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Social Programs from RAs


Social Programs
Target: Hall
Description: had a bbq and played volleyball
How it built the community: everyone had a great time, got to eat food and play a fun game
Challenges: organizing the food and preparing the food was the most difficult part- 
Bead Night
Target: Female residents.
Description: We made necklaces out of beads.
What Worked: Bringing pictures or examples of necklaces that were bought and then teaching them how to make them. Also, having a sign-up sheet ahead of time to know how many supplies to buy. I also asked their opinions about what kinds of beads and supplies they wanted.
How It Built Community: The girls realized that it was easier than they thought.  Some girls decided that they enjoyed it and got together to make jewelry on their own.
Challenge/s: The residents had a lot of questions about how they could make certain types of jewelry, but then eventually started teaching and helping each other.
Kim Kajewski, RA, Dancer
Black hawks Night
Target: Male & Female residents in an entire hall.
Description: All residents in that hall were invited to attend a Black hawks hockey game.
What Worked: The night chosen was College Night, so the cost was only $5.00 per ticket.
How It Built Community: The residents were able to interact outside of the normal hall atmosphere.
Challenge/s: There were no unmet challenges.
Adam Bergeson, RA, Bartlett
Dinner and a Murder
Target: Male residents.
Description: This was a fun game that we played while we ate. It was a role-playing game where you guess who the killer is.
What Worked: We used personal invitations as well as knocking on doors. It was at dinner and was appealing enough that a lot of people went.
How It Built Community: We all got to know each other better. There was a lot of laughter.
Challenge/s: The game was confusing at times.
Nicolas Determann, RA, Bender
Condom Sense
Target: Male & female residents.
Description: A female floor along with a male floor participated in a program about condoms.
What Worked: It is a topic that most people have dealt with at some point in their lives. It was a fun and relaxed atmosphere where the residents could find out information without feeling like others are looking down upon them.  I knocked on doors right before the program. I challenged the residents to have more girls attend than guys.
How It Built Community: It was an interactive program where the residents interacted with one another. They also met residents from another floor.
Challenge/s: I knew little about the program before hand. It was difficult to motivate my residents to attend something that I didn’t know much about.
Rochelle Remus, RA, Bender
Crepe Talk
Target: Female residents.
Description: We ate crepes (that I prepared ahead of time) and told our highs/lows.
What Worked: I knocked on doors and hung signs. I also emailed residents.  They’re always interested in food.
How It Built Community: This gave the girls an outlet to chat. It was an opportunity to just chat in a relaxed environment.
Challenge/s: Some girls talk more than others and dominate conversation.
Abby Cochren, RA, Bender
Energy Jeopardy
Target: Male residents.
Description: We played Energy Jeopardy where we learned more about energy and the environment.
What Worked: I posted signs throughout my floor and talked to a bunch of people. They liked that they got to use buzzers in the game.
How It Built Community: There were two different teams, so that helped to build a sense of unity within the team.  The competition wasn’t very serious and the residents were able to build a closer community. 
Challenge/s: The residents that I never see didn’t come. Overall the program was a success though.
Brett Larson, RA, Bender
Fall Festival
Target: All Residents
Description: We had a night full of fun fall activities. We bobbed for apples, had apples with caramel dip, foam to make magnets, coloring book pages, and cookies to decorate.
How It Built Community: This program brought a lot of girls that had not been to a hall program before because there were so many activities for them to do.
Challenge: N/A
Becci Hoskins, Hagemann Hall President
Flower Pens
Target: Female Residents
Description: We made pens with fake flowers on the ends.
What worked: Having a few examples and having multiple pen colors and flower colors. I posted signs in each bathroom stall and handed out crossroads bags as they came.
How it built community: It was a quick and easy study break program and it allowed for time to mingle and just share stories while we were working.
Challenges: Showing the first girls how to do it. After that, it became easier and they helped each other.
Flower Pens
Target: Female residents who like crafts, or are just interested in making something.
Description: We made flower pens and it was very simple.
What Worked: I advertised for the program and knocked on doors before we began. The residents could watch American Idol as they made the pens and talked. They could come and go as they pleased and made as many pens as they wanted to.
