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Mission of the UMR-ACUHO Magazine The Communications Committee provides the UMR-ACUHO membership with an opportunity for information sharing, professional dialogue, and a forum for ideas to increase the knowledge, wisdom, and excellence in our field.

Committee Members Cassie Schmiling

The University of Iowa Committee Chair

Brooks Hetle

Kansas State University

Bryce Nussbaum

Dakota State University

Kash Dhanapal

Northwest Missouri State University

Grace Bjornson

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Dave Arnold

Kansas State University

Jordan Baumgartner Iowa State University Jeanne Keyser

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Josey Fog

St. Olaf College

Rebecca Peine

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Kyle Haiman

Gustavus Adolphus College

Liz Hanley

North Dakota State University

Tony Och

St. Catherine University

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES Articles should be limited to approximately 1500 words long (may be edited for length or content) and include a separate head shot of the author(s). Articles should be sent preferably through e-mail (in Microsoft Word format). If there are particular fonts or graphics that you would prefer, please include them with your submission. To receive feedback on your article, please be sure to submit 15 days prior to the deadline. Please send articles via e-mail to:

UMR-ACUHO NON-DISCRIMINATION CLAUSE UMR-ACUHO promotes and provides an environment of full opportunity and service for all persons regardless of ethnicity, creed/ religion, age, gender, disability, sexual/affectional orientation, or any human circumstance. The Association will not arbitrarily discriminate in its programs, procedures, or activities. Cover design & Magazine Layout Able Printing Company 623 N Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502

Chair Note Greetings, UMR-ACUHO! I hope you are having an enjoyable spring semester and close to the academic year. Thank you for setting aside time for the latest issue of Perspectives. In January, the 2014 Communications Committee met at the annual UMR-ACUHO winter meetings in Des Moines. Thank you to the committee and the UMR-ACUHO Executive Committee for an excellent and productive trip! The commitee had a lot of fun together and brainstormed some fabulous ideas and themes for the next three issues. The group is full of energy and creativity! You may notice a few changes in this issue. First, we’ve started including the photos of all of the Executive Committee members to make their faces more known and approachable to the membership. Second, authors can now submit their contact information or social media identities in the bylines of their articles. Our hope is that members will reach out to authors and continue to learn and converse about the topics presented in the magazine. Finally, and my favorite new addition, we’ve started a new section of the magazine! Housing Humor is a new section added to the back of the magazine. The purpose is for members to submit those funny, everyday anecdotes that happen in our profession. It can be anything from unlikely mishaps to hilarious moments with our colleagues or students. A big thanks to our committee members, Kyle Haiman and Josey Fog, for getting this page started by sharing their own stories. If you would like to submit something for Housing Humor, you can send it to any member of our committee just like you would an article. This year UMR-ACUHO is celebrating its 45th anniversary. The theme ties in the conference theme of, “Telling Our Story” with the 45th anniversary. It is “Telling the Story of Who We Are: 45 Years of UMR”. Submissions are due July 7th. Please consider submitting an article around the theme or for any of our sections of the magazine. If you are interested in writing and would like to talk to someone about the process, please contact myself or any of our committee members. We are happy to consult with authors through the writing process. Again, thank you for your continued involvement in UMRACUHO and interest in the magazine. I hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Cassie Schmiling Chair, UMR-AUCHO Communications Committee Hall Coordinator The University of Iowa Inside UMR


The 2014 UMR-ACUHO Executive Committee President

Rian Nostrum Director of Residence Life North Dakota State University (701) 231-7890

Vice President/President Elect

Christina Hurtado Coordinator for Student Development Kansas State University (785) 532-6453

Immediate Past President

Jennifer Wamelink Associate Director of Student Housing University of Kansas (785) 864-7217


Mandie Craven Assistant Director of Residence Life Dakota State University (605) 256-5111


Torin Akey Associate Director, Residential Life Minnesota State University Mankato (507) 389-1011

Corporate Sponsorships Coordinator

Terry Tumbarello Associate Director of Residence Life University of Wisconsin - Whitewater (262) 472-5275

Inclusion and Equity Coordinator Brian Emerick Associate Director of Residential Life for Staffing and Student Programs St. Cloud State University (320) 308-2166

State Membership Coordinator Aaron Macke Director of Residence Life University of St. Thomas (651) 962-6470

Tracy Gerth Assistant Dean of Residence Life Programs Marquette University (414) 228-7208

Technology and Sustainability Coordinator

Rob Andrews Assistant Director of Residence Life University of Nebraska—Lincoln (402) 472-1013


Inside UMR

UMR-ACUHO Summer 2014 / Vol. 50, No. 2 Inside UMR President’s Corner: Not Just for the Techies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 AIM on Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 UMR STARS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Continuing Our Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Welcome App . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 To Host or Not to Host . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

UMR Perspectives Online Identity and the Role #SocialMedia Plays in Student Learning . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Working Smarter, Not Harder: Utilizing Smart Devices in Residence Life . . . . . . . . . 18 Social Media on Campus: Meeting Students Where They Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Using New Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

UMR Student Side Greek Students + Non Greek Students = One Successful Community . . . . . . . . . . 25 SustainABILITY within Student Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The Online Student Staff Training Experience: A Pilot Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

UMR Personal Side Fostering GROWTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Business Side When the Playground Bully Grows Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Housing Humor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

President’s Corner:

Not Just for the Techies By Rian Nostrum, UMR-ACUHO President, Director of Residence Life, North Dakota State University


ongratulations on finishing the spring semester strong. Now you can enjoy having the summer off and returning back to work in August. don't get to take all summer off? Your job requires attention during the summer? I suppose you expect me to believe you work over break periods, too. Mind blown! If this conversation sounds familiar, it is because you have probably had similar dialogs over and over again. In fact, someone in your family probably still doesn't realize that you aren't still a student. Nonetheless, you have successfully finished the spring semester and your focus has shifted into summer projects, conferences, and preparing for fall training. In my last “President's Corner”, I highlighted a bit about myself and use of social media. Truth be known, I geek out about technology in general. That makes this issue's theme extra special for me. I have visions of all my techies immediately reading and debating every page of this issue. Some of us will even be so bold as to question why there wasn’t an article about the newest gadget, blog, or other inventive ways to help us in our jobs. First let me say, "Because you didn't write it". That's right, I'm calling my friends out. If you expected a different article or list of helpful hints, you should have shared the wisdom yourself. Now that I have said my peace, let me expand on the theme. I believe this issue is important to all audiences, not just the techies. The use of technology can not only assist you in your job administratively, but also in your relationship building. For the late adopters, you need to catch up and stop resisting the power of relationship building via technology/social media. It isn't a substitute for a good old fashioned face to face communication, but our students today do expect to cultivate connections using technology. If you want to create and maintain positive relationships with our students, meet them where they are. Yes, that isn't always at a traditional program.

Summertime signifies transitions for many of our colleagues. For most of you, you are seeing staff move on while new staff members join the team. Change is a certainty in our profession, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with each year. We are excited for new faces in the department, but feel guilty that we are being disrespectful to those who have left. These feelings are normal and expected. You should be excited about new staff joining the team. Your enthusiasm isn’t meant as disrespect for those who have moved on. You can still recognize the contributions of past staff while warmly welcoming new staff. Besides, in our profession, everyone is connected, so you never know when paths will cross again. ACUHO-I Annual Conference is coming up and some of you will join me at our UMR-ACUHO Social. As a region, we are proud of the relationship we have with ACUHO-I and the mutual support provided through our collaborations. If you are able to attend, please plan to join us at the social. This is an excellent opportunity to connect or reconnect as friends and colleagues while offering recognition to some of our members. In UMR fashion, it will be a fun, relaxing opportunity to visit. I promise to keep my remarks short and sweet, allowing more time for fellowship. As always, I am honored to serve you as the President of UMR-ACUHO and want to assist in any way I can. Please don’t hesitate to call, email, tweet, Facebook, etc., if I can serve you better. My time as president continues to be rewarding because of the relationships I have an opportunity to forge with each of you. Take care. Rian Nostrum UMR-ACUHO President Director of Residence Life North Dakota State University

The use of technology cannot only assist you in your job administratively, but also in your relationship building. Inside UMR


AIM on Assessment „ The ‘App’ that Combats Cyberbullying Tunheim College Marketing reports that 94 percent of firstyear students are using some form of social media and 96 percent of all college students are using the beloved Harvard creation Facebook. The downside to the impressive rate of students using social media is that 61 percent of young adults feel that technology is “dehumanizing” (Bell, 2013). Why do Millennial’s find social media “dehumanizing”? According to the study A Thin Line by MTV and the Associated Press reports that 49 percent of young adults have been a victim of digital abuse (MTV, 2013). A Thin Line (2013) further finds that 40 percent felt, “As long as you make clear you’re ‘just kidding,’ using discriminatory language [online] is sometimes OK” (p. 29). Meaning, the culture of online harassment and cyberbullying is present in our students’ daily lives, both as the victim and the perpetrator. Cyberbullying and harassment is defined as the “repeated actions or threats of action directed toward a person by one or more people who have (or perceive to have) more power or status than their target in order to cause fear, distress, or harm” (ADL, 2014). When dealing with online harassment, repeated action can be considered as one online post or one online picture that is viewed many times by different people; therefore, cyberbullying and online harassment can arise very quickly. We as housing professionals have a great responsibility to combat cyberbully and harassment. Currently there are three major government regulations affecting postsecondary institutions that receive federal aid: the Dear Colleague Letter of October 2010 (anti-bullying policy and federal anti-discrimination laws); Title IX regulations (prohibiting discrimination and requires posting a nondiscrimination 4

