Resident Advisor

Student Engagement Guide
2014-2015

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The greatest glory in living
lies not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.
Nelson Mandela
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There is no greater agony
than bearing an untold
story inside you.
Maya Angelou
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Table of Contents

Section Page Number
What does being an RA mean to you? 1
Values
How Full Is Your Bucket?
What does Being an RA mean to you?


































Why did you become an RA? Who inspired you to become an RA?
What are some ways that you can make a
difference within your residential community?
How can you bring your inspiration to life in your
RA position?
What does Being An RA mean to you?
Who is a mentor that you have had? What did
they do to promote your success? How can you
translate that to your residents’ success?
Who are you and what do you bring to your
community?
What will your community be and what will you
collectively bring to the Mason community?
What does the Mason community mean to you?
How will you influence your residents’
participation and engagement in the Mason
community?
Values
Abundance
Acceptance
Accessibility
Accomplishment
Accountability
Accuracy
Achievement
Acknowledgement
Activeness
Adaptability
Advancement
Adventure
Affection
Aggressiveness
Agility
Alertness
Altruism
Amazement
Ambition
Amusement
Anticipation
Approachability
Assertiveness
Assurance
Attentiveness
Availability
Awareness
Balance
Beauty
Belonging
Bliss
Boldness
Bravery
Brilliance
Calmness
Carefulness
Certainty
Challenge
Change
Charm
Cheerfulness
Clarity
Comfort
Commitment
Community
Compassion
Competence
Competition
Composure
Concentration
Confidence
Congruency
Connection
Consciousness
Conservation
Consistency
Contentment
Contribution
Conviction
Courage
Creativity
Credibility
Curiosity
Daring
Dependability
Depth
Determination
Dignity
Diligence
Directness
Discipline
Discovery
Discretion
Diversity
Dominance
Dreaming
Drive
Eagerness
Economy
Education
Effectiveness
Efficiency
Elegance
Empathy
Encouragement
Endurance
Energy
Enjoyment
Enthusiasm
Environmentalism
Ethics
Excellence
Excitement
Experience
Expertise
Exploration
Expressiveness
Extravagance
Fairness
Faith
Fame
Family
Fearlessness
Ferocity
Fidelity
Fierceness
Fitness
Flow
Focus
Fortitude
Freedom
Friendship
Fun
Generosity
Giving
Grace
Gratitude
Growth
Guidance
Happiness
Harmony
Health
Heroism
Honesty
Honor
Hopefulness
Hospitality
Humility
Humor
Imagination
Independence
Individuality
Influence
Ingenuity
Insightfulness
Inspiration
Integrity
Intellect
Intelligence
Intensity
Intimacy
Introspection
Intuition
Inventiveness
Involvement
Joy
Justice
Kindness
Knowledge
Leadership
Learning
Liberty
Logic
Love
Loyalty
Mastery
Maturity
Meaning
Mellowness
Mindfulness
Modesty
Nature
Nerve
Obedience
Open-mindedness
Optimism
Order
Organization
Originality
Patience
Passion
Peace
Perceptiveness
Perfection
Perseverance
Philanthropy
Playfulness
Pleasantness
Poise
Power
Practicality
Precision
Preparedness
Presence
Pride
Privacy
Proactivity
Professionalism
Punctuality
Purity
Rationality
Reason
Reasonableness
Recognition
Recreation
Refinement
Reflection
Reliability
Relief
Resilience
Resolve
Resourcefulness
Respect
Responsibility
Restraint
Reverence
Richness
Rigor
Sacrifice
Satisfaction
Selflessness
Self-reliance
Self-respect
Sensitivity
Serenity
Service
Sharing
Shrewdness
Significance
Silence
Sincerity
Skillfulness
Solidarity
Solitude
Sophistication
Soundness
Spirituality
Spontaneity
Stability
Status
Strength
Structure
Success
Support
Surprise
Sympathy
Teaching
Teamwork
Thoroughness
Thoughtfulness
Timeliness
Tranquility
Trust
Trustworthiness
Understanding
Uniqueness
Unity
Usefulness
Utility
Variety
Victory
Virtue
Vision
Volunteering
Warmheartedness
Warmth
Wealth
Willfulness
Willingness
Wisdom
Wittiness
Wonder
Worthiness
Youthfulness
Zeal