How It Built Community: Many girls stayed in the lounge just to talk after they were done making pens. It was such a relaxed environment that it allowed the girls to really get to know each other. My residents have told me this was their favorite program we had this year.
Challenge/s: There were many of the same girls who attended every program there, so new connections were not really made.
Rochelle Remus, RA, Bender
Frisbee Golf
Target: Male residents.
Description: We played Frisbee golf.
What Worked: We had very nice weather! It was something different for the guys to do. It was close by and didn’t take up a lot of time.
How It Built Community: Some guys found a new interest in the game. We were able to talk while driving to and from the course in Waterloo.
Challenge/s: We didn’t have enough Frisbees and it was a hassle to find people to drive.
Evan Schulte, RA, Bender
Game Night
Target: Male residents.
Description: We selected board games and got guys together to play.
What Worked: Some people were willing to try something new and we had a few games that no one had played before.
How It Built Community: This ensued friendly rivalry between the participants.
Challenge/s: Some residents didn’t want to play board games.
Evan Schulte, RA, Bender
Grocery Bingo
Target: All residents
Description: We played bingo and gave out a variety of groceries
What Worked: Everyone knew how to play the game so we didn't have problems
How it built community: It allowed people to get to know each other and have fun doing it.
Challenges: It was pretty noisy and we could only let people win once because of the amount of groceries we had.
Erin Light, Campbell President
Grocery Bingo
Target: Male & Female residents in a co-ed house
Description: We used regular BINGO cards and gave away groceries as prizes.
What Worked: We put up a large sign in the lobby advertising free food. The aspect of a contest was also enticing to the residents.
How It Built Community: People get excited and competitive.  They can talk while the game is being played and have a chance to socialize with new people. The residents work as teams or groups to beat others.
Challenge/s: The timing is a challenge. Working around the residents’ schedules is difficult.
RAs and senate, Dancer
Hall Cookout - Welcome Week Festivals
Target: Campbell Residents
What worked: Food! More food equals more guys. Everyone ate outside and since we had enough for seconds everyone stuck around.
How it built community: Gave everyone a chance to mingle and meet.
Challenge/s: Getting the right type of food to satisfy both a theme and the tastebuds of everyone. If they didn't like it then they wouldn't eat it.
Pat Willoughby, Campbell RA
Hallway Line Dancing
Target: Female residents
Description: We played the Cha Cha Slide and danced in our hall
What Worked: Using my CD player and propping open the door and lining up.
How it built our community: Almost all of my residents joined in. We had fun laughing and showing off our dancing moves.
Challenges: slightly was in the way of hall traffic, but the girls were good a getting out of the way.
Megan Gallagher, Campbell RA
Dione House Holiday Party
Type: Fun
Target: Female Residents
Description: We went to the Olive Garden in Waterloo as a house, then came back and watched a movie and ate snacks. I had written letters to the parents of the residents and asked them to mail a small gift for their daughters, which were laid out with the food so the lounge was decorated when we got home.
What worked: Having personal cards put into their mailboxes which required RSVPs, and sending out the parent letter early in November
Challenges: Providing a small gift for the five residents that did not receive one.
Holland Eggert, Noehren RA
Haunted Hayride
Target: Female residents
Description: We drove to Evansdale to go on the haunted hayride.
What worked: Hanging signs with spooky pictures about a week in advance, and having a sign-up sheet to know how many residents were interested and how many could drive.
How it built community: This program gave residents a chance to hang out outside of the residence hall environment. We had a lot of fun driving and trying to find the haunted hayride in the dark, being scared together, and talking about the ride on the way back to UNI.
Challenges: Drivers are needed.
Shannon O'Dell, Hagemann RA
House Rivalries
Target: Male & Female residents in a co-ed house
Description: Two houses participated in competitive activities versus each other. The activities included Capture the Flag and Dodge Ball.  The technique used was unity through rivalry. House leaders were appointed such as bulletin board rep. and social/ programming rep.