Inside UMR

clause, appointing a Title IX coordinator that conducts continued education, and creating procedure to handle grievances); and the Dear Colleague Letter of April 4, 2011 (reporting acts and protecting victims of sexual assault or sexual harassment). These three regulations in regards to cyberbullying and harassment call our profession to action. The Anti-Defamation League (the Leaders in Anti-Bias and Holocaust Education since 1913) has created a guide of action and training that adheres to these three government regulations for postsecondary institutions: When a campus receives a complaint, they must take certain steps to investigate and resolve the situation: „„Immediate and appropriate action to investigate or otherwise determine what happened. „„Inquiry must be prompt, thorough, and impartial. „„Interview targeted students, offending students, and witnesses, while maintaining written documentation of investigation. „„Communicate with targeted students regarding steps taken to end harassment. „„Check in with targeted students to ensure that harassment has ceased. „„When an investigation reveals that harassment has occurred, a campus should take steps reasonably calculated to: „„End the harassment; „„Eliminate any hostile environment; „„Prevent harassment from recurring; „„Prevent retaliation against the targeted student(s) or complaint(s).

„ Best Practices: „„Equip staff with ability to recognize bullying and support targets; „„Review campus code of conduct; should include bully and cyberbullying; „„View Colorado State’s policy for a sample policy if needed „„Unify the message across department and campus; „„Include bullying-related experiences in surveys; „„Provide training to all staff especially student staff; „„Ensure programming across campus that highlights cyberbullying; „„Promote ally behavior and a culture of responsibility The Coalition for Student & Academic Rights (CO-STAR) founder Attorney C.L. Lindsay III shares that online harassment and bullying creates the perfect storm. Anyone can hide behind a university confession page which lowers their empathy level as compared to in-person, face-to-face contact. Lindsay shares this advice with students and staff alike: “If it is illegal offline, it is illegal online. If you wouldn’t do it offline, don’t do it online” (Lindsay, 2013). References Anti-Defamation League. (2014). Combating bullying and cyberbullying. A World of Difference. Webinar Retrieved from Bell, G. (2013). Millennial Malaise: Young Adults Want More Personal Put in Computing. Retrieved from blog/2013/10/17/future-of-technology-may-be-determined-by-millennial-malaise-female-fans-and-affluent-data-altruists Lindsay, C.L. (2013). Computing and the law. Retrieved from MTV. (2013). A Thin Line. Retrieved from Tunheim. (2011). College students and social networks. Retrieved from

Brianna Mae Hanson Residence Hall Director Dakota State University

UMR STARS By Sarah Holmes, UMR-ACUHO ACUHO-I Foundation Representative, Coordinator for Residence Life Processes, Iowa State University Conference participants had the opportunity to recognize mentors at the ACUHO-I Foundation table during the UMR-ACUHO conference in October. For a small donation to the ACUHO-I Foundation, conference participants were able to purchase a star to recognize those who have made a significant impact on them personally and/ or professionally. Donations to the ACUHO-I Foundation are utilized to advance professional development opportunities for Residence Life professionals. Pictured are the "UMR STARS".

Sarah Holmes UMR-ACUHO ACUHO-I Foundation Representative Coordinator for Residence Life Processes Iowa State University Inside UMR


Continuing Your Story By Javier Gutierrez, Director of Residential Life Hamline University

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” ~ Anthony Robbins

Sharing your wisdom, mentoring others, and contributing to our profession can be the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility that Anthony Robbins is speaking of. Before I ran as a member- at-large and then vice-president/president elect, I had not really thought about why I should run. When asked to consider running, I questioned myself, wondering if I had anything to contribute, especially when looking at current and previous executive board members. I didn’t consider myself a person who was in a position to mentor others; I thought this was only for seasoned professionals whom we considered celebrities in the field of residential life. With the encouragement of friends and colleagues such as Patti Klein and Terry Tumbarello, two individuals whom others spoke very highly of within UMR-ACUHO and the profession, how could I say no? I gathered the courage, submitted my application, and ran for the positions. The experience of running for an executive position was one that I would never change. The impact it had on me, a person who is highly introverted and shy, was very profound. The support from others, the confidence builder it turned out to be, and the challenge in the experience was more than I bargained for.


Inside UMR

What keeps a person from running? What reservations does a person have? What does one really get out of serving on the executive board? These are questions I wanted some of our current leadership to share. With that I give you some of our current executive board’s thoughts.

„ Why did you choose to run for an executive position? Torin: My interest in putting my name in the hat for a UMRACUHO position emerged as I reflected on the conversations I had with talented leaders in our region that reached out to me and encouraged me to take the next step. I ran because professionally, I wanted to contribute beyond my university. Personally, whether it is my kid, the kid down the street, or the kid in a different state, I feel we need to continue to teach each other to help the future college students achieve their academic dreams. Brian: I ran for an executive position for several reasons. First, I had been looking for a way to be involved in UMRACUHO while also continuing to develop my professional skill set. I also ran for an executive position because, as I’ve grown in the field, I have realized my responsibility to contribute more significantly to the profession and to foster our young professionals’ growth and development. Tracy: I had been involved in UMR for about eight years, had served on several committees, and had been the Chair of Program committee, and really wanted to have a new experience. I had been thinking about running for several years, but knew I would be job searching and wanted to make sure that when I ran, I was in a stable position and ready to make the commitment for the full two years. Christina: I was encouraged to do so by members of the executive board as well as other friends and colleagues across the region.

Aaron: It was an attempt to give back to an organization that has been a professional base for me. It was an opportunity to learn from and network with colleagues in a more intentional way. I would gain the experience of and enjoyment in immersing myself into a professional organization. Rian: I originally ran for the executive board because I had served on a number of committees and chaired one committee. I was seeking a way to continue to contribute to UMR and the executive team seemed like the next logical step. I had specific goals I thought I could achieve while serving as an executive member. Jennifer: I've held two executive committee positions. Both times I ran for office, I knew I wanted to contribute to UMR-ACUHO and its members. I have gained so much from the association and I wanted to give back. I also knew both positions I have held would offer professional and personal challenge. I've been Treasurer and President. Being an executive committee member has been a terrific developmental experience. Holding office has made me a stronger professional: both in UMR-ACUHO and on my home campus.

Mandie: I had been involved with UMR-ACUHO for five years on the Professional Development and Training (PDT) committee, and although I really enjoyed that experience I just felt like it was time to challenge myself professionally and expand my experience within the association. I had thought about running for a committee chair position, but when I learned that the Secretary position was up for election on the executive board, it just felt right. So, I went for it.

„ What was a fear/concern you had about running that turned out to be false? Torin: I’m not sure if I had a strong fear/concern about running for the UMR treasurer position. While I had heard “stories” of very lengthy conversations on issues that would be confusing to spend that much time discussing, it is not something I have experienced in my time on the executive board. I’ve enjoyed the respect, camaraderie, sense of purpose, and efforts of efficiency.

Inside UMR


Brian: I was concerned that perhaps I hadn’t been a housing professional long enough to contribute to the executive board in a significant way. There were so many senior housing officers serving on the board, I was worried I would be overshadowed. That concern was unfounded. I have felt very welcomed, heard, and feel as though I am making significant contributions to the organization. Tracey: I was REALLY worried about giving the speech at the Business meeting; I don’t really enjoy talking in front of people. But I wrote the entire speech out, practiced several times in front of supportive and encouraging friends, and it really wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be. In the end having to write the speech really helped me to reflect and solidified why I wanted to run. Christina: Although I had the necessary qualifications, I questioned whether or not I truly had the ability to continue to keep the  organization moving forward in a positive direction. When you run for a position, you have to make yourself vulnerable and this is scary. What I learned is that those around me had the confidence in me: I just needed to have confidence in myself.


Inside UMR

Aaron: I can’t think of any. Rian: I think all candidates worry that they don’t have the broad appeal to the regional voting members to be considered a viable candidate. The reality is that voting members really do listen carefully during the application and speech to figure out who has concrete goals and willingness to do the job. They are not voting on popularity. Previous voting outcomes have proven this time and time again. Yet, we allow self-doubt to interfere. We underestimate our broad appeal and knowledge. Jennifer: Both times I ran for office, I was nervous about giving my election speech. What I failed to realize was that everyone in the business meeting is rooting for you. Sure, there is an element of competition; but our colleagues are supportive. No one wants you to fail.I also worried about the time commitment. It does take time to be an executive committee member. You commit to being present for a full week at winter and summer meetings and again at the conference. There is also the responsibility of completing tasks outside those meetings. While there is work to

accomplish, it is very manageable if you make being an executive committee member a priority in your life. Mandie: I was a little concerned that because my university is small compared to others in our region that UMR members may not have confidence in me as an executive member of the association, as well as that I wouldn’t have as much to contribute to the executive board. Through discussion from my experiences, I’m happy to say that both are completely false!