Value: What does your value mean to you?
How does it apply to your RA position?
We haven’t talked about StrengthsFinder yet, but remember your values when we get to that. How do
you think your values influence how you utilize your talents from StrengthsFinder?
How full is your bucket?
Each of us has an invisible bucket. It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or
do to us. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it's empty, we feel awful.
Each of us also has an invisible dipper. When we use that dipper to fill other people's buckets -- by
saying or doing things to increase their positive emotions -- we also fill our own bucket. But when we
use that dipper to dip from others' buckets -- by saying or doing things that decrease their positive
emotions -- we diminish ourselves.
Like the cup that runneth over, a full bucket gives us a positive outlook and renewed energy. Every
drop in that bucket makes us stronger and more optimistic.
But an empty bucket poisons our outlook, saps our energy, and undermines our will. That's why
every time someone dips from our bucket, it hurts us.
So we face a choice every moment of every day: We can fill one another's buckets, or we can dip
from them. It's an important choice -- one that profoundly influences our relationships, productivity,
health, and happiness.
Apply it to your community

How can you use the concepts found in How Full
Is Your Bucket? to develop relationships and
community within your areas of influence? What
about with your peers?
The book mentioned that relationships that have 5
positive interactions for every negative interaction
are more likely to succeed. How does this
translate to residential communities?
Interaction Tracker








Positive Impact Test


I have helped someone in the last 24 hours
I am an exceptionally courteous person
I like being around positive people
I have praised someone in the last 24 hours
I have developed a knack for making other
people feel good
I am more productive when I am around positive
people
In the last 24 hours, I have told someone that I
cared about him or her
I make it a point to become acquitted with people
wherever I go
When I receive recognition, it makes me want to
give recognition to someone else
In the last week, I have listened to someone talk
through his or her goals and ambitions
I make unhappy people laugh
I make it a point to call each of my peers by the
name she or he likes to be called
I notice what my colleagues do at a level of
excellence
I always smile at the people I meet
I feel good about giving praise whenever I see
good behavior
Interaction Positive Negative
StrengthsFinder

StrengthsFinder
StrengthsFinder

Signature Theme Definition of the theme in your own words:
StrengthsFinder


Community Development
Our community development focuses on the need to understand self and others in an effort to create
community change. When we understand ourselves we know how we fit into and contribute to a group
and we know how we can contribute to a larger community. Our community development is about
understanding who our residents are as individuals and how we can come together as a community. We
want to influence our communities to contribute to collective success of each other and the Mason
student body at large. We focus the concept of leadership and community as a process rather than as a
position and we are all involved in that process!









Student Success Model
The University Life Student Success Model provides the framework for co-curricular and experiential
community development. The foundation of the Student Success Model is two pillars: retention & timely
degree completion and sense of belonging and Mason pride. All of the work that we do with our
residents influences these two pillars.
The Student Success Model is divided into four areas of learning that support transformative learning.
They are: Career Readiness, Civic Learning & Community Engagement, Global & Multicultural
Competence, and Well-Being. These areas of learning lay the foundation for our students to become
Mason Graduates who are engaged citizens, well-rounded scholars, and are prepared to act.
Our community development work this year will be congruent with the Student Success Model and all of
our programs will be designed to meet one or more of the areas of learning which are defined below:
Career Readiness
Mason students who are career ready will have the
knowledge, abilities, and skills to be adaptable, effective
and ethical in a global society. Career-ready students are
prepared to act to use their talents and resources to do
or create jobs.
• Work well in teams
• Take initiative
• Communicate well
• Guide decision-making and problem-solving
• Identify strengths and market skills
• Act ethically and understand different ethical
perspectives