What Worked: The sense of pride the girls had in the house was the driving force in the community
How It Built Community: Teammates were forced to think critically and work as a single community/unit. This opened up another opportunity to foster interaction between halls.
Challenge/s: There were several programs that didn’t have very good attendance. Also, there were still residents that chose not to be a part of the community
Wun-Mei Chiang, Cheyenne House RA, Bartlett
Humorous Meetings
Target: Male residents.
Description: This is a program designed to make house meetings fun.
What Worked: I had speakers come in that had a sense of humor.
How It Built Community: I let the guys joke around in a setting that was informal.
Challenge/s: I needed to control the jokes that the guys told so they didn’t offend anyone.
Adam Schulte, RA, Bender
Target: Male Residents
Description: We are now starting our year long quest for the Intramural Championship.
What Worked: Getting as many of them involved as possible. Whether I use a little suggestive nudge or just by mentioning it to them.
How It Built Community: Allowed them to get to meet the guys doing something that they enjoy.
Challenges: Having them come together and act like a team.
Adam Schulte, Bender RA
Target: An entire floor of male or female residents.
Description: All house members were invited to participate as a floor in various intramural activities.
What Worked: I was constantly encouraging my residents to participate in every sport. I also went door to door many times talking to each resident. If the residents have a natural interest in sports they are more likely to join.
How It Built Community: The guys were able to meet other residents and do something they enjoyed.
Challenge/s: The residents who weren’t naturally good at sports could feel left out.
Adam Schulte, Chris Frey, RA, Bender
Jelly Scented Jars
Target: Female residents.
Description: We made jelly scented jars, ate pumpkin bars, apples, caramel and drank hot chocolate. It was around Thanksgiving time.
What Worked: There was food provided that many people enjoy around that time of the year. They made crafts that they could use throughout the year. Since candles aren’t allowed in the residence halls, this allowed them to make their room smell good without having to buy air fresheners.
How It Built Community: The girls met other residents on their floor and from another floor.
Challenge/s: It was hard to know how much material to buy without knowing how many residents would show. Many of the girls who attended already knew each other so not a lot of new connections were made.
Rochelle Remus, RA, Bender
Little Mermaid Party
Target: Female residents
Description: We watched the newly re-mastered movie and did trivia before it over the characters and movie.
What Worked: Making cool signs with coloring book pictures, finding out that the girls really liked Disney cartoons.
How It Built Community: It made them all remember back to when they were young and get into conversations about what they use to do, got them laughing and talking.
Challenges: Finding the right time to show a movie during the week when everyone has night classes and so much homework to do.
Angela Kinkner, Shull President
Make-Your-Own Magnetic Poetry
Target: Male & Female residents in a co-ed house
Description: I bought the magnetic strips with the sticky side covered with white paper. They can be found in the craft section of the store. I bought one package per resident. We used permanent markers to write on the paper part of the magnet and cut apart the words with scissors.
What Worked: Many of the residents came and enjoyed writing their own words down. They were able to personalize them.
How It Built Community: The residents laughed and talked about the words they were writing. During the process, they were able to socialize and bond. When they had the end product, everyone could see their poetry on their doors and could leave messages.
Challenge/s: Sometimes the markers didn’t write very clearly. The paper comes off the magnets and creates a hassle.
Lindsey Letcher, RA, Dancer
Mario Kart and Pizza
Type: Fun
Target: Male and Female Residents
Description: Two houses got together in the Bartlett Movie Theatre to eat and compete with Mario Kart
What Worked: Having both a male and female house in attendence. Also, the free pizza was a great way to get people to come.
How It Built Community: A lot of people got to take a break from their studies to have fun with Mario! It brought the houses together when the people who knew how to play helped the people who didn't.
Challenges: Some guys didn't want to come because it was a Game Cube gaming system instead of X-box
 Keaton Cornish, Bartlett RA
Movie in Movie Lounge
Target: Female residents
Description: We all got together and watched a movie together in the movie lounge
What Worked: It was an easy way to get residents to hang out together. We ate snacks and laughed together.
How it Built Community: After the movie was over, all of the residents usually stayed around to talk and share stories. Residents are always happy when they find out we are having another movie night.
