Feature

Evolving role of RAs

As student life issues become more complex, training for resident advisors is increasing, as are expectations

Parents and students expect RAs to solve roommate problems and ensure dorms are conducive to study and sleep. But with an amplified national discourse on sexual assault, gun violence and mental illness, today’s resident assistants are on the front lines of a whole host of issues related to safety and overall wellness.

Infographic: Upping the RA training game

RA development content, then and now

Even if an incident doesn’t happen in a residence hall, RAs must know what to expect during a potential crisis on campus, and how to better help their students, says David L. Perry, president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

Just as campus officials across the nation are engaged in active shooter response training because of tragedies like at Virginia Tech, RAs need to master the proper response procedures, including building lockdowns. They might be the only authority figures in the residence halls during a potential threat.

UBTech: Shaping the future of higher education

Highlights from UB’s annual higher ed technology and leadership conference

The setting: AAA Four Diamond Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, a 230-acre Spanish Revival resort. The conversation: technological innovation and leadership as well as institutional and student success, with UBTech’s attendees learning management insights, getting technology updates and networking with each other.

Campus retail: Who let the books out?

Transitioning to digital-only sales of course materials, some campus stores are shuttering. Others are selling anything BUT the books.

Faculty and students at Bridgewater College in Virginia complained increasingly in recent years about the unavailability of textbooks at the campus bookstore. To control inventory, the store stocked only a percentage of materials required if everyone purchased what was expected.

Campus business officers also noted a rapid decline in textbook revenue and related commissions, as students pursued lower-cost alternatives to purchasing books from the store.

Building a better college campus

UB’s annual construction report: Behind the action on campus construction

Despite the economic and demographic factors that indicate challenging times ahead for higher ed, campuses across the country are busy building, according to a survey of college and university leaders by UB. With student enrollment growth being a big motivational factor for new buildings and renovations, it’s not surprising that academic buildings and residence halls are the top project types.

Does campus beauty matter?

Some institutions demonstrate the correlation between campus aesthetics and academic reputation

Being recognized as a “beautiful campus” goes beyond just having curb appeal. In fact, institutions that are consistently chosen for so-called “most beautiful college campuses” rankings put a lot of resources and effort into demonstrating a correlation between campus aesthetics and academic reputation. For many, that commitment is paying off.

The allure of an attractive campus

President Marc Johnson of the University of Nevada, Reno doesn’t hesitate to say the campus itself is the school’s most effective recruiting tool.

Higher ed's student success HQs

How and why institutions are designing, marketing and funding student success centers on campus

As the definition of student success continues to expand beyond retention and graduation rates, its physical presence on many campuses is also beginning to sprawl. Each school considering building a student success center must decide how to structure the space and integrate it into a wider student success strategy.

Ensuring academic integrity in higher ed

Student cheating is on the rise—as is the use of technology to deter the activity and hold all students to the same standards

It’s an uncomfortable truth for colleges and universities—cheating happens. And by many accounts, it happens a lot.

Although cheating isn’t new, technology facilitates it and student culture more readily accepts it. Students may believe outstanding scholastic performance—achieved by whatever means necessary—paves the difficult-to-navigate path to success.

Inside Look: Wellness Centers

Campus wellness centers integrate services for the mind and body, creating a one-stop-shop for student health needs

More diverse student populations demand more of the health and wellness services offered on campus today. Colleges and universities must meet the unique needs of veterans, and students who are international, older, recovering from addictions, or who have physical or mental disabilities. Many schools are meeting this challenge by combining physical and mental health services under one roof, and even integrating recreation into the mix.

Navigating the campus underground

Addressing need-to-know and curious-about questions related to pedestrian passageways and maintenance tunnels below campus

Rumors about the nearly two miles of tunnels that lie beneath Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, often revolve around its location near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Some people have suspected the tunnels were designed as an Air Force/Wright State bomb shelter—or even that top-secret military experiments have been conducted in laboratories there.

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