The Department of Residence Life and Orientation provides intentional leadership for Grinnell’s residential community. Our volunteer student staff engages in building community and commits to supporting students; student-centered educators support self-governance and exercise the best practices of the Student Affairs profession; and our orientation program integrates students and their families into the unique climate of the College.

We focus our efforts on the residential environment, personal and community development, and student learning:

· Our department partners with colleagues to provide a safe, healthy, comfortable, and welcoming residential environment that fosters ownership, accommodates individual needs, and affords students the opportunity to achieve their goals.

· We advance personal development by helping students navigate transitions, prepare to succeed at the College, build life skills, explore identities, and become more socially conscious. We encourage responsible decision-making as students maneuver within this self-governing community and a broader world.

· We promote community development by encouraging students to create a respectful community that fosters relationships and values diverse perspectives. Community members resolve conflicts by assuming personal responsibility, developing strong interpersonal skills, and holding each other accountable.

· We enhance student learning in a challenging and supportive environment by valuing academic scholarship and creating opportunities for learning outside the classroom, thereby establishing a lifelong passion for learning.

Learning Outcomes

  • As a result of actively participating in a self-governing residential community, students will identify their own values and principles in personal decision-making, utilize conflict resolution strategies effectively, and be able to appropriately confront unjust or uncivil behavior of other groups or individuals.
  • As a result of engaging with others in a diverse residential community, students will establish healthy relationships, develop their individual identities, and value diverse perspectives.
  • First-year and transfer students who engage in New Student Orientation will discover and learn to navigate the resources available to them as well as gain institutional and personal support during their adjustment and transition to Grinnell College.
  • Students involved in Residence Life and Orientation programming will develop a sense of community and further their learning in the residential environment.
  • Through their positions, Student Staff will learn to employ leadership, mediation, and helping skills in their residential communities and beyond the College campus.