Challenges: It was hard to make everyone happy when we picked a movie to watch. Some people left when they found out what movie we had decided on.
Movie Night
Target: Female residents
Description: A group of about 10 girls rented the TV lounge in Campbell and we all watched a couple movies, laughed, and shared popcorn.
How it Built Community: It gave us another opportunity to spend a couple hours together to better get to know each other. It was also a fun break away from classes.
Challenges: Picking a movie we all wanted to see. We resolved it pretty quickly though.
Rachael Mueller, Campbell RA
Perkins in PJ’s
Target: Female Residents
Description: We went to Perkins in our PJ’s.
What worked: The chance to hang out outside of the building! We car-pooled over and enjoyed relaxing and talking.
How it built Community: The girls got to know more about some of their neighbors whom they rarely see.
Challenges: Trying to get people to sit at a table that they didn't know the other people very well. However, it all worked out and we had fun.
RaeLyn Walker-Woods, Rider RA
Perkins in your PJs
Target: Female residents
Description: On Tuesday September 6th, I had a group of about 10 girls drive out to Perkins for a late night dinner/snack.
How it Built Community: We ended up spending about 2 hours there telling stories and laughing over food. It was a great night of bonding.
Challenges: As the trend goes with any program, there were some that wanted to go but already had other commitments on that night. There was also a lack of drivers. We ended up getting enough, but it took some persuasion.
Rachael Mueller, Campbell RA
Movie Night
Target: Male & female residents.
Description: We had a movie night where we had pop and popcorn. We combined our floor with another floor.
What Worked: We let residents come and do homework while they were watching. We also put up signs advertising food and fun. We knocked on doors right before the movie was supposed to start. I placed invitations in each mailbox. They were tickets which said “Admit One” and listed all the information.
How It Built Community: This allowed the residents to meet some of their floor mates and other people in the building.
Challenge/s: I had a hard time getting a lot of residents to show up.  It was hard to find a movie that everyone liked. When I asked for suggestions, few people offered any. There wasn’t much interest in the movie that was picked either.
Rochelle Remus, RA, Bender
Movie Night
Target: Female Residents
Description: We met in the TV lounge to spend time together, snack, and watch a movie together.
What Worked: Being that it was a very informal, relaxed atmosphere, the residents were more open.
How it Built Community: While most are still somewhat new, it provided an opportunity for residents to meet other residents. It also gave them a chance to openly ask me questions that they had formed in the first few days on campus here.
Challenges: Being that we were so chatty, it took a while to eventually get to the movie, but I regard that as more of a positive effect rather than a challenge.
Rachael Mueller, Campbell RA
One Tree Hill
Target: Female house residents.
Description: I used “One Tree Hill” (or any other type of media) to get residents together. I created a trivia/ game night on the night it airs which included a “One Tree Hill” quiz, music challenge, fashion challenge, and drama challenge.
What Worked: Most of the girls watch this show, so there was a lot of interest in the program. I made it fun by advertising and giving out prizes for the teams that win challenges.
How It Built Community: Fun and laughter while spending time together helped build community. We got to know one another on a different level.
Challenge/s: Those who didn’t like the show didn’t want to participate.
Kelsey Furze, RA, Lawther
Open Doors BINGO
Target: Female residents.
Description:  Bingo Cards were put on each door with a sign saying: “Open Doors in Monroe House!  Blackout WINS a prize!”
What Worked: Because it was highly publicized, everyone had their doors open during move-in.
How It Built Community: Having doors open encouraged the girls to get to know each other. This also gives the RA a chance to walk around and talk with the residents. The BINGO card worked as an icebreaker to get conversation started.
Challenge/s: It worked well the first few weeks, but then it faded out once everyone started getting busier with homework, tests and other campus events. Some girls still didn’t want to participate in opening their doors.
Kelsey Tumey, RA, Shull
Open house
Target:  Male & female residents in a house.
