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Students talking on the Quad.

Learn Where You Live

University Housing Services puts learning at the forefront of the residential experience at Illinois State University. At ISU, we want to do more than provide students with a bed. We care about providing students with a high-quality on-campus living and learning experience. By living in the residence halls, students will have the opportunity to grow in their own personal responsibility, explore their identity, and engage in their community.

Our Learning Goals

  • Personal Responsibility

    Demonstrating personal responsibility means recognizing your place in the community and taking ownership of your actions and their impact on others. Living on campus will offer you the opportunity to develop decision-making abilities and life skills, as well as awareness of your role as a neighbor and community member. Additionally, you will gain a deeper understanding and positive approach to the multiple facets of comprehensive wellness.

  • Identity Exploration

    Identity exploration is a process of understanding and gaining awareness of who you are and how your unique experiences shape how you interpret the world. Through your residential experience, you can explore the intersections of your identities, how they may change over time, and how they impact your interactions with others.

  • Community Engagement

    Being actively engaged in community means gaining the skills to live cooperatively in a diverse, respectful, and thriving shared living environment. Living on campus will allow you to build relationships, deepen connections, and create communities rooted in a sense of belonging. University Housing strives to create spaces where you can positively impact your community by promoting and supporting involvement opportunities within UHS and ISU.

Our Intended Outcomes

In relation to Personal Responsibility, we hope that our residents will be able to:

  • Define personal values and beliefs
  • Create a self-care plan to identify and utilize behaviors that promote personal wellness
  • Develop strategies and take ownership of their actions to achieve personal, academic, and professional goals

In relation to Identity Exploration, we hope that our residents will be able to:

  • Articulate aspects of social and personal identities
  • Communicate respectfully with others who identify differently
  • Recognize how their experience is unique from others

In relation to Community Engagement, we hope that our residents will be able to:

  • Recognize the role they play as a neighbor in the development of an inclusive community
  • Navigate interpersonal interactions to build meaningful relationships with peers, faculty, and staff
  • Engage in opportunities that foster leadership and involvement within the community

How do we meet our intended outcomes?

Nest Calls (Roommate Agreements)

Nest Calls are facilitated by RA/CAs with each roommate/suitemate grouping at the start of the year. They are also done when new roommate pairings happen throughout the year. The purpose of this program is to ensure roommates talk to one another about their expectations while living together, promote communication skills, and allow for an accessible conflict management tool, should there be any roommate conflicts.

Bird Calls (Intentional Conversations)

Bird Calls are intentional conversations that are one-on-one meetings between Resident/Community Assistants (RA/CAs) and their residents guided by a suggested set of questions and prompts that are developmentally appropriate and situated within the context of a resident’s experience. Bird Calls are done once a semester. The purpose of Bird Calls is to give our RA/CAs a chance to check in with each student on their floor to see how they are adjusting to campus life, answer questions about on-campus living, and connect students to resources on campus and in the community.

Microsurveys (Text Message Surveys)

While living in our residence halls, you will receive text message-based surveys throughout the year checking in on your residential experience. These give students a chance to self-report their comfort on campus, comfort with academics, knowledge about housing contracts, their residential curriculum learning progress, and much more.

Programming (Active and Passive)

Passive programming includes our floor and hall bulletin boards, about me fliers, door decs, and grab-and-go programming.

Active programming includes social, community, or educational events and programs that the RA/CA, residence hall coordinator, or department hosts for the residents. Often, we collaborate with other campus partners to bring information and resources directly into the residence halls and apartment complexes.

Student Leadership Opportunities

UHS offers a variety of opportunities to get involved right where you live. The Association of Residence Halls, Leadership Associations, and Diversity Coalitions are all available for students to engage in and have a voice in their residential community. Serving as a floor representative is another way to gain leadership skills and become an engaged community member. Consider joining our team through the RA/CA Internship!

University Housing Services is proud to say that we strive to create spaces and programs that foster an inclusive and thriving community where students can learn, grow, and find a sense of belonging. Through purposeful staffing structures and intentional program design, we work to meet your needs as a residential student so that you can have the best possible residential experience.