The Importance of Student Involvement in Residence Hall Leadership at Pratt Institute
Residential Life at Pratt Institute is committed to the involvement of students in the many facets of the department’s mission. Of primary interest is the development of the individuals who participate and the learning that can occur from being involved in the daily and long term educational mission of the department. In encouraging the involvement of students, Residential Life and Housing recognizes that:
- Students bring ideas where administrators do not have the capacity or the opportunity to formulate
- Department staff gain true insight into student needs
- Department staff maintain regular contact with students
- Students develop a sense of affiliation toward the Department and the Institute
The direct benefit to the student who does become involved include:
- Development of skills crucial to good citizenship and vital to professional life (i.e.; organizational skill, time management, delegation, working as a team, meeting deadlines, setting goals and communicating with others).
- Development of strong professional skills that may not be encouraged in a classroom setting
- Development of interests in other residential life or campus leadership opportunities
Connections is an opportunity for students to learn about themselves, meet other like-minded students and get involved at Pratt. Connections is interactive, educational and fun. The five-week, not for credit class is during the first part of the Spring semester and addresses: communication skills, organizational skills, identity and diversity awareness, decision-making and problem solving.
Sign-up takes place during November and December. Students must attend Connections to apply for most leadership positions on campus.
Resident Advisors are students selected each Spring semester to serve as RAs. RAs have primary responsibility for a residence hall floor. RA’s are required to participate in the Connections Leadership class. This 5 week not for credit course introduces applicants to aspects of leadership applicable to the RA position as well as other positional leadership opportunities available on-campus. The application/registration for this course takes place in the late Fall semester.
Hall Council is the hall government for each residence hall. Hall Councils are made up of students only, and they take different forms in each of the halls. Most Hall Councils have an executive board (Chair, Concerns Coordinator, Events Coordinator, RHAC representative, and Dining Services representative), as well as representatives from the various floors in the hall. Organization of the Hall Councils take place each fall, early in the semester. Hall Councils sponsor functions and represent the views of the residents to the Office of Residential Life. In addition to gaining valuable leadership skills, students who regularly attend Hall Council earn an additional point for the housing lottery.
Residence Halls Advisory Council (RHAC) is a student advisory committee to the Office of Residential Life and Housing. Every residence hall has at least one RHAC representative on the committee. The RHAC typically meets bi-weekly with the Office of Residential Life and Housing staff to discuss matters pertaining to residential living.
Dining Service Committee is a voluntary opportunity comprised of representatives from each residence hall. The group meets regularly with the dining services staff and other campus constituents to discuss and evaluate campus dining function.
Sustainability Committee consists of representatives from each residence hall selected through the hall council. The group meets regularly to discuss and effect change in residential sustainability and contributes to all-Institute sustainability activities.