Description: I held an open house for my house. This was a way for my residents to meet people from the other floors and houses. We had food and drinks. Other people from the building could stop in and have a snack and meet our residents. It was a great way for everyone to get to know each other and it forced the guys to clear their rooms and make our house look nice. Overall the program was very successful.  My guys had a good time and met a lot of people, or had time to hang out with people they already knew who stopped by.  It was a lot of fun just to watch everyone mix with each other.
What Worked: Having food and drinks really attracted people to attend. Also, Schmiddy send an all-hall email out and signs were posted on every floor.
How It Built Community: This program gave people from all over the building a chance to come to one place and hang out.  Everyone got to talk in a relaxed environment and hopefully develop friendships.
Challenge/s: The cost was high. We had a lot of house funds ($70) from first semester to spend on food and drinks, but it could have been done a lot cheaper. It was hard to find one night where most of the guys from our house were going to be around. We chose Thursday because a lot of the residents said they could be there, but then we had to compete with BASIC and THURSDAZE.  Another challenge was getting people to leave their comfort zone and come down to a new house and different environment to meet new people.
Jim Miller, Grimes House RA, Rider
Outdoor Volleyball
Target: Male & female residents
Description: We played volleyball against another floor.
What Worked: The residents were excited about meeting members of the opposite sex and being outside.
How It Built Community: It was an easy way to enjoy nice weather and meet new people from another hall.
Challenge/s: N/A
Sara Hobbs, RA, Bender
Panthers and Pizza
Target: Male residents.
Description: I ordered pizza for the semifinal panther football game and watched it in the lounge.
What Worked: I made signs and gave away free pizza. I also knocked on the residents’ doors.
How It Built Community: They socialized with each other. Some residents got to know each other better.
Challenge/s: Not very many people showed up and the residents only watched some of the game together in the lounge.
Grant Wilson and Chris Frey, RA, Bender
Perkins in PJ’s
Target: Male & Female residents, possibly a brother/sister house.
Description:  I took the residents to eat at Perkins in their PJ’s late at night.
What Worked: It was an off campus activity and everyone likes pie at night! It was an opportunity to meet new people.
How It Built Community: It helps new residents to get to know each other and socialize. It also helps people bond with residents from other halls and houses.
Challenge/s: It was a hassle to organize the driving and money was an issue for some students. Getting a large group of people to go somewhere and do something together can be challenging. Heather Walter and Steph Robison, RAs, Lawther and Bender
Picture Frames
Target: Female residents
Description: Each resident brought a picture they would like to frame. Then they made a frame out of cardboard and magazine pages. The picture was glued to the cardboard. The residents then rolled the magazine pages and glued them to the frame.
What Worked: Most female residents enjoyed participating in crafts. It was easy and inexpensive to make.
How It Built Community: Residents were given the opportunity to talk with each other while making the frames.
Challenge/s: Some residents were intimidated by crafts and didn’t think that they could do it.
Christine Giorgio, RA, Lawther
Target: Female Rainbow residents/Anatevka residents
Description: RA Terri Rupp and I programmed a bonfire and picnic out at George Wyth Park. We contacted the Dining services for catering as well as the park for shelter and fire pit use. We then drove out together to the park, set up our picnic and lit a bonfire.
How It Built Community: It is so pretty around town here this time of year that we wanted our residents to have a relaxing night enjoying that. We also played a game that helped them get to know each other better. We wanted to join houses as a way to get our residents to form new relationships with other residents across the hall.
Challenges: There weren't many challenges. Everything seemed to have gone smoothly.
Lyndsay Boock, Rider RA
Picture Frames
Target: Female residents.
Description: We decorated foam picture frames as a group.
What Worked: My residents enjoy crafty projects. Most girls have pictures displayed in their rooms, so making frames for those pictures seems practical. I talked to residents in advance and placed signs throughout the floor. I also knocked on doors before the program.
How It Built Community: There was a lot of communication between the girls. They shared crafts and asked for each other’s opinions.
Challenge/s: It has the potential to be an expensive program. It was a little slow at first, but improved as the time progressed.
Jessie Hellmann, Fiesta House RA, Bender
Pizza Party
Target: Male & Female residents in a co-ed house
Description: We had a pizza party the first Saturday night of move in. This was before the dining centers were open, so it’s a great way to get know each other and find food for dinner.