Civic Learning and Community Development
Mason students will apply ethical knowledge and
learning with democratic ideals and principals to make
positive and meaningful changes both locally and
globally. As innovative and active community members,
Mason students engage with the world, honor freedom
of thought and expression, and thrive together.
• Identify core personal values and base actions on
those values
• Demonstrate knowledge, awareness, and
understanding of important world issues
• Apply academic and disciplinary knowledge and
personal experience to addressing societal problems
• Build a just society and be equipped to make
meaningful social change
How can you apply what you’ve learned in
your classes to serving the larger community?
What are some ways that you are preparing
for you career? How will your experience as
an RA translate to your future career?
Global & Multicultural Mindset
Mason students will understand the ways in which they
perceive, evaluate, believe, and solve problems based on
their own self-awareness and attained cultural knowledge,
They will conscientiously negotiate diversity among
individuals of various cultures and ethnicities, within
individual cultures and sub-cultures, by becoming aware of
one’s own and others’ perspectives.
• Articulate awareness and knowledge of self and others
• Articulate an understanding of how world-views are
influenced
• Demonstrate sensitivity toward others
• Articulate the worldview of self and others
• Articulate the impact their behavior has globally
• Serve as an effective ally and advocate for people of
identities other than their own
• Articulate an awareness of the roots and impact system-based power and privilege
Sense of Belonging
A sense of belonging is forged via interactions and shared
experience that result in creating, building, and sustaining a
web of connections that adds value to the individual and
the Mason community.
• Develop healthy interactions
• Sustain meaningful relationships
• Develop personal identity


Mason students will be able to build lives of vitality, purpose and resilience,
which are enriched by diversity and characterized by thriving, curiosity, hope,
meaning, and joy.
• Cultivate belief and purpose in their lives and decision-
making
• Be aware, access, and adapt their physical well-being and
the well-being of others
• Bolster financial literacy and successfully manage their
financial lives
• Form meaningful, long-term relationships and manage
conflict effectively
• Understand, integrate and model mindful awareness and
resilience
• Explore and maximize their talents and strengths
How do you think your culture has
influenced your world-view?
What are communities that you feel you
belong to? How did that happen? How
does that translate to your community
building efforts?
Well-Being reflection
Well-Being
Program Planning
A big part of community development and the student success model is educational programs! We want
to make sure you have all the tools and planning abilities to make these programs successful so please
use these in conjunction with your RD in planning your programs.
Needs assessment
To successfully program to the student success model and understand how to respond to your
community we need to understand what your community needs. With this comes needs assessment!
We’ve laid out some of our guidelines below:





• Develop relationships with your residents to find out what they’re interested in and what they’re doing
on campus.
• Use social media to see what your residents are interested in or talking about!
• Hand out a survey to your residents to get an idea of what your residents are interested in
• You will know your residents as a group better than anyone else so respond to things that are going on
• Have a lot of roommate conflicts? Maybe do a program about effective communication or conflict
management
• Increase in vandalism? Maybe do a program about civility and community impact
• Use Beacon to gather ideas on what your residents need assistance with in their success
• Think about what current events are happening locally or globally and host a dialogue about it
Program Checklist
Find out what your community needs are to
address with your program
Check calendars and campus events (You can use
our campus resources to address needs! Especially
if you use it to host a follow up dialogue to apply
that program to their experience)
Talk to your RD about your idea to see how you
can best implement it
Set a tentative date ASAP! Does it work for your
community?
Where are you going to host this program? Work
with your RD to reserve a space if necessary
Who is the best person to deliver the educational
part of the program? How are you going to reach
out to that person? Do you have an existing
relationship or are you just meeting them? Work
with your RD to reach out to our campus partners
Are you facilitating/leading the program? What
research do you need to do? Discuss the best
way to lead this program with your RD
How are your residents going to know about the program? What works best? Make sure you’re
utilizing GetConnected appropriately AND spreading the message. Make a plan to ensure all your
residents are aware of the program
Make a to-do/shopping list for any supplies you need for the program and make a plan to shop for
program
Confirm with any special guests. Confirm your room reservation.
Type up agenda. Prepare. Ensure that you know how your room is going to be set up and what’s
going to happen
Do you feel prepared? Make sure you have your stuff together before the day of the program!

Advice for the day of The program
Go door-to-door to invite residents in person
Arrange the room, decorate, place food and supplies
Greet residents and presenters when they arrive to make them feel welcome
Go with the flow! Trust your planning and preparation!
Clean up afterward. Leave the space better than the way you found it
Reflect! Write down what went well and what can be improved.
Assess! What did your residents learn? Get feedback on how to improve from your attendees as well
Write and send thank you notes to your presenters (if applicable)
Marketing













 

