Ernest L. Boyer, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching until he passed away in 1995, designed a model for the principles of a successful college community. Summarized in six statements, these principles form the core of our programmatic model in the residential aspect of the First Year Experience program:
A college or university is, above all, a purposeful community, a place where the intellectual life is central and where faculty and students work together to strengthen teaching and learning on the campus.
A college or university is a just community, a place where the dignity of all individuals is affirmed and where equality of opportunity is vigorously pursued.
A college or university, at its best, is an open, honest community, a place where freedom of expression is uncompromisingly protected and where civility is powerfully affirmed.
A college or university is, necessarily, a disciplined community, a place where individuals accept their obligations to the group and where well-defined governance procedures guide behavior for the common good.
A college or university is a caring community, a place where the well-being of each member is sensitively supported and where service to others in encouraged.
A college or university is a celebrative community, a place where the heritage of the institution is remembered and where rituals affirming tradition and change are shared.
These principles are put into action through a variety of means, including the work our students do with their academic faculty and their volunteerism through the Bonner Center. Within the Department Residential Education and Housing and the First Year Experience program, our student staff present a variety of educational and social programs each year to help fulfill the principles above. These events are organized by our full time Residence Directors and their student staff to provide a diverse choice of activities throughout the year.
FYE LIONS 6
Do you know what LIONS 6 is all about? Click here to find out more information about this exciting 6 week series that will assist in making your transition to TCNJ amazing!
In the first year residence halls, our students are initially exposed to our staff’s LIONS 6 programs. Focusing on critical transitional issues such as alcohol/drug abuse, sexual health and responsibility, time management, and other coping skills, it is our goal to expose all of our residents to these issues within the first month of their time on campus to help them establish good decision making abilities.
After this initial round of programming, our staff change focus to diversity and openness in the community. Across the entire FYE area, our residents will be exposed to a variety of programs highlighting the differences between each other, both visible and invisible, and the strengths that can be harnessed from learning about each other.
The rest of the fall semester programs, and then again in the spring, are designed by the student staff to match their particular floor’s interests or perceived needs. For example, if a Community Advisor knew about a major upcoming project that was due in one of the seminar sections living on their floor, they may organize a stress management program if they felt the residents were nervous about the assignment.
Community Development Activities
In addition to these educational programs, the student staff constantly organize “community development activities” for the floors. These are the fun, social, activities that help form a group of residents into a community. Whether it is watching a movie late at night in the lounge, eating lunch in the dining hall as an entire floor, or attending a campus play, these events are inevitably the foundations of floor connections and a sense of group identity.
Many of these events are initiated by the residents themselves, with the floor approaching the staff for help with advertising or funding support. Many student athletes, theater performers, dancers, or musicians have been able to count on their fellow floor mates coming out to events to support them.
The largest social programs of the year are centered around Homecoming and Community Competition. Part of The College of New Jersey’s Homecoming football game tradition is “Spirit Week”. This week long competition announces a theme and invites campus organizations to submit teams to compete in a variety of events throughout the week leading up to the big game. Each year, first year students participate through the Residence Hall Association, and whether they are actually participating or showing up to cheer on their fellow classmates, it becomes a focus for co-curricular life.
Then in the spring semester, the first year residence halls start the second half of their year off with Community Competition. Organized by floor, the first year residents are invited to compete in a variety of events over the course of the week in order to win prizes for the floor. Many of the first year students choose to compete and our staff use it as an opportunity to encourage the residents to re-connect after being separated for the long winter break.
Lollanobooza is one great example of the way Residential Education and Housing collaborates with other offices to assist students with there transition to TCNJ. This night time event held during the first week of classes empowers student organizations and campus staff members to cooperatively develop an atmosphere of fun and alcohol free activities for the entire campus.