What Worked: We asked people to sign up as they checked into their rooms. We explained that the dining centers weren’t open until Monday morning. It was only $5 for all you can eat pizza and pop.
How It Built Community: This allowed the residents to see some familiar faces in the building. It was also an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the RAs and Hall Coordinator.
Challenge/s: Not everyone attended the event.
Kelsey Tumey, RA, Shull
Pot Painting
Target: Female residents
Description: Each girl was given a terra cotta pot to paint, and once the paint was dry they planted a flower.
What Worked: This project was done during a house meeting. The girls really liked that they got to keep what they made.
How It Built Community: This was a project that the girls did together. It gave them something to talk about to spark conversation.
Challenge/s: Because it was slightly time consuming, not all of the girls decided to participate.
RA, Bartlett
Pumpkin Painting
Target: Female residents.
Description: We painted pumpkins one evening around Halloween time.
What Worked: I had a sign up sheet ahead of time so I knew how many pumpkins to order.
How It Built Community: It was towards the beginning of the semester, so it gave the girls an opportunity to get to know each other better.
Challenge/s: A few residents wanted to paint pumpkins but were unable to attend the program. I still got them pumpkins and allowed them to paint them, but they weren’t able to interact with others on their floor.
Rochelle Remus and Jessie Hellmann, RAs, Bender
Real World Key West
Target: Female house residents
Description: Many residents were getting excited for the new Real World Key West season to start, so I decided to have a premier party.  I made individual invitations with scrapbooking supplies and sent them out one week in advance.  I also hung signs the day before to remind residents. I decorated the house lounge with tropical lights, fish and flowers. I gave each girl that attended a lei and a piñata.  I served punch with little umbrellas.
What Worked: This program was made with the residents’ interests in mind. The personal invitations really encouraged them to come. I went around and rounded up the girls before the event. Even if they weren’t interested in the show, they came with refreshments.
How It Built Community: It encouraged the group to get together in a casual and inviting environment. They all had something of interest to talk about.
Challenge/s: Several residents left after awhile to watch it in their own room due to lack of seating. It may have been better if the program was in the TV lounge.
Megan Allen, RA, Lawther
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Target: Orion guys
What worked: Having signs put up and telling the guys.
Challenges: Homework and other activities kept most of the guys busy and they couldn't attend.
Scott Cochran, Noehren RA
Roommate Game
Target: Male residents.
Description: We asked our roommates fun questions to in order to get to know them better.
What Worked: I knocked on peoples’ doors and offered prizes.
How It Built Community: We got to know each other better. I was a great ice breaker in order to meet people.
Challenge/s: A lot of the residents didn’t participate.
Nicolas Determann, RA, Bender
Room Tours
Target: Female residents.
Description: We took pictures of each room in the house and had each participant vote on certain aspects of the room: Best Movie Collection, Most Comfortable, Best Lighting, Best Smell, Best Posters, Best Couch, etc. Using the pictures, the results were placed onto a bulletin board. Winners had an award poster placed on their door.
What Worked: The girls were excited to show off their rooms and be recognized within the house.
How It Built Community: This gave the girls a chance to walk around other people’s rooms and not feel uncomfortable taking the first step. Everyone who participated got to talk and get to know each other.
Challenge/s: There was no perfect time to schedule the event. Not all of the girls participated.
Kelsey Tumey and Jessie Hellmann, RAs, Shull and Bender
Senate Mail
Target: All Residents
Descriptions: In senate we take time to write letters to the residents just so they have a piece of mail to open. By the end of the semester each resident will get a letter.
How It Built Community: I have heard a lot of people say they wish that they had mail. Now everyone will get a piece of mail from one of their senators. It is my hope that they will feel like senate cares about them.
Challenges: There are only 221 residents in Shull so it is easier for us to write to everyone then it would be in a bigger dorm. There are also not enough senate meetings to write letters to everyone so I have to write letters on the weeks we don't have senate.
Katie Malm, Shull RA
Sex in the Dark
Target: Male & female residents in a co-ed dorm.