Personal Touch
Research shows that the current generation of
college students prefer receiving information or
invitations with a personal touch added. Think
about making hand made invitations, notes,
post it notes, small promotional gifts, etc.
SOCIAL MEDIA
Social Media can be a great tool. It is
important to make relevant posts if you want
residents to follow you. Think about creating a
community hashtag, Facebook group, or even
a Pinterest board. Think about how your
residents use these tools to communicate and
join them in making them effective for your
community!
POSTERS
Posters are used a lot so they aren’t always
the best way to promote to your community.
And sometimes it is not only what you say but
how you say it. Think about the difference in
the next two fliers. Think about how you want
to communicate with your residents.
WORD OF MOUTH
Word of mouth is sometimes the most
effective way to promote your programs. Not
only does it allow you to connect with
residents but it makes them feel special that
you invited them personally. Think about how
you find out about restaurants, stores, or a
new musical artist. A lot of influence comes
from the people you are close to. Talk up
programs to your residents and influence their
decision on what events to attend on campus.
This is also a great time to see what programs
they may be running or involved in.
Email
Email may work sometimes but it’s not the
best method. Don’t email things daily. Try
emailing updates once a week like a top 10
list. You could also include events that
residents are involved in, in order to celebrate
their accomplishments. Think of adding
pictures like buzzfeed or a trivia question each
week so it’s more engaging.
Make It Work
MAKE it work for you floor. Sometimes your
floor will really utilize a twitter hashtag, a
Facebook group, or word of mouth. Try out a
lot of different methods of promoting your
programs and community development and
see what works with your residents.
What are some fresh ideas you have to market
your programs? What’s the most creative
marketing technique that you’ve seen.
Success & Reporting
















What is a successful program that you’ve been to? In your
mind, why was it successful?
Sometimes
success is based on
number of people who
attended, but success for most
of our programs can be
measured by what people learned
at the program.
Here are some simple assessment/feedback techniques that
you can use:
• Minute paper - allow attendees to write down what
they learned for one minute after the program
• Muddiest point - allow attendees to write down the
information they are still the most confused about at
the end of the program so that you can address the
confusion later
• A “pop-quiz” - a short list of questions that are related
to the content you covered during your program
• Twitter survey - use twitter to do something similar. Ask
a question and have attendees reply directly to you
Dialogue Facilitation Guide
Facilitation, when properly developed, is an excellent
skill set for an RA much of the foundation of your job
is facilitation whether it’s casual conversations in a
large group, one on one conversation, or roommate
mediations you’re going to need to know how to
conduct a conversation! Facilitators use skills to
promote questions and discussion. Your programs
should rarely be lecture style and you should
incorporate a variety of opportunities for students to
engage with you and the material. An effective
facilitator does some of the following:

• Role Model – you’re modeling appropriate
behavior to your participants. They will mirror your
enthusiasm to be engaged in a conversation when
you have a positive approach and excitement
throughout the dialogue.
• Listens actively and reflects what you’re hearing
back to the group
• Articulates clearly and uses reflective listening
• Establishes clear ground rules with the participants
(when appropriate)
• Allow humor - sometimes this breaks the mood
when things get heavy but also think about what’s
being laughed at. We don’t want to laugh at someone but laughing with is good.
• Be comfortable with emotions - sometimes dialogues can dig deep and you’ll need to
• Ask questions – One of the best skills you can develop as a leader is the ability to ask thoughtful
questions. You will need to know your residents and understand what triggers them and how to help
them navigate that.
Some advanced facilitator skills:
• Understand your purpose of the program/dialogue and
• Our job is not to always resolve anxiety but to engage tension to enable learning
• Understand that learning is not a linear process and clarity can come at the end (or even much later)
• Modeling how the dialogue should go can be more powerful than preaching


Who is the best facilitator you’ve seen lead a
dialogue? What did they do that was effective?
Community Development Expectations









