„ What have you enjoyed most about being in the position you are in? Torin: As Treasurer, I am able to gain insight into multiple elements of the association and can, at many levels, contribute to the planning of our shared work. I’ve enjoyed utilizing my new colleagues to gain insight and perspective into the work I do on my campus. Brian: I have enjoyed the challenge of working in a position that is in its infancy: have the opportunity to define the role of Inclusion and Equity Coordinator. I also have enjoyed connecting with colleagues I had not had the opportunity to connect with prior to my time on the executive board. Tracey: Well, I am relatively new in my position, but I am enjoying getting to work with the other executives and spend time talking about the future of the UMR organization. Christina: I think what I enjoy most about being in the position of vice president is what I enjoy about UMR. The time that I get to spend with friends and colleagues from across the region makes me a better person and professional. If ever need to bounce ideas off of someone or just some advice, I know that I can  contact any of my UMR friends and they will be willing to help me. Aaron: The State Membership Coordinators have the opportunity to meet and occasionally assist staff from all over the region; it’s fun and fulfilling. Rian: I really enjoy that my role as an executive automatically makes me someone who others want to meet and talk to.  I’m the same person yet people notice me more. My enjoyment isn’t because I’m important but because relationships can develop that may have gone unnoticed if I were not in the role.  I love connecting with professionals in all types of jobs and this position opens the door broader.

Jennifer: There have been many joys about serving, but, ultimately, the friendships and connections are the best part of the experience. Mandie: As the Secretary, you really have to pay attention to take minutes throughout discussion. This has helped me be able to process my own thoughts about whatever the topic may be that we’re talking about to determine what I feel about it. It’s also been such a great learning experience overall to hear everyone else’s experiences and be able to bring these thoughts and experiences back to my own campus.

„ What tip/advice/motivational words would you give to someone who is considering or who should consider running for a position? Torin: Being a part of the UMR-ACUHO executive board is one way to give back to our profession. Just as thousands of adults volunteer in our region each year to help coach and mentor kids participating in sports, our shared works needs volunteers to help guide, frame, and move forward ideas and initiatives to position our field to meet the everchanging needs of our students pursuing their academic goals. If not you, who? Brian: Do it! Before you do, make sure you review the open positions and apply for the one that best fits your skill set or passion.  Then you can speak to “why” you are a good fit for the position in your application and election process. Tracey: Spend some time thinking about it: reflect on why you want to do this, if you can commit to the extra time away from your campus, what skills and abilities you bring to the position, and what you are hoping to gain from the experience. Once you feel good about where you are at and are ready, you should definitely run. We need to have a diversity of voices at the table so at some point everyone should consider and plan on serving as an executive board member! Christina: Whether you are a committee member, chair a committee or serve on the executive board, there is no better way to give back to UMR than to volunteer your time. Run for a position, I promise you won't regret it!

Inside UMR


Aaron: Sorry to steal the Nike line, but, “Just Do It.” There will always be reasons, sometimes many reasons, not to commit your time to UMR.  So just do it and you won’t regret it. Rian: Have an exact purpose on why you want the specific position you are seeking. Don’t rely on name recognition or the “I’ve done everything else” approach.  Voting members want to know why your passion lies in the role you are seeking.  Once you know that, go with confidence that you can and will do the job, you just need someone to give you the opportunity. If you do this, you will be impactful and successful. Jennifer: It is important to be yourself. There is no perfect President or perfect Treasurer. Each of us brings our own strengths and personality to the positions. None of the positions have a magic set of skills required. If you are committed to the association, have an interest in the duties of the position, and feel you can manage the responsibility, then you will be a good executive committee member.

Mandie: Get involved! Don’t wait for someone else to decide what’s right for you and your professional future. Being nervous and being overwhelmed is very natural as a new professional starting out. I can safely say that I experienced that at my first UMR conference, but I took the initiative for myself to apply for a committee and then took it again to run for an executive position. If you wait for someone else to give you that push, a push that you can get from yourself, you might miss out on a really great opportunity.

Javier Gutierrez Director of Residential Life Hamline University

The Search Is On for UMR -ACUHO Executive Positions So I challenge you, the call is out for you to consider running for one of the UMR-ACUHO executive positions. Consider the Vice-President/President Elect position - your voice and experience is needed; use your communication and relationship building skills and run for Corporate Partners Coordinator; if networking is one of your strengths, then run for a State Membership Coordinator position; if going green and tech savvy is your forte then try the Technology and Sustainability Coordinator. Don’t wait until next year, your time is now, and take Sonia Sotomayor’s words to heart. “When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what she may aspire to become--whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm--her goal remains abstract. Such models as appear in books or on the news, however inspiring or revered, are ultimately too remote to be real, let alone influential. But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, 'Yes, someone like me can do this.” ~ Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States


Inside UMR

Inside UMR


The Welcome App By Delaney V. Foster, Hall Director, Southeast Missouri State University, Member, Social Justice Committee


or some people, conferences are incredibly energizing, exciting, and something they may never want to leave! These individuals thrive and are comfortable at the mixers, break time snacks, networking opportunities, and the afterhours socials. Student Affairs is a profession which often attracts extroverts, but sometimes we forget about our more introverted friends, or simply those extroverts who have some reservations or are uncomfortable. Conferences for these individuals can be a daunting experience, and the concept that they might know no one is frightening; introducing themselves to dozens of new people for days can almost make someone not want to attend! Occasionally these individuals might choose to retreat into an app - maybe they connect with others via Facebook or Twitter, where the contact is not as intimidating. While there are plenty of people in between these two extremes, many of us do fall neatly into one of these categories. Many people may wish that there was an app to make conferences less dauntingmeeting new people, the prospect of sitting alone, being afraid of asking a “stupid” question in a session, or simply the sheer number of people in attendance certainly makes one wish that the experience could be made easier by an app. The truth of the matter is that no piece of technology, no matter how advanced or how fun a game, can replace the simple act of extending a greeting to another fellow conference attendee. As an extrovert, I can say that these conferences are often hugely energizing and exciting! Meeting new people, hearing how other institutions do things, and simply getting to hear everyone’s stories can be thrilling for many extroverts. I think nothing of sitting down at a random table to eat dinner, and frankly the prospect of making a new table of friends sounds like fun! But conferences are not just about extroverts; we all need to strive to be inclusive of everyone’s needs. As a member of the Social Justice Committee, social justice, equality, and making environments accessible to everyone is important to me as a person and a professional. In this profession, we all pride ourselves in our inclusive language, terms, facility accessibility, knowledge of developmental theories of underrepresented groups and other aspects of navigating is-


Inside UMR

sues of diversity in higher education. Sometimes social justice begins with a handshake, a greeting, a smile, or an invitation to dine if you see someone looking frightened during a meal. Social justice and a spirit of welcoming and inclusion can be as small as offering the seat to next you in a session, chatting with someone during a coffee break, or talking with a presenter after a session. Sometimes it is hard to feel as though we can make a difference, and these are all ways that we can make this year’s UMR Annual conference even more socially just. This year we are looking to offer a unique and exciting initiative; we are hoping to offer specific tables just for those persons looking to network, reach out to others, learn about institutional processes, or happen to be attending the conference alone. You can choose to sit at one of these tables during a meal, and you will be involved in more than a conversation: you are involved in change! We are also hoping to bring back the incredibly popular meditation room, to provide people with a quiet, safe space to pray, meditate, stretch, or just be alone with their thoughts. This room can offer much-needed relief to all conference attendees, and is an effort to make everyone more comfortable at the conference. There is no app that can replace a smile and an invitation to sit down; the Social Justice Committee urges everyone to extend the spirit of welcome and inclusion at this year’s UMR Annual Conference. Please utilize one of our networking tables, or the meditation room, and make it your goal to help others around you feel comfortable in what can be an isolating environment. If all of us are kind to one person at the conference, we will have executed a massive social justice initiative, because inclusion and consideration will have been given to all. Join me and the Social Justice Committee in making this the conference of inclusion, and remember that no app can replace your smile.

Delaney V. Foster Hall Director Southeast Missouri State University Member, Social Justice Committee

Inside UMR


To Host or Not to Host, That is the Question By Amber Buck, Membership Involvement Committee, Hall Director, North Dakota State University


nd the answer is to HOST! The Membership Involvement Committee is currently accepting bids for a host site for the 2016 UMR-ACUHO Annual Conference!

