-

student residents – the department

dertook a comprehensive look at its op-

made the decision to go mobile.

erations to determine if there were ways to make service delivery even better. Given the location, the natural assump-

Using wireless devices made it possible to overcome the limitations of data lines and power sources. After comparing

tion was that there needed to be a way

options, the decision was made to use the

to improve traffic flow to ease conges-

Apple iPad which had the functionality that

tion. But after reviewing every aspect of

was needed. The staff was familiar with

their process, staff found that managing

the device, meaning there was no need to

traffic wasn’t the problem. Where the

invest in training. Based on an analysis of

process fell short was in the paperwork.

annual arrival data, it was determined that

“When we mapped it all out, we realized

30 devices could handle the daily volume

that move-in required 29 independent

with a few extra on hand to address battery

steps from the moment students arrived on

drainage and any potential damage.



| 41


But identifying a mobile technology was only

The good news is that not a single one was lost!

part of the solution. “The device only takes you

Not only did the mobile solution help make opera-

so far,” said Nathan Cochran, strategic planning,

tions more efficient, it improved the bottom line.

reporting and assessment coordinator for the

Berger expects that the cost for purchasing the

department, who headed up this project. “The

mobile devices and all related expenses (such as

more critical piece was developing a way to allow

customizing the software and database) will be

staff to quickly and easily input all of the data

offset in just two years. This includes savings from

required to check students into their rooms.”

a reduction in operational and printing costs.

Residential Services had recently moved

According to Berger, the technology was so simple

its housing assignments data to Star-Rez, and

to use that the time it took to train the part-time

Cochran and the University’s IT staff worked

student workforce that is hired each year to help

closely with the company’s developers to create

manage move-in was significantly curtailed. Some

a seamless interface. In the end, they were able

of the savings comes from finding other uses for

to leverage the web portal through the iPad

the technology. Penn now has a mobile strategy for

to enable staff to simply swipe a student’s ID

on-call staff to access the key system and the mobile

card to obtain the necessary information, elimi-

database 24 hours a day allowing the building op-

nating the need for any manual data entry.

erations team to go almost completely paperless.

However, the fact that some students, such

The advantages of this mobilization for the

as the majority of freshman, arrived without

move-in process have also extended beyond

a university ID card still had to be managed.

the projected financial savings. Since staff were

This time the answer was easier.

not tied to their desks for the month prior to

It was determined that using Quick Response

move-in preparing thousands of paper data

(QR) codes would solve this problem. Using Mi-

cards, they had more time to devote to room in-

crosoft Word, relevant information could be trans-

spections. As a result, complaints about unpre-

ferred to a QR code that could then be labeled

pared rooms or damaged furnishings declined.

on each individual key package. This code, when

But the biggest benefit was that staff was no

scanned with the iPad’s built in camera, was

longer primarily focused on operations.

able to perform a resident check-in with the

“We were able to check-in residents liter-

same efficiency and ease as a card swipe.

ally standing on the side of the street,” said

“With a simple swipe or a quick snapshot,

Cochran. “Lines at our check-in stations were

we eliminated 7,000 printed data cards and

totally eliminated, allowing our staff and vol-

14,000 custom printed labels that were previ-

unteers to spend their time actively engaging

ously needed to issue the 15,000 keys we distrib-

all of our residents and their families which

uted to residents each year,” Cochran explained.

greatly enhanced the move-in experience.”

In addition to finding an easy technical solution,

Berger added, “Daring to transform our existing

the security of both the mobile devices and the data

process, leveraging the latest available tech-

was also a critical concern. To address these issues,

nologies, and having a staff willing to embrace

staff utilized the iPad’s built-in technology which

the initiative were key elements to our success

made it possible to disable any device and wipe

and enabled us to provide the experience we

it clean of data if necessary. Each device was also

sought to achieve for our campus community.”

branded with Residential Services information and registered with Penn’s Department of Public Safety.

