Making the decision to live on-campus is one of the best choices you can make in college! Students who live in the residence halls find themselves in the heart of our Spartan culture, with athletic events, lectures, classes, dining, and tons of activities happening literally just outside your front door!
Students who live on-campus are more likely to utilize resources on-campus resources, attend a professor’s office hours, and feel connected to the larger SJSU community. Why? Because you’re living in the middle of campus and have so many people here who want you to be involved with your college experience!
Whether you’re a first-year student, a transfer student, or a returning resident, you have a home here!
Residence hall v. “dorm”: what is the difference?
You’ll notice throughout our website that we never use the word “dorm,” but the term residence hall instead…so what’s the difference?
A dorm brings up an image of an impersonal experience, one where you have your four walls, a ceiling and a floor, but not much else. A dorm is a place where you go to sleep after you come back from class.
A residence hall is where you come to live, to thrive, and to grow. We want our buildings to be a community of students, where everyone feels safe and supported as they work toward their goal of graduation.
Community is a word you’ll hear a lot here, and for good reason. We want everyone to feel like they have a place in our residence halls. This is your home away from home.
So how do we turn a dorm into a residence hall? It’s all because of our staff.
The people who work for University Housing Services have you at the core of their hearts. Our Resident Advisors (RAs) are upper-division students who have been successful in college, both academically and socially and they have some of the biggest hearts you’ll ever come across. They live on the floors of the residence halls and their purpose is to make sure you have a safe, supportive environment to learn and grow in. After going through a rigorous selection process, RAs are extensively trained on how to make their floors into thriving communities through one-on-one interactions and group development. Our RAs are skilled at mediation and conflict management and are there to be a resource for you if you need someone to talk to.
Supervising the RAs are our full-time Residential Life Coordinators (RLCs). All of our RLCs are seasoned professionals, with years of experience in the residence halls and working with college students. RLCs have offices in the buildings they oversee and they are also residents of those communities. Along with overseeing the operations of our residential communities, RLCs also advise one of our student groups (Hall Government, Residence Hall Association, National Residence Hall Honorary, Student Conduct Board).
The RAs and RLCs all serve in an on-call rotation, meaning residents are able to get a hold of a member of housing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
There is a group of Residential Life Managers, comprised of the two Assistant Directors, the Behavioral Case Manager, and the Associate Director, who provide additional support to our live-in staff and our residential communities. The managers offices are located in the main University Housing Services office, located on the second floor of Campus Village B.
Residential Life Vision
As part of a vibrant and growing housing program, Residential Life strives to be intentional and student-centered. We work collaboratively with members of the SJSU community to promote the following vision:
- We help our students build inclusive, socially just and interactive communities where every member feels a sense of belonging.
- We work to foster student growth in a manner that shapes character and develops independence.
- We encourage our students to explore their personal identity and embrace diversity as well as appreciate individuality.
- We promote healthy communication, intellectual discourse and support students in achieving academic success.
- We endeavor to help our students understand their role, rights and responsibilities as members of the SJSU community and as citizens of our world.
1. Develop a strong Residential Life staff team.
- Staff see themselves a part of the UHS team and understand how they work with other units.
- Provide an intentional staff training and development program which challenges staff to grow as professionals.
- Staff feel informed and knowledgeable. Communication is frequent and thorough. Processes are simple and transparent.
- Staff have a solid understanding of their job and responsibilities which they gain through on-going training and feedback.
- Staff feel supported and valued in their position and that there is a genuine level of care for the person.
- There is a high level of trust within the Residential Life Team.
- Assessment measures are in place to determine staff needs. Residential Life Leadership responds to feedback and address issues and concerns in a timely and appropriate manner.
- Staff are invested in the program and recommend Residential Life and SJSU as a good place to work.
2. Students benefit from living on campus and want to return.
- Students are invested in developing inclusive and socially just communities where they feel at home.
- Staff offer high quality programs and events that foster life long learning and development. Educational learning outcomes are integrated into all programming.
- Students interact with highly trained and experienced staff that help foster their growth.
- Students have increased opportunities to engage in campus life (interacting with faculty outside the class room, accessing student services and participating in student organizations).
- RHA and its affiliates (Hall Government and NRHH) serve as the voice of students and are seen as advocates for residential students. Executive Board and other leadership positions are highly sought after opportunities.
- Students have the opportunity to provide feedback through their involvement and feel like their voices are heard.
3. We serve as useful academic support for our students.
- Provide a comprehensive range of programs and services where students can learn and apply abilities for educational and personal success.
- Develop and maintain the Living Learning Communities as links between personal interests and academic pursuits by demonstrating investment by faculty, students and staff.
- Faculty are infused into all of the residence halls, building positive relationships that support students throughout their academic career and beyond.
- The Faculty-In-Residence program exists as an opportunity for faculty and student interaction outside of the classroom.
- The Living Learning Center exists as a resource for the San José State University residential community to support the academic mission of the university, promote educational growth, and develop strong community connections.