If you have not previously considered hosting the UMRAUCHO Annual Conference, you have been missing out on a great opportunity. Hosting the UMR-ACUHO Annual Conference is a rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. Professionally, you will have the opportunity to network closely with members of the UMR-ACUHO committees while serving an association that values education, research, and mentoring of housing professionals. Personally, you will enhance your leadership and communication skills: gaining an immense sense of accomplishment once the event comes together. Institutions that have hosted the annual conference have seen amazing benefits for their staff members. Staff members serving on host committees can expect to: „„Collaborate and engage with each other more closely than ever before. „„Develop a stronger connection with the UMR-ACUHO association. „„Network and build relationships with local businesses and vendors.

and budgets to emergency management and programming, we are always ready for the next big thing. Fortunately, the next big thing is upon us! Hosting a UMR-ACUHO Annual Conference will provide you with a variety of experiences and expertise. Try something new and truly showcase your university by bidding to host the next UMR-ACUHO Annual Conference. Hosting a conference is a unique experience that is different from what you might find on your own campus. Experience the complexities and idiosyncrasies of UMR-ACUHO and be prepared for any challenge that may come your way. Once you see all your hard work come together, you will not change your experience for the world! HOST 2016! When you have decided that you are ready to take the leap and grab this coveted opportunity, the Membership Involvement Committee is here to help you start the process of submitting your bid. If you are interested in starting the bidding process or you have questions about how to begin, please contact Brian Kersey, Membership Involvement Committee Chair, at He will provide a copy of the bid book and bid instructions. For consideration, written bids must be submitted to Brian by Wednesday, October 1, 2014 and will be presented to the Membership Involvement Committee at this year’s conference in Iowa. We are excited to see where 2016 takes UMR-ACUHO!

„„Improve time management and organization skills. „„Identify and assess professional strengths and challenges. „„Gain a valuable experience for resumes. Hosting the UMR-ACUHO Annual Conference is a big commitment with big rewards. As professionals in residence life, we have experiences in many arenas. From mediations


Inside UMR

Amber Buck Membership Involvement Committee, Hall Director North Dakota State University

Inside UMR


Online Identity and the Role #SocialMedia Plays in Student Learning By Anna Korbel, Assistant Complex Director, University of Kansas,; @akorbel


ocial media has become a part of college students’ identity; it is the way they express themselves and connect with the outside world. For some, social

ties by “liking” pages and community groups(Aleman & Wartmarn, p. 519). The millennial generation has shown that they understand media better than most adults, and they use that understanding to build content about their personal identity to share with others.

media platforms are a way for students to talk about what

Today nearly 96% of students between the ages of 18 and

they ate for breakfast or where they went for spring break,

30 use Facebook daily and 1 in 5 of those students hold an

but the identity they create for themselves online allows

active Twitter account (Catchfire Media, 2011). Students

them to connect with others, build community, and de-

are not just joining social media sites; they are actively

velop both socially and emotionally.

publishing content to influence their friends and follow-

For many students, social media platforms are a “safe zone” where they can freely share information about themselves in the ways they feel most comfortable. Social media sites like Facebook allow students to post information about their personal identity in two forms. They create their personal identity independently through use of a personal profile and as members of unique communi-

ers. In social media marketing, the Social Technographics Ladder (see Figure 1) is used to place individuals with online profiles into groups based on their level of social media participation. College students today represent nearly every group on the ladder. But most importantly, students are Creators, they do not just create an online profile to look at other people’s profiles; most adults join for this purpose, but they join social media sites in order to be actively engaged and represent their online identity. College age students post Vines, photos, and YouTube videos they created, they share articles, post comments and critiques, and they engage in conversations on forums and chat rooms (Solis, 2011, p. 255). However, students have shown that they are not 100% social media professionals. With the increase in cyber bullying and number of students publishing inappropriate content increasing, students still have a lot to learn about social media and appropriate online behavior. As student affairs professionals, we can help guide students in understanding their online identity. For us, as professionals, that means understanding how students use social media, role modeling appropriate online behavior and using social media as a tool for student learning.

Figure 1

Understanding social media doesn’t mean a person must go out and join every social media site online, it means


UMR Perspectives

that they have to understand its fundamentals and pur-

endar with content that relates to the time of year. For

pose. As explained above, our students today are Cre-

example, student staff complete Academic Success Plans

ators, they create media. A simple post written on a news

with their residents, during that time of the semester the

feed will probably not catch their attention, but a video

content on social media can be about effective ways to

or a photo explaining the same information might do the

be academically successful, infographics on time man-

trick in getting our students interested. A professional

agement skills, information on resources, etc. Any profes-

should want to engage students and make posts interac-

sional can turn anything into social media content after

tive. The more opportunities our students, the Creators,

thinking about how students will be engaged in the con-

have to post a comment, share a personal story or share

versation online and what they will learn (Griffiths, 2013).

with friends, the more likely they will be learning the content publish (Solis, 2011, p. 255).

Students in college are forming their personal and online identity, and today’s students are using social media as

In residential living, student learning can be as simple as

a way to understand themselves and connect with the

navigating how students may process a roommate con-

greater community. As student affairs professionals our

flict. Two roommates may express their disgust towards

jobs are to provide educational opportunities to help

each other using Facebook Instant Messenger. A student

educate the whole student. We can use social media as

affairs professional who understands this can actively

both a tool and an educational opportunity to help stu-

communicate with both students about the conflict and

dents develop both socially and emotionally and prepare

the social media usage. The dialogue created will help stu-

themselves to be successful outside of college.

dents learn about the appropriate social media behavior through the context of the situation. As we have learned in principles such as Learning Reconsidered, “the most transformative learning occurs within the active context of the students’ lives”, which includes online communities they may be involved in (Aleman & Wartman, 2011, p. 524). Of course, there comes a point when students draw the line between appropriate use of social media and breaking policies. As a professional it’s important to educate students on policies and potential consequences regarding their social media usage. Once a professional understands social media and they know how to use it as a tool for student learning, they are able to create content that engages their students.


Catchfire Media [catchfiremedia]. (2011, June 17). Social and Mobile Media Statistics for Higher Education. [Video file]. Retrieved from Griffiths, J. (2013). How to build a content calendar. Retrieved from Martinez Aleman, A. M., & Lynk Wartman, K. (2011). Chapter Thirty. Student Technology Use and Student Affairs Practice. In Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession (pp. 515-533). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Solis. Engage. Chapter 20 (pp. 243-267).

A question commonly asked is, “but what content am I supposed to be publishing?”. A simple answer is, you can make anything content on social media. In social media

Anna Korbel

marketing they call this, content marketing, and the sim-

Assistant Complex Director University of Kansas; @akorbel

plest way to content market using social media is to use a content calendar. Colleges and universities are at a huge advantage when it comes to content marketing because the calendar is built for you; you just need to fill the cal-

UMR Perspectives


Working Smarter, Not Harder: Utilizing Smart Devices in Residence Life By Kyle Brandyberry, Graduate Hall Director, University of Nebraska at Kearney


ake your pick: Apple, Windows, Google, Samsung, Amazon; the list can go on and on. Did you ever think that one day you would look

at one of these companies to purchase the tools for your toolbox? Our personal lives are already flooded with the use of smart phones and tablets, and now the work environment is starting to catch up. Smart devices are a wonderful tool; however, like any new tool it can take some practice before you are able to use it to the full potential.

Paperless post is an amazing app that is ideal for sending out invitations, announcements, and thank you notes. In order to utilize the app, you must create a free account at There are some features that you have to pay for to use, however, the free version will make scheduling meetings a breeze. Simply choose your design for the card you want to send. I use this in my meetings with students because it sends a nicely designed graphic with all of the information. From the tracking end of the app, you can tell who has RSVP’d to the meeting, automatically set reminders, and request

At the University of Nebraska at Kearney, I was fortunate

read receipts to tell you if they have opened the email

enough to receive an iPad to utilize in my role as a Gradu-

or responded to it. I also utilized this app for programs

ate Hall Director. Prior to this year, I was familiar with us-

where an exact attendance is needed. In order to send

ing Apple products for personal uses, but I never used a

the paperless post, all you need to do is import emails, in-

smart device in the work setting before.

cluding names, if you want the cards to be personalized.

Immediately, I found the use of a tablet beneficial, but it


„ Paperless Post

wasn’t until I had used the device for several months that

„ Genius Scan

I realized the full potential. Now, I am using my device in

Genius Scan allows you to easily turn your device into a

almost every facet of my job to complete tasks efficiently

portable scanner. There are a number of other free scan-

and conveniently. I can utilize it during meetings, make

ning apps available out there; however, this is one that

to-do lists, send out program announcements, and sub-

meets my needs. Even with all of the technology avail-

mit maintenance requests. This is only scratching the sur-

able, there are still a number of forms that must be filled

face of the capabilities of having a smart device, but here

out manually. This app allows you to scan the document

are the top 5 uses I have found during the past year.

and send it via email to whomever you need. In addition,

UMR Perspectives

it has been useful to scan in paper documents to keep files electronically. If you haven’t found a way to stay organized using your smart device, give this app a try. Any.DO is the app I use for to-do lists, deadlines, and reminders for weekly tasks. The convenience of this app is that if you create an account, you can sync your lists across all devices and even your computer so that you have access wherever you go. You can even add tasks where you can invite collaborators, so that they will receive reminders when you do.

„ Clouds/Drives The development of programs such as iCloud, Google Drive, and Drop Box have made it easy for us to access electronic materials anywhere that we have access to the internet. There are a variety of apps and each comes with their own pros and cons. The University of Nebraska at Kearney utilizes Gmail for their email provider; therefore I use Google Drive to create spreadsheets, documents, and forms for a variety of purposes that I can access from my device throughout the building, across campus, or while sitting at my desktop computer. While these programs are secure, you will want to be cautious about what information is stored in the cloud or an online drive.