42 |



MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers


| 43



Repairing our ‘Ruef’ Community By: Julie A Mule’ Associate Director of Residence Life, Lafayette College


clause about

down the center of the build-

machinery: community billing.


ing’s spiral staircase. Investi-

The costs were enough to

damage billing

gation of the incidents did not

charge each resident a nominal

exists in most

uncover the actors responsible.

fee. The Assessment for

housing con-

What we did find was a lack

Damage clause in our housing

tracts - but what is its purpose?

of intervention and account-

contract gave us the right to

To recoup losses? To sanction

ability by the residents of the

bill on a per capita basis. We

students for unacceptable

building. As is often the case,

agreed that it was a sound plan.

behavior? To remind residents

we believed that these acts did

they have responsibilities as

not go unobserved. Yet ,they

about it, the more I realized

members of a community?

were not reported or stopped

that billing alone wouldn’t

by those who witnessed them.

achieve what we really wanted

Last year, Lafayette College experienced frequent acts of

4 4 |

Our initial response was to go

However, the more I thought

for this group. Billing alone

vandalism in one of the predom-

into our tool box and pull out

would actually be the easy

inantly first-year buildings, Ruef

our trusty tools: e-mail notifica-

way out for most of these

Hall. Initially, the disruption

tions, floor meetings and RA fol-

residents. Our demographic is

consisted of noise and a high

low-ups. They are worthwhile

socioeconomically affluent. I

level of activity. Over time, the

tactics, but they were not the

surmised that, in most cases,

disruption changed to destruc-

right tools for this job. In the

the bill would be paid by the

tion in the form of ripped down

meantime, the cleaning, repair

parent, and there would be no

flyers and bulletin boards, trash

and replacement bills kept piling

consequence to the student.

left in common areas, and food

up, and the behavior continued.

What would they learn?

and other items being dropped

It was time to bring in the heavy


MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers

Then, I had a thought. This job

students would be exempt from

for one incident and pay restitu-

required something different—

the community damage billing.

tion for the damage caused. In

something new. We needed a

Students who did not participate

our conversations with students

way to show the residents that it

would split the repair and resti-

and in te essays submitted, we

is important to take pride in their

tution charges for the building.

heard acknowledgement that

living environment and clean up

The events involved hanging

had they gotten involved when

their own messes. They needed

bulletin boards, creating appre-

they saw people behaving in a

an opportunity to improve their

ciation cards for the custodians,

manner that was disrespectful to

surroundings, to be a part of the

clean-up activities, and reflective

the community, they could have

solution, and to demonstrate

essay writing. The initiative was

possibly stopped some vandalism.

they care about each other and

carried out over four weeks.

their building. They needed a

The building residents were

“This is a piece of information

chance to play a role in maintain-

contacted via email and invited

that that I will take with me and

ing a welcoming and respectful

to participate. The RA staff

employ in the future communities

environment and a way to get

promoted the events with their

that I live in” wrote one resident.

involved and educate each other.

residents. A professional staff member greeted participants at

Beyond these positive results

A new idea was born: The Ruef

each event and led a brief dis-

within the affected community,

Community Action Initiative.

cussion about community living

we learned several things from

by encouraging them to share

this initiative:

The learning outcomes

their thoughts and feelings about

for the program were:

the actions which prompted the

1) involve every student in a

initiative. Once the five events

it is never too late to step

specific action in support

were completed, non participat-

in to help.

of the community

ing residents were contacted

2) encourage feeling of

about a last chance to be a part

• Don’t write off a community;

• Don’t be afraid to get in there with the students.

ownership for the resi-

of the program: a reflective essay

dence community

addressing the question, “What

disruptive behaviors will

have I learned from living in the

help bond them together

Ruef community and how will I

against the acts.;

3) prompt students to intervene as by-standers

use this knowledge in my future The initiative consisted of five events designed to improve the cleanliness of the hall, to exhibit

communities”? Submissions were reviewed and awarded credit. Overall, we were pleased – even