Community Hours:
• Five hours per week
• Hours must be posted and visible to residents
• This is time spent actively engaging with your residents in order to build relationships
• You should be visible and present in a public place within your community
• Ideally you will work on RA related things during this time if you are not engaging with residents
Active & Passive Programming:
• You need to complete at least one program per week and make sure that you’re programming to
each of the Student Success Model’s areas of learning twice per semester
• Active Programs: Programs that people need to physically attend in order to take part. These
programs are all based on the Student Success Model. These can be hosted by you as an
individual or by your whole staff for your entire community.
• Passive Programs: These programs are educational but do not require residents to physically
attend at a specific time to receive the information. Some examples of these can be found below:
• Handing out travel tissue packets with information about the flu
• Passing out study guides with scantrons during mid-terms
• Providing tips and tricks for networking before the career fair
• Mason Programs: These are programs you take your residents to that support other offices and
Mason sponsored activities and events. Examples include Mason Athletics, speakers, movies,
fairs, student organization sponsored events, etc.
Community Standards & Floor Meetings:
• These meetings should happen at the beginning of each semester and as needed during the year
• Use your judgement and consult with your RD to decide when to plan floor meetings outside of
the beginning of the semesters and closing time
What ideas do you have for bulletin
boards?
Bulletin Boards:
• Bulletin boards are due the first Monday of each month
• Since bulletin boards are up for an entire Month, the quality
of the board should be a visual representation of who you
are as an RA and what your community is about. If you put
time into it, residents are more likely to read it, and be
engaged in the community
• Guidelines:
• Should have at least 4-6 educational components
• Must have a background and title
• No more than 30% of the board should be blank
• If your board is torn down or vandalized make sure
you replace it immediately
• Ask your RD about specific expectations beyond
these. Your RD reserves the right to ask you to add
to your board or re-do it
• If you’re stumped for ideas look online for inspiration!
Pinterest, tumblr, Reslife.net, and residentassistant.com
exist for these reasons!


















First 6 Weeks













The first 6 weeks are a critical time for students to
connect in your community. For first year students
these are the first relationships they will form.
Upper-division students are reconnecting with the
campus and seeking out opportunities to be more
involved. Now it’s time to plan how will you connect
your residents in the first 6 weeks.
What do you remember about your first 6 weeks on
campus? How can you translate those experiences
to your residents while keeping their interests and
needs in mind?
My first floor meeting will be:
___________________________________________

My community standards meeting will be:
___________________________________________
Specific programs/events/conversations/happenings that I would like to do each week:
Week 1: __________________________________________________________________________________
Week 2: __________________________________________________________________________________
Week 3: __________________________________________________________________________________
Week 4: __________________________________________________________________________________
Week 5: __________________________________________________________________________________
Week 6: __________________________________________________________________________________
What ideas do you have for door
decorations??
Door Decorations
• Make two door decorations per semester (4 for the year)
• Create one for each resident, staff members, and your RD
• Make extras for new residents and any name changes
• Do & Don’ts
• Do make them visually appealing
• Don’t make them gender specific
• Do put first names on the decorations
• Don’t put any personal information on them
• Do remember that these decorations represent what
your community will become
• Don’t be afraid to be creative
Use at least three of the following components in a creative way
Paper: Construction, printer, wrapping, newspaper, etc Computer print out or magazine cutouts
Coloring utensils: markers, crayons, colored pencils, chalk,
pastels, paint
Craft items: puffy paint, glitter, feathers, pipe cleaners,
popsicle sticks, googley eyes, etc.

Reference Guides
The following section will include some helpful information that you can come back to throughout the
year. These reference guides include information on Conflict Mediation, Crisis Intervention, Duty Protocol,
Incident Reports and IR writing, and other important resources including 1st floor meeting guides,
community standards meeting guide, phone numbers, and important dates to know.

Conflict Mediation Reference Guide
Conflict is a challenge that can result in a positive outcome.

The stereotypical view of a conflict as a full-blown argument between two or more individuals is one that
breeds multiple misperceptions. These misperceptions usually have an adverse effect on the manner in
which individuals (particularly first year students) approach conflict. When individuals approach conflicts
with these misperceptions in mind, they actually tend to insure that the conflict will eventually reach the
level of an argument with significantly negative results for relationships.

Not all conflict is negative. Conflict is usually difficult, but it leads to growth and change, which is good.

Some level of conflict is desirable — it’s not always dysfunctional. When conflict exists, it is a good
chance to learn about problem solving and compromise and gain interpersonal because those involved
should try to come up with the best solution.