Description: Males and females from different floors put questions about sex into a can and the questions were read by the RAs.  These questions were then answered by the opposite sex. The forum was held in the dark so no one would know who was answering them.
What Worked: The residents were interested in the topic. Some of the residents were excited to participate in an activity with males or females from a different floor.
How It Built Community: It was a chance to bring up difficult topics and talk about them in a private way.
Challenge/s: Some of the questions were a little immature. The guys talked and were willing to talk way more than the girls. Also, it could be a little intimidating for people who aren’t comfortable talking about sex and sexuality and this could potentially drive away some residents. Sometimes it was hard to keep the environment inviting and non-threatening for all residents.
Chris Frey, Sara Hobbs, Adam Schulte, Jessie Hellmann, Nicolas Determann, Abby Cochren and Grant Wilson, RAs, Bender
Shared Spaces
Target: Male Residents
Description: We watched Tommy Boy, discussed the relationship between the two men in the film and then filled out our shared spaces.
What Worked: Having the movie and food. 15-20 residents were able to watch the movie, while the rest caught up later. The movie made the forms fun and easy to complete.
How it Built Community: My guys got together and shared their favorite parts of the movie. A majority of the residents really liked Tommy Boy, so it brought them together.
Challenges: Finding a time where everyone can make it to the program is my biggest challenge, but I was happy with the number that showed up. It was great!
TJ Warren, Noehren RA
Smores and Hot Chocolate
Type: Fun
Target: Everyone
Description: Used a grill to get a little fire going outside and roasted marshmallows over the fire. Then all you need is graham crackers and chocolate and you have smore's. We bought a container of hot chocolate mix and heated water in pots. Then we used a large Gatorade cooler to mix and keep the hot chocolate warm.
What Worked: The word of mouth spread and we had a good turnout, even for a cold night. When the flames were going well it moved the line at a decent rate and some people liked it so much they had a couple smore’s.
How it built Community: When people were standing around roasting marshmallows they started talking and then would group up and keep talking while they were eating.
Challenges: The line backed up a bit for the roasting of the marshmallows even when the flames were going good, but when the flames started to get weak, it really slowed it down. Also, we overestimated the number of people who would want hot chocolate.
Chris Ditscheit, Bartlett RA
Spaghetti Dinner
Target: Male & female freshmen residents in a co-ed house
Description: We made a spaghetti dinner for our house: meatballs, bread, and the works.
What Worked: I had a few of my male residents assist in the cooking. This gave the residents another resident they could talk to about it, and brought it to their level.  Also I made invitations and put them in each of their mailboxes. They were asked to RSVP.
How It Built Community: It gave the residents a house dinner out of the dining center. Also, their friends were cooking for them so it gave the students responsibility for the house.
Challenge/s: Cookware supplies were not as efficient as one would hope. We had to deal with burning noodles.
Jeanna Sheedy, Niobe House RA, Noehren
Spiced Up House Meetings
Target: Male & Female residents in a co-ed house
Description: Add timely activities to house meetings. Examples: decorate Easter eggs or make Valentine’s day cards at the meeting before each holiday.
What Worked:  It brought fun and activity to a house meeting.  It got more people to show up to the meetings.
How It Built Community: The residents were informed about important house issues and were able to socialize and have fun.
Challenge/s: Working out a correct time for all the residents to attend was difficult. A majority of the residents didn’t show up.
RAs, Dancer
Sports Outing
Target: Male residents who like playing sports.
Description: We planned sports get-togethers.  We would play football or basketball together as a floor.
What Worked: I personally invited my residents by knocking on doors. It was fun and gave them a chance to exercise.
How It Built Community: It was a good break from doing homework and studying.
Challenge/s: It only allows the people who like sports to participate.
Nicolas Determann, RA, Bender
Steak Dinner
Target: Male residents.
Description: The DOR provided us with a steak dinner that was cooked by the RA.  The guys were able to eat a nice meal for no cost and relax outside with some outdoor activities.
What Worked: All of my residents love steak!
How It Built Community: People were able to party without the use of alcohol, and forget school for 2 hours and just relax.