• Making students aware of

• We needed to find a safe way for them to tell us things. • In the future, use the creative methods sooner.

appreciation for the role each

surprised – by the results. Of the

person plays in the community

143 residents in Ruef, 112 partici-

(including the custodial staff),

pated (78%). During the four week

spurred some new initiatives be-

and to consider how the actions

span of events, there were no

ginning this academic year. We

of the few can affect the entire

additional billable damages. The

now send out timely notices to a

community. To entice students

nuisance incidents that plagued

community announcing that an

to participate, we developed

the community came to a halt.

act of vandalism has occurred

a hook. In acknowledgment

We even had a student come

of their efforts, participating

forward to take responsibility

Reflection on this experience

and provide details. To encourage students to provide infor-


| 45


mation about the incident, we

students to prompt reflection

leave you with an excerpt from

established an anonymous tipline

on the negative consequences

an essay submitted by a resident

that students access via a link

of their behavior on the commu-

which reinforced that our initia-

from our department homepage.

nity. This approach demonstrates

tive had some positive results.

Utilizing an online survey tool, we

to all students that the depart-

created a simple report that asks

ment is committed to supporting

only for the date and location

a healthy living environment as

power of bystander action. Since

of the incident and whatever

we let residents know when an

the Ruef Community Action Initia-

information they have to share.

incident is “solved” and commu-

tive was established a month ago,

This semester, we have received

nity billing is no longer necessary.

I have seen a change not only in

over a dozen reports through

Community damage is an

“I have also learned the sheer

the way my fellow floor mates

the tipline, many of which helped

unfortunate distraction and

interact but also in the way the

identity the responsible parties.

disturbance that plagues many

community as a whole behaves.”

Not only have we been able to

residential environments. With

appropriately assign repair costs

a bit of effort and creativity, we

to the responsible individual,

can show our support for the staff

but we have also met with these

and try to effect change. I will

46 |


MACU H O MAGA ZI N E MACUHO Mid-Atlantic Association of College & University Housing Officers


Business Operations

Annual Programs


Membership Development

Training and Development

Strategic Initatives








Drexel University



Vice President/President Elect

Fairmont State University




Georgian Court University




University of Maryland- College Park



Past President

Rutgers University-Newark



Director of Business Operations

Lafayette College



Co Chair Corporate Relations

York College



Co Chair Corporate Relations Co Chair Housing & Facilities

Chestnut Hill College



Co Chair Housing & Facilities

Penn State University



Social Media Coordinator

Drexel University



Magazine Editor

Philadelphia University Townson University



Director of Annual Programs



Co Chair Program

Cabrini College



Co Chair Program

Widener University



Host 2013

LaRoche College



Host 2013

LaRoche College



Host 2013

West Virginia University



Director Of Information Technology

Deleware Valley College



Webmaster / Systems Analyst

Philadelphia University



Director Of Membership Development

Temple University



RC PA Central

Lebanon Valley College



RC DC Metro

University of Maryland- College Park



RC DC Metro

Cathlotic University of America




Townson University




Mount St. Marys




Lycoming College








Felician College



RC PA West

Millersville University




Villanova University St. Joseph’s University






RC West Virginia



RC West Virginia

West Virginia University



Director of Training and Development

Temple University



Co Chair Diversity

William Paterson University



Co Chair Diversity Grade Student Task Force

Rutgers University-Newark



Co Chair Personal and Professional Development

Lafayette College



Co Chair Personal and Professional Development

Maryland Institution College of Art



Co Chair Recogonition, Education, and Connections

Seton Hall University



Co Chair Recogonition, Education, and Connections

Stevens Institute of Technology



Director Strategic Initiatives

Villanova University



Co Chair Recruitment and Retention

Sheppard University


Lori Ann

Co Chair Recruitment and Retention

Montclair State University



Archives Coordinator MACUH O

| 47

Profile for MACUHO Magazine

MACUHO Magazine December 2012  

Official publication of MACUHO

MACUHO Magazine December 2012  

Official publication of MACUHO