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Housefellows, Floor Governors and Independent Living Coordinators
Q: What is a housefellow?
A. Simply said, a housefellow is a undergraduate residence hall director, a senior selected in the spring of the junior year to serve as a paraprofessional — in other words — a paid student. Housefellows are supervised by the Office of Residential Education and Living. They report to one of three area coordinators and oversee, in conjunction with their floor governors, the community development of their particular residence hall. They attend weekly meetings, are extensively trained, and work with a large group of other student leaders. Housefellows also have the unique role of supervising the floor governor staff who also reside and work in the house.
And once a housefellow, always a housefellow. Regardless of whether it's your senior year or twentieth reunion, you will always be remembered by your peers. In turn, you will have many fond memories. This is the journey of a lifetime. You will grow in ways never imagined!
Q: What does a housefellow do?
A. In a word, everything. They listen, compromise, mediate, lead, direct, assist, implement and tell jokes. They promote community in their houses through educational and social means that challenge and support the personal development of each resident. They work closely with the Offices of Student Life, Campus Safety, Facilities Management, and academic deans, counselors, Student Government Association, Judicial Board, and other members of the Connecticut College community.
For example: Housefellows host community-building events, help with roommate mediation, call in maintenance concerns, work with Campus Safety to ensure policy adherence, open/close the residence halls twice during each semester, help run Orientation, and assist in the transition of first-year students.
Q: What is a Floor Governor?
A floor governor is a sophomore, junior or senior student whose primary role in the residence hall is to develop a positive residential community. Floor governors develop and coordinate the social and educational programming that occurs in the houses. Programs range from pizza party study breaks to facilitated dialogues with faculty and staff. Each year the staff comes up with new and creative programming opportunities for the residents of their house. Input from residents is always encouraged and invited.
The number of floor governors in each residence hall depends on the size of the house. A typical house has between 1-3 floor governors assigned to that particular building. In addition to programming, floor governors also assist the housefellow with the opening and closing of the residence halls, on-call responsibilities, lock-outs and the oversight of house council.
Q: What is an independent living coordinator?
Independent living coordinators are typically junior or senior students who have spent a year on staff and are interested in leading a unique area of campus. Each independent living coordinator is assigned to oversee one of our areas in the Village and is overseen by the housefellow of the Village, who lives in Abbey House. They create community events, provide on-call presence and serve as a liasion between the independent living areas and the Office of Residential Education and Living.
Q: How do you become a housefellow, floor governor or independent living coordinator?
A. There are two selection periods, one in the fall and one in the spring. During the fall, juniors who will be studying abroad the following spring may apply. In the spring, juniors who studied abroad in the fall, or who chose not to study abroad, may apply.
The application process is fairly short: you need to attend an information session, fill out an application, answer a few questions, have an interview, and partake in a group process. The process, though at times a little stressful, is fun — you will get the chance to meet other student leaders you never knew before. Housefellows amd floor governors are selected in early February and are notified soon after. There are 23 house communities on campus with 21 housefellows, 38 floor governors and 3 independent living coordinators.
Q: How can I start on the path?
A. There is no pre-set path. The first thing the Office of Residential Education and Living will tell you is there is no one type of housefellow or floor governor. We've had residential staff who were transfer students, international students, student advisers, student government representatives, athletes, actors, etc. If you've got the desire and drive to lead a house community, then you are already on the right path.
REAL Contact Information:
The Office of Residential Education & Living (REAL)
Located in Warnshuis
270 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320-4196