Month: December 2017


Residential Community of the Month

School: Ferris State University Region: GLACURH
Nominee: Vandercook Hall Nominator: Timothy Nickels

On-Campus Population: 3,100 Chapter Size: 30

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

Ferris State University is located in a portion of Michigan that is commonly under the influence of severely cold temperatures and significant lake-effect snow which attribute to a commonly overwhelming sense of dullness and lifelessness during the winter months. This is especially the case in December as winter tends to fully start and students are eager to end their semester and leave for Winter Break. However, the overall Vandercook Hall residential community during the month of December proved to be lively in an otherwise draining and dull month. I cannot pin it down to a particular floor or hallway as the actions and comradery displayed this month seemed to permeate the entire building. It is impossible to list everything but a few key things stand out among the others that lead me to nominate the Vandercook Hall community this month.

Firstly, several residents took it upon themselves to decorate around their doorframes this month. It is important to note that at Ferris State you cannot decorate your door itself due to fire code. This means that these residents had to be strategic when decorating. All decorations remained holiday generic on their own without any prompts from the Resident Advisor staff or myself, which alone I consider commendable. Every hallway on every floor had at least a few residents take it upon themselves to decorate for the holidays.

Secondly, I witnessed residents turn our main lobby into a massive study space on their own without any or at least very little Resident Advisor influence. I mention very little influence as a Resident Advisor or two would join these study sessions but never claimed the idea to be theirs. These residents never hindered the residential experience in the main lobby as during finals week the building was subject to the 24-hour quiet hour’s policy anyway, including the main lobby. They simply made strategic use of the space. During relief hours, time designated during 24-hour quiet hours for typical main lobby use (TV, games etc.) and vacuuming, these residents would take a break from studying and use the gaming equipment with each other still.

Thirdly, I witnessed numerous residents assisting one another with packing and/or moving/checking out for break. Yes, some of these residents helped their fellow roommates and/or suitemates but several helped out other residents living on different floors or hallways. Many of these residents seemed to come from different sub-groups that I had noticed throughout the academic year. For example, there are a group of residents that smoke (cigarettes) together (outside), the “vandersmokers”, or a group of residents that play Magic: The Gathering with residents from other residence halls. Nonetheless, the overall community came together to help each other transition for Winter Break in whatever capacity that might be.

Overall, these things individually might seem insignificant but in culmination and in consideration that they happened organically, I consider it to be fairly impressive and conducive of community. What is community if not coming together in fellowship to share common goals or interests? I believe Vandercook Hall showed even if in simple terms what a warm residential community is in this otherwise cold month.

Word Count: 524

Date of entry into database: 2018-01-07 18:45:02

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