NACURH Winner
Month: August 2018

NACURH, INC.

Social Program of the Month
The Tiger Games

School: Louisiana State University Region: SWACURH
Person in charge: Briana Cresswell, Timya Jackson, David Morris Nominator: Briana Cresswell

Target Population: 3000 Time Needed to Organize: 8 Weeks
Number of People in Attendance: 1200 Date(s) of Program: 8/13/2018
Number of People Needed to Organize: 8 Cost of Program:
On-Campus Population: 5500 Chapter Size: 40

Origin of Program:

The Tiger Games program was designed to address the concerns of a widening retention gap on LSU’s campus, providing residents the opportunity to engage and make lasting campus connections. In addition, the program sought to celebrate the first year of LSU’s Welcome Week and first year student live-on expectation in a unique and captivating way!

The Tiger Games Program was a never done before program on LSU’s campus and a creative risk. The project was designed to be an intentional, meaningful experience for all campus residents. A program that allowed residents to practice social integration within in their own community and partake in an unforgettable moment with peers.

To complete the games residents would need to genuinely interact with one another using teamwork, thereby strengthening individual- social relationships and the overall sense of community in their hall. By providing a team color to every hall as well as banner materials, students were able to personalize their hair, apparel and cheers to reflect a personal affinity for their hall. Residents stated they felt a greater attachment to their hall by competing with their neighbors which, according to the Defensible Space theory (1987), will help to lessen conduct, vandalism, retention and residential dissatisfaction.

Word Count: 200


Please give a short description of the program:

The Tiger Games was introduced to residents on Move-In Day, allowing students the opportunity to brainstorm the banner-design and competition strategies they wanted to use for the upcoming games. The Tiger Games consisted of over 30 challenges in which each residence hall competed as a team against every other residence hall team.

The Tiger Games was broken into 2 hours. The first hour of the Tiger Games consisted of challenges based after life-sized childhood games such as, Hungry-Hippo, Human-Checkers, Connect Four, Wheel of Fortune and so much more! The second hour of the Tiger Games consisted of relay-races that involved the entire team’s participation such as sack-races, water sponge relays, and an epic dance battle.

The games were not exclusive to only the athletic. In fact, to win, all hall members had to delegate their strategic thinking, competitive mindsets, positive spirits, and athletic skills based on the challenge in front of them. As residents worked to represent their hall they learned about each other, supported each other and came together as a collective group of diverse individuals with the hope of becoming the first ever Tiger Games Champions. Each hall attended the Tiger Games with a banner representing their team, and cheers to gain spirit points. Many teams even gave themselves a Name such as the “Golden Kirby Gang,” or the “We Wear Pink Lavillians.” The event allowed residents to have fun, laugh, interact and begin to develop an affinity for the hall they live in.

Over 1,200 students participated in the Tiger Games, braving the Louisiana heat just to compete! This program was unique because it pushed residents to not just attend, but interact with one another for a common goal. Overall, t created a bond between hall-mates and a love for being an LSU Tiger.

Faculty, facilities/custodial staff, First-Year Experience Leaders, Campus Life and the University Recreational Staff all assisted students with check-in and even participated in some of the competitions, giving the hall they participated with extra points for staff involvement! Residents loved getting to know the LSU staff outside of the office and felt more connected to campus resources by competing alongside professional staff members. Residents were thrilled to be apart of leaving a legacy by having their names permanently recognized in the Tiger Games Champion Traveling Trophy. Every student I spoke with as we cleaned up the event, stated they would 100% participate again.

Word Count: 399


Goals of the program:

Research shows involvement with residence halls has a positive correlation with retention and academics. We recognized that encouraging active involvement and participation by healthy competition amongst residence halls while simultaneously cultivating community, unity and hall pride is key to starting our retention programming. Our vision was to create a program that addressed the concerns of retention by providing residents the opportunity to work with one another, strengthening their relationships with residence life and other campus partners as soon as they move-in.

Our goal was to find a program that not only changed student mindsets of living on campus, but also had the potential to influence our newly required live-on students building of community, allowing space diverse opinions/ideas, and helping residents take ownership and pride of their communities, directly impacting retention and campus engagement.

Our goal was to utilize assessment and research collected prior to and after the event in an effort to share adaptable solutions to helping residents be both successful and resilient in the challenges they may face throughout college. Our program goal was to be student-focused and solution oriented. A program that lead to an exciting, engaged, influential community that takes pride in #MyLSUHome.

Word Count: 196


Positive and lasting effects of the program:

The Tiger Games allowed residents of various backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences to work together, sharing their ideas, their stories, and bringing not only color, but a piece of their identities both as individuals and as community to an array of challenges, obstacles, and relays. The program strengthened community, provided a sense of belonging for residents and allowed residents to experience the benefits of intentionally investing in the neighbors of their community. Through this program students deepened their understanding of multi-cultural competence starting with their neighbors and were able to find personal development through problem solving and teamwork.

In the aftermath of the program one student quoted, “It was very fun!! I wish we could do it again!!” Variations of this quote were repeated by other residents, professional staff, and the community partners that participated; proving that the Tiger Games had a lasting impact. Community partners that donated various materials stated, “This was the busiest res-life event we have ever been apart of and we hope to continue supporting students like this.” This program allowed a foundation of bonds to form that will serve to support students throughout their time in the Baton Rouge community and on campus. That’s an impact.

Word Count: 200


Short evaluation of the program:

The program was a tremendous success, as demonstrated by student attendance, the amount of hours voluntarily invested by residents, the artistic expressions of each residence hall’s pride, and the connections honed to continually enhance our community and connect students to professional staff as well as RAs throughout their collegiate experience. 2 days after the event resident praise reached multiple social media platforms and made its way into the LSU newspaper further showcasing the civic movement Kirby residents started on campus through this program as well as the local Baton Rouge newspaper, the Advocate.

A few quotes:

“Today was super-hot, but also super awesome. Residents were introducing themselves to a bunch of people and really interacting. It was precious.” - Christine Wesserling

"I like how each res-hall was a different color. It made it easier to find your own people and the competition between the halls made it more fun! All of the games they had that made you have a group was also cool because it was easy to meet new people that way." - Jason Bartlett

“The Tiger Games was amazing! I met so many people and had a blast! It was hot but worth it.” Alexis Nguyen

Word Count: 199


How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

The Tiger Games can be adapted to multiple campuses for the purpose of promoting hall collaboration,socialization,and deepening resident understandings of the identities/backgrounds of individuals in their hall.The event can be adapted to any program that provides active engagement opportunities for residents to develop pride and ownership for the community of which they reside, through working with their neighbors.The event itself provided an open space allowing residents to share their ideas, contribute based on their own willingness and learn about their peers in a unique setting.

One way to apply this program to other campuses is the use of its relays.Institutions can work to find a space that supports their on-campus population through methods such as reserving an intramural-field or even blocking off a parking-lot.The relay games are easy to set up,easy to execute, and students love the act of competing with their neighbors, RAs and the institutional staff. Giving students a program to look forward to every year as a kick- off to move-in and the school year provides a positive legacy and memory that students want to be a part of.In addition, it allows students to meet with one another, learn from one another and interact outside the classroom.

Word Count: 200



Date of entry into database: 2018-08-30 20:58:21

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