„ Adding Websites to Home Screens

Working smarter, not harder was a challenge recently given to me by a colleague, and it is one that I worked this past year to accomplish. Through the use of a smart device, I am able to be more efficient and organized as a Graduate Hall Director. The top uses of a smart device for you will vary depending on your needs, however, I have no doubt that you will quickly see the benefits of having one.

Do you have websites that you frequently visit for your

If you have a smart device, I challenge you to utilize it and

job? Most devices allow you to add a website to your

begin working smarter, not harder.

home screen which looks like an app and will take you directly to the website when you click on it. On my device, I have created a shortcut to our maintenance request form, duty log, judicial system, and a variety of forms. This allows me to easily access these resources from the click of a button and complete the information where I am at rather

Kyle Brandyberry Graduate Hall Director University of Nebraska at Kearney

than waiting until I can get to a computer.

UMR Perspectives


Social Media on Campus:

Meeting Students Where They Are By Shae Nehiba, Graduate Assistant Hall Director Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota,, @shae_lynn08, @smumnreslife


ne of the biggest struggles on our campus today is meeting students where they are. It is difficult to transition away from strategies that

have worked in the past, even when faced with lower engagement on campus. It is our job, as student affairs professionals, to strive to reach students on their level, and to adjust our strategies to deliver our information in the ways in which they would like to receive it. It is not hard to see that today’s students are attached to smart phones, tablets, and laptops. We are more likely to see students in groups engage not with one another, but with those they are connected to electronically. How do we get the students to look up from their phones and engage on campus?

I believe one answer is to utilize social media to spark their interest, in what we are offering. Utilizing Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, etc. offers a captivated audience. Students use these sources to gather information already, so why not include our information as well? We should use these tools to advertise and incorporate them into our events. Encourage live tweeting and create hashtags and contests for those who engage with your accounts. These tactics will get students excited, and get your information to them in a way they want to receive it. There are many benefits to transitioning away from the old “paper” model existing on today’s campuses. Sustainability is a major issue on many campuses and an initiative towards greater social media usage will assist in taking major steps towards less waste. Most students have cellular phones already and utilizing social media, there is no any need to re-create the wheel.


and sharing can deliver your message farther than you ever thought possible, creating more awareness on campus, but also creating networking opportunities throughout the world. Most platforms also offer ways to promote your posts on their site; this does come at a cost. For example, Facebook offers marketing tools to help stay within and optimize a budget for promoting within their site. Paid promotion is a viable option, but students are a great resource if they are willing to share, like, retweet, and favorite. There are a few downfalls to the utilization of social media. The areas of struggle stem from the need for nearly constant moderation of the accounts. This can range from the need for interaction, gaining student buy-in, the possible negative comments or posts that


UMR Perspectives

can occur, and the possible need for money to promote

especially when using a .edu email address, but there are


paid options that offer more services and tools.

To be successful on Twitter, for example, it is important to

One gray area when utilizing social media, is the respon-

actually interact with your followers, but this can be ex-

sibility that comes with addressing posts by students

tremely time consuming. There are tools to help alleviate

that you may see. Student concerns can take many forms

some of the pressure that may go along with using social

via social media; they may be sub-tweeting (or tweeting

media to engage with your campus. Hootsuite allows us-

about another without naming the individual) during a

ers to schedule posts to multiple social media platforms

conflict with another student or staff member, students

via their easy user-friendly interface. This allows for the

could reference self-harm or the intent to harm others,

creation and scheduling of posts ahead of time so that

or they may be making negative comments about your

they can go out at the optimum time to reach your stu-

office or institution. As student affairs professionals and

dents. Hootsuite allows the user to manage account

representatives of our universities, we have an obligation

postings and interactions from their site, a useful tool in

to address these issues as they arise. Students may feel

reaching students. There are free options on Hootsuite,

as though it is an invasion of privacy when using their posts as the reasoning for a meeting with a staff mem-

UMR Perspectives


ber. These are also important teaching moments for the

Utilizing social media on campus is one way to meet stu-

students to demonstrate to them that everything they

dents where they are. Today’s students are utilizing Twit-

post is public and they should be mindful of how they

ter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. already, so the implementation

are portraying themselves. Negative comments about the

of these platforms into our own initiatives offers a new

university on social media would hopefully spur conversa-

way to reach the students and deliver our vital informa-

tions about what the student is experiencing and whether

tion. The benefits of meeting the students on their terms

these feelings are campus wide or not. Ideally, the correct

with social media far outweigh the challenges that may

office would be made aware of the issues that arise via

arise from its use. Social media is not the only answer to

social media and they could address the issues in a con-

reaching students, but it is one that is proving to be suc-

structive manner. Obviously not every issue will be cam-

cessful on our campus.

pus wide and will need an entire office to support change; some will take one-on-one intentional conversations with students to understand their point of view and how, we as student affairs professionals, can best serve that individual. These examples are more easily achieved on a smaller campus; larger campuses may be able to respond in different manners.


UMR Perspectives

Shae Nehiba Graduate Assistant Hall Director Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, @shae_lynn08, @smumnreslife

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Using New Tech By Jon Tingley, Residence Life Coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Madison,


ost of us work in departments with a colleague or two who are always excited about the next big thing. These are the hashtag posting, smartphone toting crew who were the first to tell us we needed clickers for RHA and that we needed to get rid of them so we could start using Poll Anywhere. There will always be early adopters among us (myself included) and they round out the range expertise on our teams. While staying on top of the platforms and technologies our students use and attempting to be more productive using technology may be best practices, being a blind early adopter may not be. Before taking the plunge, consider these five questions:

„ What are we making better? Do I want to use a new technology because it will make a difference in our work? Is this new thing going to free up time for me to engage with students more? Do I want an iPad to make my work better or do I just want to hear the “whoosh” sound when I send e-mail? If you’re going to change the way you do something, shouldn’t we know how that new thing will improve how we do our work? If you’re someone who is trying to implement new tech, you need to do the work to show specifically how this new tech will improve your work.

„ Is this a conflict of interest? Many of our campuses contract with technology and media companies to provide services that the campus infrastructure can’t support on its own. For example, Google works with several campuses to provide a customized version of Gmail, Google Drive or both to students, faculty and staff. We often run the risk of violating

University contracts or exhausting IT resources by using other similar products for University business. Another example: many campuses have contracted with (and paid a lot of money to) Qualtrics to provide survey software to the entire campus, yet many departments pay separately for a SurveyMonkey subscription. If you’re thinking about doing something new with technology, take the time to investigate what campus is already providing you.

„ Are we trainable? As an early adopter and technologically privileged person, I’ve had an opportunity to develop my understanding of how things work over a long period of time. When I’m exploring how to use a new technology or service, it may be easier for me to actually use the new service. It’s important to consider how usable this new thing is for the staff who will be using it. Will the questions about the new technology actually cause you to decrease in productivity? Are the people who will be using the product familiar enough with it to use it well? How much will it cost and how long will it take to train everyone? If staff aren’t going to use this new thing because they don’t know how, maybe it isn’t worth the upgrade.

„ Who holds the knowledge? Related to the above series of questions, are you the only one who knows what this new thing is all about? Whether intentionally or unintentionally, sometimes the early adopters on staff end up being the only people who know how to set up, manage and administer new tech when a department starts using it. For example, if I was the one person who set-up our new duty tablet because I was comfortable with the technology, what happens when I take a new job? Or even a vacation? When we do something new, it shouldn’t be so foreign to everyone else that it stops being useful after we leave. UMR Perspectives


„ Does it have staying power?

Here’s the bottom line: do your homework. Think about

If you’re an early adopter, you have probably felt the sting

why you want to do something new using technology.

of jumping on the bandwagon too early only to be using outdated, obsolete tech when the next round of products hit the market. Did any of you own a Microsoft Zune? Use Bebo or Google+? Then you might know how this feels. Sometimes the more mainstream products have fewer

I know from experience that it’s very easy to get excited about doing something new and innovative, but you need to think about the value it will add to your work. If it’s something that will be cool now, but you’ll forget the password in 6 months, is it really worth it?

features than new and upcoming software or information management products, but they have staying power. We can assume that Google, Microsoft and Qualtrics are going to be around for a while. They have people dedicated to customer support, integrate well with other mainstream software and will likely continue to improve; we can’t say the same about a cool tech startup.


UMR Perspectives

Jon Tingley Residence Life Coordinator University of Wisconsin-Madison

Greek Students + Non Greek Students = One Successful Community By Chuanyao Zheng, Graduate Hall Director, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Email:

and first year students. The fraternity students are great re-


sources and guides for the independent students to get to

renovation of one of our two largest residence halls. The

other houses there is a distinguishing line between Greek

plan was to complete one of the largest halls each year for

students and independent students. The Greek students

the following two academic years, which meant we would

are only hanging out with their brothers and those who

have a housing crunch on our hands for two years. As a

they are recruiting. It becomes an issue when independent

department, we weighed all the options and decided one

students do not feel welcomed - they think they are in a

of our best options was to place independent students in

fraternity house where they don’t belong!

the Greek houses. During the 2012-2013 academic year, a

Facing this unique challenge, RAs’ efforts are crucial. There

he University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) had

know the campus and get involved.

a ten year renovation plan for the residence halls.