Challenge/s: Not everyone could attend because of night classes.
Chris Frey, Grant Wilson and Adam Schulte RA, Bender
Super Bowl Party
Target: Male residents.
Description: We got together and held a party during the Super Bowl game.
What Worked: The party was brought up in a house meeting before hand. Signs were posted and I knocked on doors before the game.  We had pizza too.
How It Built Community: Almost every resident on the floor attended. We hung out, laughed and ate together. It was a good chance to be around other residents on the floor in a relaxed environment.
Challenge/s: A bunch of people left after the food was gone.
Evan Schulte, Nicolas Determann and Grant Wilson, RA, Bender
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Target: Female residents
Description: We watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and served the food shown in the movie.
What Worked: They liked the variety of foods and they enjoyed the movie. Also, have a sign up sheet to see how many to buy for.
How It Built Community: They all were together at one table and talked about what they were thankful for.
Challenges: Getting all the food together and out to the residents before getting cold.
Shannon O'Dell, Hagemann RA
Themed Movie Nights
Target: Male & Female residents in a co-ed house
Description: We picked movies that correspond with the different months of the year. (March is Women’s History Month: A League of Their Own, Erin Brockovich; February is Black History Month: Remember the Titans, etc.) The residents could bring popcorn and candy. It was set up in the lounge, but could also be done in a resident’s room.
What Worked: It was a no-pressure atmosphere where the residents could feel comfortable around each other.
How It Built Community: It was a chance for residents to bond over movies.
Challenge/s: Our lounge T.V. had no plug-ins for DVD or VCR players.
RAs, Dancer
Tie-dying Night
Target: Female residents.
Description: We got together to tie-dye whatever they wanted. We went and bought t-shirts together. The room was all set up with stuff on the tables. There was newspaper on the floor and rubber band piles for people to create their designs.  There was also sheet with directions laid out so people could know how to make different shapes and sizes of patterns. We then hung out and ate food.
What Worked: I posted signs about the event and knocked on doors. The day before I emailed my residents. I also talked about it at the house meeting.
How It Built Community: It was a good break from studying for finals. Pictures were taken and all of the girls had shirts to wear and laugh about.
Challenge/s: There was a popular TV show airing at the same time as the program. That discouraged a lot of the girls from attending. It’s important to have someone there who knows how to tie-dye.
Steph Robison, RA, Bender
UNI Basketball
Target: Male residents.
Description: We went to a basketball game.
What Worked: I put up signs and knocked on doors. I made sure the residents knew about the game and how good UNI’s basketball team is!
How It Built Community: This gave us a chance to do something together as a floor.
Challenge/s: Some guys didn’t attend because they didn’t like basketball.
Evan Schulte, RA, Bender
Wally Ball
Target: Male residents who want to work out and have a good time.
Description: We reserved a racquetball court and had a net put up. We played wally ball for an hour.
What Worked: Letting the residents participate in a sport and had fun made the program a great success.
How It Built Community: This gave the guys a chance to work as a team and included the residents who don’t normally get involved.
Challenge/s: There weren’t a large number of participants.
Matt Rokes, Carpenter House RA, Rider
“Who Are You Thankful For?”
Target: Female residents in a co-ed house
Description: We had a Thanksgiving bulletin board titled “Who are you thankful for?”  The bulletin board was covered with turkeys holding pockets full of notes saying “Let them know”. What Worked: The residents could take as many as they wanted to and fill them out for people they were thankful for.
How It Built Community: It encouraged residents to use the notes to let others on the floor know how much they appreciated their friendship or something they had done.
Kim Kajewski, RA, Dancer
WRC Visits
Target: Female and male residents.
Description: We met and walked over to the WRC together regularly.
What Worked: This promoted personal health while also getting the residents out of their rooms.
How It Built Community: The girls talked to floor mates they don’t usually see and some of them got into the routine of going and participating in WRC activities.  The males could also find new residents who liked the same activities and partners to play certain sports.
Challenge/s: When I didn’t have time to go, no one went.
Abby Cochren and Nicolas Determann, RA, Bender