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Student Self-Governance

The Office of the Dean of Students describes student self-governance as "the entrustment of much decision-making to students."

Housing & Residence Life supports student self-governance through the Resident Staff program and by creating opportunities for students living on Grounds to experience leadership through community governance.

Resident Staff Program

Student leaders are identified through a peer-driven selection process to serve as Resident Advisors (RAs). RAs live within the residential community and are supervised by a Senior Resident (SR).

Resident Staff members serve as mentors and role models, and are committed to building strong communities that value the University's traditions of honor and student self-governance. Through structured programs and informal peer advising, the RAs and SRs support the physical well-being of students and their academic, social, and emotional development.

The University's 240 RAs and SRs are directed by an undergraduate Resident Staff Program chair who works with students as well as the Housing and Residence life area coordinators and deans to develop the vision for the residence life program.

Residential Leadership Experience (RLE)

Students are immediately given the opportunity to lead within their own residential community during their first year on Grounds through the Residential Leadership Experience (RLE).

Students living in on-Grounds residential areas are elected to represent their residence hall through their respective Association Council or to represent their class through First Year Council.

  • Association Councils provide opportunities for residents to connect with one another, organize service projects for their community, and improve the quality of student life in their residential area.
  • First Year Council seeks to build an inclusive community among First Year peers, as well as a class identity.

The Residential Leadership Experience is overseen by the Vice Chair for Council Leadership, an undergraduate student staff member of Housing & Residence Life.