While in some houses, one simply cannot be able to sepa-

Upon the 2012-2013 academic year, we began the

rate who is a part of the fraternity and who is not, in some

floor of tripled non Greek female students and two floors of fraternity students shared a Greek house. There were a number of challenges and success for Greek students and non Greek students to live in the same community. In the following article, I will share some ins and outs in housing

are two RAs in each fraternity houses at UNK. The RAs work closely to create a cohesive community for everyone who lives in the house. Programming has been very helpful to bring the

Greek and non Greek students in the Greek housing facilities. The first positive aspect is that the fraternity chapters intend to recruit those independent men to be a part of their fraternities. It is a great way to recruit by living in the same community and showing the students what they truly believed in. Some of the independent men are impressed by the fraternity values, and choose to pledge to be a part of the fraternity, which helps strengthening the fraternity. Second, most fraternity students are sophomore or upper classmen, while those independent students are late admissions UMR Student Side


community together and help students get to know

effort to create intentional successful programs which

each other – no matter if they are Greek or non Greek

educate students on being open minded and create an

students. Last year, the floor of tripled independent

inclusive home for everyone who lives in the house.

women has created a very welcoming community for

In a mixed Greek house, Greek Students + Non Greek

everyone. The RA did a great job with programs and activities to bring everyone together. They truly considered the floor was their home, and the floor mates were their family. They celebrated each others’ birthdays and achievements, and helped each other when needed. When it came to housing sign-up, they were all reluctant to leave the community.

Students+ ? = One Successful Community. The “?” can be fulfilled by different aspects depending on the different personality of the houses. It can be effective communications, intentional programs, or simply hanging out together. Overall, the hall staff should be putting effort to merge the gap between Greek and independent students, and together build a welcom-

Effective communication with chapter presidents is very

ing and engaging community both Greek students and

important as well. They are the leaders who understand

non Greek students.

that it is a basic leadership skill to communicate with others, and include people who are not the same as us. They are great role models to their fraternity brothers. However, it would be very challenging if the president or other executive board members do not treat the independent students the way they deserve. Programs can be very helpful as mentioned. Both social chairs of the fraternities and RAs can combine the


UMR Student Side

Chuanyao Zheng Graduate Hall Director University of Nebraska at Kearney Email:

UMR Student Side


SustainABILITY within Student Organizations By Jen Kacere, Complex Director, University of Nebraska at Kearney, and Laura Juenemann, UNK Student/Past RHA


ustainability at the University of Nebraska – Kearney was a topic that was not on too many students’ radars at the beginning of the 2012-2013 academic year. Little did they know, this topic would be brought front and center by the Residence Hall Association (RHA). The Director of Residence Life had been encouraging us to look more at sustainability initiatives since he arrived in the summer of 2011. In the summer of 2012, the RHA Executive Board was ready to take on the concept of sustainability and to develop ways to educate students in the residence hall. We decided that no better way to get the topic on students’ radars than to bring it out full force. Laura was the RHA Secretary/Treasurer and Sustainability Chair and Jen is the RHA Advisor. We met with our Facilities Department throughout the summer to discuss ideas they had to educate others on sustainability. The first project we decided to enact was reusable plastic water bottles for all students in the residence halls. Inside each of the bottles was a paper with an explanation of what sustainability is and ten ways that students can be sustainable in their everyday life on campus. These were in each room when the students moved in during the fall. It was a great to see these water bottles around campus, whether that was in class, in the gym, or in the Union, they were used often!

We met with Toby, HVAC specialist in Facilities, who was able to install monitors in each residence hall to measure how many kilowatt hours they each use. We were extremely excited to be able to collect the information gathered by these monitors, and develop a competition between the halls to see who could reduce the number of kilowatt hours they use. The facilities staff would collect the information from the monitors for us at the end of each month and send it to our Sustainability Committee Chair. Laura then calculated how many kilowatt hours each person in that hall used each month, determine which hall cut down the most from the previous month, and figure out approximately how many hours were used each day by the hall. Much of this information was then put on signs in each hall for the residents to see. We tracked which halls reduced the most and they were given a trophy at the end of the academic year. Throughout the year we had a few issues with the meters not working in all the buildings, but Toby kept us updated on which ones they were. In September 2012, we also began attending the University Sustainability Committee where RHA was given two students spots along with one advisor spot. We were excited to be there and soon learned that the committee met but not a lot was being accomplished. As we continued to develop our projects we would share them at the committee meetings and they were inspired. Throughout the year, we challenged the perspective and provided a lot of insight to the faculty/

Throughout the year, we challenged the perspective and provided a lot of insight to the faculty/staff members and were able to make positive change. 28

UMR Student Side

staff members and were able to make positive change. We now feel that we keep the committee on their toes with all the projects and initiatives we are working on. Jen attended the UMR-ACUHO Conference in November 2012 and attended a session presented by the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities on Sustainability. They provided a lot of great examples of what they do and motivated us to try some of the initiatives on our campus. Laura loved the concept of the Green Resident Certification. Green Resident Certification is a series of three levels of surveys that students filled out to record what they were already doing to be sustainable, measure their environmental footprint, and set goals of how to become more sustainable in their everyday life and pledge to keep these goals. Upon the completion of each level, the students would receive a button and door decoration to congratulate them on that step. During the 2012-2013 academic year, over 300 students completed the first level, about 200 the second, and about 100 completed the program. Considering our on-campus population is just under 2,000 students, we thought this was a great accomplishment! This year we have seen about 200 people complete the first level, 50 students complete the second and 10 complete the third but the year is not over yet! While at NACURH 2012 at the University of Colorado-Boulder, we experienced a program where they weighed our food waste and shared the number with us. We were inspired to try something similar so we met with UNK Dining Services and began a program called Project: Clean Plate. In January 2013, we did a blind measuring for two days which created our base weight for liquid and food waste. We then had a week of education on portion size, sampling, sustainable

food menu, and water. We also encouraged students to take the pledge to reducing waste. Students learned a lot and we had a lot of local media cover our educational campaign. The following week the RHA delegates scrapped plates and we tracked the liquid and food waste in front of the students. We ended up reducing a total of 714 pounds in which we donated to Crossroads Mission in Kearney. We had a formal ceremony and it was a great event. We learned a lot from this program and continued it again in April 2013 to track the liquid and food waste to identify if students continued to make positive change. This program was very effective and we truly enjoyed working with UNK Dining. We again tracked our liquid and food waste during the fall 2013 semester and reduced 67 pounds. We donated 67 pounds of food to the Salvation Army. In January 2014, we tracked the liquid and food waste through a blind measuring and we will see if we reduce in April when we track again. We are hoping for a large reduction so we can give a big donation to a community organization. Throughout the last year and half, the Sustainability Committee learned many lessons about how to be more efficient with the projects and what students respond to and what students do not respond to. “One of the biggest lessons I learned is to not be afraid to try out a new project. Many times the ones that you are most afraid of flopping are the ones that become the biggest success,� Laura Juenemann, Sustainability Committee Chair, said. We have accomplished so much and it is truly because of the students. Overall, the committee feels as if they have really contributed to the betterment of the University and have positively impacted the students. We have continued to improve our programs along with trying new ones this academic year.

Jen Kacere

Laura Juenemann

Complex Director University of Nebraska at Kearney

UNK Student/ Past RHA Secretary/ Treasurer

UMR Student Side


The Online Student Staff Training Experience: A Pilot Year By Lisa D Jicinsky, Hall Director, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse


ow do you continue to balance the amount of content you need to cover in Student Staff Training with limited amounts of time? Do you scramble a bit with the training needed for staff hired mid-year? Are you able to honor the time the Student Staff are already dedicating to preparing their communities with resident communication and door decs during the Summer months? How do you ensure that all training learning objectives are met using varied methods and multiple learning styles? How you prepare staff to hit the ground running for a foundational fall training and successful hall opening? Each year, as we began to plan our face-to-face (f2f ) fall training, these questions continued to circulate. Many possible answers seemed to be suggesting the use of a summer online training course. In summer 2014, we made the step into the virtual training world and have been incredibly pleased with the benefits for our department and our student staff.

„ The Planning Process We began with a firm foundation of learning objectives, tied to the staff job description, as we planned training. Many of the learning objectives we aimed to cover in f2f training, but planned to address about one third of the objectives using the online learning module. In many cases, we reached learning objectives both online and f2f. We explored many options for the best platform to use for our online course. It was important to us that the students be familiar with the tool so that their learning could be focused on content instead of the learning tool itself. We also wanted a concrete way to track that each of our 113 student staff had completed each module and its associated assessment. Also, of high importance, was the ability to control and create the content that was being presented. We wanted to use our language and connect with our campus partners using the online modules. Because of our goals, we needed to lean away from pre-made online learning modules that can be 30

UMR Student Side

purchased from reputable organizations. We ultimately chose to use D2L as that is the platform used by our campus for any online course information our students were already using. As a department, we wanted to acknowledge the work the staff would be doing prior to fall training. This meant changing their contract start date to spring. We also chose to give them a small stipend at the end of August as a way to pay them for the work they had done during the summer months. Although no student needed the motivation, they appreciated the financial recognition.

