NACURH Winner
Month: July 2017

NACURH, INC.

Organization of the Month

School: University of West Georgia Region: SAACURH
Nominee: Housing and Residence Life Nominator: Meg Freeman

On-Campus Population: 3300 Chapter Size: 0

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

For anyone who has worked for a Housing and Residence Life (HRL) Department in the summer, the only way to summarize what is happening is by saying it is hectic. Adding in large-scale curriculum renovations and multiple professional staff vacancies, this would mean disaster for many departments. Unfortunately, the University of West Georgia (UWG) found them in this situation in the month of July, but has refused to let themselves succumb to being ineffective and spread too thin. Instead, the entirety of HRL has been intentional about distributing the tasks those vacant positions oversee and have banded together to improve the situation of the department, student employees, and residents over the course of July.

During the course of the July, HRL found themselves with five vacant professional staff positions, ranging from the Associate Director of Residence Life to the IT Specialist. These positions covered many various roles that are vital to the daily job functioning of HRL. In order to ensure that all of these tasks are still being done, our remaining professional staff is stepping up to take various tasks. For example, our Manager of Housing Operations has taken over the access control process from the IT Specialist position, which includes granting various levels of access for student staff and troubleshooting when building access goes down in Central Campus. This has meant that many of our professional staff has many job requirements outside of their job description, but the department has been there to support each member every step of this process. This positivity in our department has become infectious, making the department an even happier place to work despite the vacancies.

Outside of the current state of vacancies in HRL, the Residence Life Team implemented many changes to the Resident Assistant (RA) role and implemented the full Residential Curriculum. In order to do this, the Residence Life Team has been working tirelessly on revamping the RA role to better support the student leaders we employ. This includes moving them from a salaried position to a pay package that includes a stipend, a partial room scholarship, and a meal plan. They have also been researching drafting, and editing the Residential Curriculum in order to finally unveil it at Grad and RA training at the end of July. The Residential Curriculum allows for accountability on every level, from the RAs knowing the minimum expectations for their position, to the graduate in-hall staff being able to know what is supposed to be happening every month and how that relates to the mission, vision, and values of HRL, to the professional staff having to be transparent and accountable of when they are going to distribute materials such as occupancy verifications. This document is a living, breathing document of 30 pages that is constantly being scrutinized and updated to provide a better experience for all residents.

For many departments, the challenges UWG’s Housing and Residence Life Department faced this month would have caused an overwhelming amount of stress, burnout, and frustration. However, due to the great leadership and members of the HRL team, the department is thriving and working to encapsulates the University’s vision of “UWG aspires to be the best comprehensive university in America—sought after to be the best place to work, lean, and succeed.”

Word Count: 544


Date of entry into database: 2017-07-29 12:24:32

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