„ Creating the Course Fortunately, the UWL Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning (CATL) hosts an Introduction to Online Instructor Training twice a year, free for UWL Staff and Faculty. The course is a 3 week online course in late May/January. It was invaluable as we planned and created the course. (The instructor of the course is Kristen Koepke, a former Res-Lifer, making our objectives easier to navigate during the course.) As part of the instructor course, we created some of the content for the staff course. Having an expert view the content and provide feedback provided a great reference point as we created the rest of the course. Having already outlined the objectives we were aiming to hit, creating the rest of the course was a matter of seeking resources and calling on colleagues to create or find content. Many Hall Directors assisted with creating videos or sharing resources that could be embedded into each module. We stayed away from each module having a “share content then quiz on content” format. Each module looked different to address various learning styles and capture attention of the students. The creation of the course was extremely time consuming. But the time was necessary to create a pilot course that would meet our needs and set the students up for success. The CATL course asked for 20-30 hours of time for three weeks straight. It took an additional 40-60 hours after the completion of the course to have it ready to launch for students. Obviously,

creating this course during the academic year would have been difficult for anyone also attempting to be a Hall Director! Thankfully, the summer provided the opportunity to dedicate real time to its creation.

7. Creating Academically Focused Communities

We launched the course on July 15 and asked the students to have it completed by August 16, the day before we began our fall f2f training. As we had prepared the students in the spring, they were anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get started!

The content took the form of videos made by professional staff or students, online articles and websites, documents created specifically for the course, presentations by campus partners, and other online tools.

„ The Course Content and Completion The course included 9 modules, each with a unique content presentation and specific assessment marking the completion of the module. The modules included: 1. Basic Course Information 2. Google Site (Staff Manual) Resource Navigation 3. Inclusivity and Microaggressions 4. Facilities Care 5. Residents Rights and Responsibilities 6. Roommate Relationships

8. Policies and Incident Report Writing 9. Options for Continued Professional Development

The assessment, marking completion, of each module varied from quizzes to use of creative online tools to share ideas to small or large group discussions to dropbox assignments. Essentially, if the student put evident time into the assessment, they were give full credit for its completion. In addition, D2L allows instructors to view how much time each student spent on each page of the module. If a student spent only 25 seconds on a page with a lot of content, we would have been able to address that concern. D2L also allows students to be assigned into groups. We used this function to split students into their own staff teams. This was convenient as the overall course instructor monitored overall course completion, while each Hall Director was able to review the assessment submissions of their own staff, com-

UMR Student Side


ment on discussions, and provide feedback for each item submitted by students. It also allowed staff to have online discussions with only their staff teams or with the whole group. We only had 4-5 students out of 113 who did not complete the entire course in the allotted time. With the accountability of their supervisor, all students completed all modules by the time we welcomed students back to campus for move in day. An added benefit of having the course content available all year was the use of the course for staff hired mid-year. The course provided a great way for students hired late to get a start on training which alleviated some burden for those hiring Hall Directors. It aided in assuring that even students hired late received similar training to those who had been hired earlier.

the course remain in summer expectations. We also plan to do more training for the Hall Directors in the best way to monitor and participate in the course, without asking them to create a lot of content. Because this will be the second year, we will have some modules specific to new staff and some specific to returning staff. We anticipate adding new content to complement our f2f training. In addition, we may add some special modules created for staff in specialized roles, such as Desk Assistants and RAs in LLCs.

„ Advice – In Short While we are happy to share more details with our experience with anyone interested, we can summarize advice based on our experience.

„ What We’ve Learned – What’s Next?

1. Be intentional with content. Clear learning objectives provide the framework for assessment.

As we’ve assessed the overall success of using the online learning tools, we have found that it exceeded our expectations and we are preparing to launch our second year.

2. Allow for A LOT of time in the planning, creation, and completions stages. The course will need to be monitored every day after it is launched.

Even though we asked them to do “homework” over the summer, the students had no complaints about the work. In fact, many of them loved and appreciated the opportunity to get started on their staff role early. (Many of them even thanked us for the work we put into the course.) Over half of the students have accessed pieces of the course during the year to get a refresher on the content or to use the projects they submitted for course completion. Happily, 68% of students “agree” or “strongly agree” that the course helped prepare them for f2f training. The Professional Staff also felt that fall f2f training was less stressful as we had more time to focus on different content.

3. Involve others. Campus partners and other professional staff are the best source for creative content.

As we create the second version of our course we will use student feedback to make continuous improvements. The students very much enjoyed have different forms of content and the use of multiple types of assessment as it kept them from getting bored and allowed them to use different learning styles. Many students have asked for more transition-type conversations allowing for returning staff to share wisdom with new staff. Currently, 3 groups of students have initiated the creation of content they feel might be beneficial using the online course. We will incorporate their work in the second version. While we had considered extending the course to be ongoing throughout the year, the students have heavily requested that 32

UMR Student Side

4. Ask for continual student input. Content can be edited during course completion and improved for following years. We would certainly call our pilot year of an online training course a success! A number of people put time into the brainstorming and planning for the course. Patrick Heise and Kim Soumar assisted with asking big questions and helping with the overall concept. Jenna Fremstad has dedicated many hours to assessing our work after the course completion. Dr. Nick Nicklaus and our Central Staff were willing to allow us to try this and excitedly supported our work. Please feel free to contact me, as the initial course designer and instructor, with any questions or thoughts.

Lisa D Jicinsky Hall Director, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

Fostering GROWTH By Abby Beumer, Graduate Hall Director (First Year), University of Nebraska at Kearney


ersonal growth can be one of the most difficult but rewarding processes our students experience throughout their time in college. It is a safe and very impactful time in their lives to do this! A person can be influenced at any age, but to be in a state where you can make your own decisions about who you will become and yet still be impressionable is a place where I believe most traditional college students are currently in. Thus it is so important that we recognize our ability and impact on these young individuals. Throughout my time as a Resident Assistant in North Dakota and now a first year Graduate Hall Director in Nebraska I have heard one common phrase surrounding the area of growth: “I have become a better and happier person.” When they say this, at first, sometimes students seem almost embarrassed that they used to be someone they don’t see as ideal anymore. I always talk to them and remind them that just because you are “better” now, does not mean you were “bad” before. Being proud of the character you have worked so hard to be is a wonderful feeling; it is an accomplishment that should not go unrecognized by we who encourage this growth. When fostering growth in our students and staff, I believe there are two keys area that need focus: creating that environment and recognition. Personally I have found that creating that environment is not as hard as sustaining that positive and supportive environment. Man can that be difficult at times! Thinking about how we do this is very important but is mostly adapting to the needs of the individual student as much as to the community. I have done this by making sure I have at least one face to face conversation a semester or more if they are open to it, working

Just because it may seem small to someone else doesn’t mean it should be discredited...if they are proud we should be supportive. 34

UMR Personal Side

with my RAs to create a healthy living environment, cater to their interests (when I get an email about student opportunities I am able to send it to the people who are interested or who would benefit from the opportunity – but I can only do this because I take time to get to know them and use my RAs as a resource), teach my RAs to look for potential and create strength focused relationships, and another is to be flexible in the opportunities provided and in the way I motivate. These different approaches have had successful results with many of my residents. It is important to be aware of their perspectives and respect them so we can build a positive and worthwhile experience. Duh, duh, duh… recognition time. I know what some of you are thinking; recognition?! Is that a party, a door decoration, an award, a name on a bulletin board/website, do I have time for all of that, or I LOVE IT! But what if it is a simple statement or a quick email? I will admit recognition is something that I have to work towards and constantly remind myself that it motivates others and that they truly deserve it. In fact, we all deserve to be recognized for what we do! It is healthy and shows how much we care about that person and their hard work. I am amazed at some of the students I have had the privilege to interact with; from their accomplishments, encouragement, stories, and goals. I am truly blessed to be a part of this critical time of their lives. Overall, my experience fostering growth with my residents and staff has been a huge development in my professional life. I am more aware of how my strengths, and the strengths of individuals I work with, can positively impact the lives of my residents. I have also learned how valuable it is to educate my staff on recognizing accomplishments. Just because it may seem small to someone else doesn’t mean it should be discredited as it may have been the happiest or most nerve racking change of that student’s life and if they are proud we should be supportive. So I challenge others who work with students or staff to create an environment where growth is not only recognized but supported, safe, and mutual. Abby Beumer Graduate Hall Director, University of Nebraska at Kearney

UMR Personal Side


When the Playground Bully Grows Up By Alexandra J.S. Shaw Wiest Hall Director, Fort Hays State University, Kaitlin S. Korbitz, Complex Director, University of Wisconsin at River Falls


ullying awareness and prevention initiatives have had a profound presence in student affairs. Many of us have spent countless hours educating youth about the negative impact of bullying behaviors. In the transition from adolescence to adulthood, conversations regarding bullying fade or are no longer recognized as necessary. The inclusive atmosphere of Residential Life can easy blind us. Most of us enter the field with a desire to create a healthy and safe environment for our students. The assumption that we have successfully established a safe and healthy environment can hinder us from identifying bullying behavior and holding those engaging in bullying behaviors accountable. Three publications that address this issue are Toxic Workplace by Mitchell Kusy and Elizabeth Holloway, The Bully at Work by Dr. Gary Namie and Dr. Ruth Namie, and The No Asshole Rule by Dr. Robert Sutton. These books will be referenced throughout this article and we highly recommend them for anyone who desires further information in this area.

„ Who Adult Bullies Are According to Namie and Namie “Bullying at work is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of a person by one or

more workers that takes the form or verbal abuse; conduct or behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; sabotage that prevents work from getting done, or some combination or the three” (Namie and Namie, 2003). Toxic Workplace (Holloway and Kusy, 2009) explained that the showing tip of an iceberg is the toxic person’s behavior. What we don’t always see, which exists below the water line and has rippling effects, are the productivity and bottom line losses. The No Asshole Rule (Sutton, 2010) describes two types of bullies- those who are “certified” or whose permanent temperament includes bullying, hostile or harassing behaviors and those who are “temporary”, or who, in various situations, engage in bullying behaviors.

„ What Adult Bullies Do In the workplace, there is a fine line between bullying behaviors and harassing behaviors. Harassment is addressed in seminars, pamphlets and there are often clear procedures and consequences in addressing and stopping harassing behaviors. Because bullying behaviors may not be as pervasive or monitored in the workplace, peers or supervisors do not often address bullying behaviors. Colleges and universities often lack clarity regarding how to address bullying at the professional level. Each text provided examples of bullying behaviors, including: personal insults, invading “personal territory”, uninvited personal contact, verbal and nonverbal intimidation, sarcastic jokes and teasing, withering

Remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."


UMR Business Side

email flames (sending passive aggressive or negative emails that address one person to all colleagues), status slaps, status degradation, rude interruptions, two-faced attacks, dirty looks, and treating people as though they are invisible. All of these behaviors, if repeated and unaddressed, create uncomfortable and unproductive workplace dynamics.

„ The Truth about Our Sandbox Of the professionals who reported uncivil behavior at work, 50% shared that they lost time thinking about it and possible future consequences. Out of this same group 25% acknowledged that they cut back their work efforts, 50% considered leaving their place of employment, and 12% did leave (Holloway and Kusy, 2009). In 2003 a study was done on people who self-reported to have been the victim of bullying at work. Of that pool, 94% suffered from severe anxiety, 84% sleep disruption, 82% loss of concentration, 76% obsessed over the bully’s motives and tactics, and 49% experience shame or embarrassment that changed their lifestyle or routine.

„ Restoration Assuming the damage has been done what is the next step? As a victim you will need to establish boundaries by deciding what they can and can’t live with at work. Once established, protect those boundaries, remembering to avoid unattainable standards. If your boss can’t be pleased, don’t make

that your life’s goal. Count your inner circle by being honest without yourself regarding who can be trusted. Then spend your efforts cultivating those positive relationships. Control destructive mind games by refusing to engage in negative confrontation. Do not allow the actions of others to invade your thoughts and personal life. Remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Escape the trap of self-blame by ceasing to look in the mirror for all the answers. It might lay with other people or in circumstances beyond anyone’s control. The important thing is to trust your inner-guide. Make sure to satisfy your own needs and wants. By making sure that your own “cup” is full, you are ensuring that you will have something to give to others when they need it. Finally, deal with the anger and shame in a constructive way. Whether it is counseling, confrontation, or reporting, don’t bury the emotions until they build into rage.

„ Confrontation and Prevention In our area of work we are likely to see bullying behaviors in many areas. We all at some point could engage in bullying behavior, experience bullying from colleagues, co-workers and supervisors. Our students are also susceptible to bullying or might bully. The following are options regarding preventing and confronting bullying behaviors: Students

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When dealing with students it is vital that you use tactics that empower the victim. They are likely going through many of the symptoms discussed earlier. They need to feel supported, that they have options, and the ability to change the situation. Offering mediation is of benefit to the student as well. If your university is fortunate enough to have a counseling center this could be the perfect opportunity to collaborate. You should encourage direct dialogue. Putting someone (even a housing professional) in the middle often results in things being lost in translation. Even if a student walks away from a confrontation feeling like the bully didn’t hear them, remind the victim that they may have lost the battle, but they will likely win the war. Remember to develop dialogue with students who are accused of bullying. They are students and as deserving of our guidance and advocacy as anyone else. Co-workers and Colleagues When dealing with a co-worker, each text provided various options. The victim can chose to deal with it. Perhaps, the


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problem is one that they can isolate and carry on with their life in a different mindset. Direct-dialing, or speaking directly with the person bullying, is another option. An honest conversation using mediation tactics, such as a talking stick or taking turns, to try to resolve the situation could help each member involved clarify, speak their truth, and move forward. If they haven’t already, the victim could always report to their supervisor. The biggest suggestion here is to maintain records of exact interactions, quotes, dates and times. This gives the supervisor a picture based on fact and potential data for insight into current workplace dynamics.

„ Bottom Line Addressing bullies in the workplace benefits the victim, the company, and even the bully. After this presentation concluded at UMR-ACUHO 2013 we had an audience member share with us an interesting dynamic. This person shared they had noticed many individuals attend our

session, but they all came in separately, sat apart from each other and sheepishly tried to avoid eye contact with each other. I commented, “Sounds like you’re not alone in feeling like something isn’t quite right.” To which he responded, “Yeah I think that’s safe to say.” I then offered, “Seems like you have alliances to me.” The professional smiled and I’m happy to say I saw their group leave together talking animatedly with each other. If you are facing a similar situation we hope that this article gives you a starting point towards resolution. Bullying behavior occurs, but it doesn’t have to be ignored, tolerated, or encouraged. We have told

our youth this for years. As professionals it is time we made this true in our own lives. References  Holloway, E. & Kusy, M. (2009). Toxic workplace!: Managing toxic personalities and their systems of power. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.  Namie, G. & Namie, R. (2003). The bully at work: What you can do to stop the hurt and reclaim your dignity on the job. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc. Sutton, R. (2010). The no asshole rule: Building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t. New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing.

Alexandra J.S. Shaw

Kaitlin S. Korbitz

(@Ajshaw2Alex) Wiest Hall Director Fort Hays State University

(@kaitlinskorbitz) Complex Director University of Wisconsin River Falls

Housing Humor


Housing Humor This section is a page dedicated to the humorous anecdotes in our daily work. It’s a time to share those funny moments that other professionals enjoy hearing and reminds us of the fun in our profession. Kyle’s Story: Student staff training is great, but exhausting, and this staff training had been no different. While covering duty expecatations I was talking about the duty phones, and the importance of having them on you. “For instance” I stated, “I am currently on duty for the Hall Directors and I always have to have the phone on me.” At this point I reached to my pocket to produce the duty phone to show my staff…but it was not there. I checked the other pocket, still not there. I began to have a mild panic and checked my back pockets. Not there either. Sheepishly I turned to my Assistant Hall Director and said “hey, can you finish this…I have to find the duty phone.” Needless to say, my staff burst into laughter. I did end up finding the phone. It had fallen out of my pocket in the college van I had been driving earlier. Luckily, in the couple hours it sat there, I had not missed any calls, but that incident is now why I am constantly checking to make sure I have the duty phone.

Jurrasic University: Tucker the T. Rex learns his first big lesson as an RA.

Josey’s story: Having spent eight years at my previous institution, I was and continue to be a proud Dragon (the school’s mascot). Ask students at the institution about their day and you will likely hear the same response: “It’s a great day to be a Dragon.”   This year I started at a new institution, which is an experience in transition that is common to most in our field.  About six months in, I was feeling confident in my understanding of my new institution.  Recently, while sitting in our dining hall, a student I knew was walking past and asked, “How are you today?”  Without a second thought I responded, “It’s a great day to be a Dragon!”  The student continued walking, but gave me an odd look.  Confusion settled in, followed by an embarrassingly obvious understanding of his reaction.  This student was not a Dragon, nor had he ever been a Dragon.  Did this student walk away thinking I dressed up like a dragon when I was off the clock? How to Contribute: Are you looking to help brighten the day of fellow UMR members? If so, contributing to the humor page is a great way to help! Not sure how you can? Here are some examples:tell a funny story, contribute a Residential Life joke, send us an original cartoon (.pdf or .jpg please), create a meme or anything else you can think of. Stories should be no more than 300 words, relate to residence life professionals, and should be in good taste. Please note that the magazine as a whole is meant to be developmental. As a result, the Humor Page will be the first cut when page restrictions set in. If your submission is not included do to space limitations, do not worry. We will keep a log of them and use them as space allows.


Housing Humor

Housing Humor



Housing Humor

UMR Perspectives Summer 2014  
UMR Perspectives Summer 2014