When conflict does occur, a positive outcome depends upon how those involved choose to approach it.
Therefore, as an RA, your role is to approach conflict as a tool for helping your students learn from
challenges, and grow as a result.
Misconceptions of Conflicts
“Conflict is bad, abnormal; harmony is good and normal”
• This is simply not realistic. Individuals who come into contact with others in any situation are bound
to have divergent views, opinions, habits, values, approaches, etc. As a result, cooperation and
competition emerge. Conflict should be seen as a normal facet of human relationships.
“Conflict equals anger; conflicts will be arguments”
• Many conflicts can be discussed without anger, yet because of the above misperception,
individuals who find themselves to be in conflict with one another occasionally assume that anger
and fighting will result and prepare themselves to approach the conflict in such a fashion.
“Conflict is something to be squelched or avoided at all costs”
• Those who attempt to deal with conflicts by avoiding them or refusing to deal with them miss the
opportunities that are available for positive results. Some of these positive potentials are a better
understanding of self and others, and closer, stronger relationships.
“Conflict is dysfunctional and usually means that someone is wrong”
• Conflicts can often arise for the best reasons, and in many situations the assumption that fault will
be found is incorrect and inflammatory.
Conflict Interventions
If it is accepted that conflicts are natural occurrences in relationships and that if handled constructively
can produce positive results, what are the approaches that bring about positive ends to conflicts.

Proactive Interventions
A Proactive Intervention is something that one can initiate in order to prevent conflicts before they arise.
One example of a proactive intervention would be floor and/or roommate contracts/discussions that you
would explain at the first floor meeting. There are other proactive interventions available to you that are
more directed toward preventing conflicts by establishing good communications between roommate
pairs and apartment/suite mates. Room/Suite mate agreements are a great way to do proactive
interventions as it is a time for you to help your residents plan to deal with conflict.

Reactive Intervention
Even when proactive interventions are used effectively, conflicts will still occur. A second constructive
approach to managing the conflict is the Conflict Mediating Process. This Intervention is termed
“reactive” given that it is initiated after the fact, when a conflict has already begun.

In most conflict situations there are two components involved, the behavior and the motivation. The
behavior involves the actions, and words that were said, it is specific and objectively measured. The
motivation is more subjectively seen. While attitudes are important they can never totally be identified. It
is helpful to practice distinguishing between the two pieces. For example:

Dana borrowed Nicole's sweater without asking her. When Nicole confronted her, Dana suggested that
if she really cared about her things, she wouldn't leave them all over the floor, besides she would like to
be able to get to the closet without stepping on Nicole's things.

What are the behaviors and what are the motives?
Would things be seen differently if you knew that Dana was black and Nicole was white?
Too often motives and attitudes become central in conflicts between racially different people. While
attitudes need to be educated, behavior is central to conflict mediation. Inappropriate behavior is
inappropriate behavior regardless of the motivation. Therefore, when you are in a mediation role, you
need to stay focused on behavior.
Mediation Time!

Keep these things in mind when going into a Mediation:
• BE PATIENT: some mediations take a while, and some take more than one try.
• BE PREPARED: prepare yourself with any materials you need and even prepare yourself mentally. Be in
a good place for facilitating conflict. Also prepare your residents. Don’t just randomly drop by and say
MEDIATION TIME!
• Understand Mediation is a process. Check out our 7 step mediation guide for RAs…




A Seven Step Guide to Mediation
Step One: Get the Whole Story
• Conflicts usually start with one resident telling you their story.
• Get the story from all parties involved and talk to everyone individually which will help you better understand
the conflict and major issues.
• Most people respond better to one on one conversations
Step Two: Set up the Mediation Time
• Inform all parties that a mediation will take place and set a time you know everyone is available in advance.
Give people at least 24 hours to prepare.
• Set the mediation in a neutral location where others won’t interrupt.
• Let your RD know what is going on, they can help you and provide insight on the specific situation. And if the
issue gets worse, they are prepared to step in if needed
Step Three: Set Ground Rules
• Hold people and yourself accountable to the ground rules whatever they may be, as the mediator you have to
call people out respectfully for not abiding by their rules
• Common Ground Rules Include:
• One person speaks at a time, using a talking stick or object
• No interrupting or name calling, or cursing!
• Use “I” statements
• “I feel hurt when you talk loudly on the phone because it seems like you don’t care that I am even in the
room.”
• Active listening- paying attention, not constantly thinking about your next statement
• Openness and willingness to compromise
Step Four: Remain Neutral
• Remain neutral at all times, if you play devil’s advocate for one, play it for all and state that you will be doing so
up front.
• Make sure people feel they are on the same level.
• If you cannot remain neutral reach out to another RA, HRA or your RD for help.
Step Five: Go With It!
• Allow people to feel heard without taking the conversation off course
• REPHRASE!
• Original Statement: “I can’t with her because she is so damn rude. I can’t even hear myself think!”
• Rephrased Statement: “What I hear you saying is that you feel disrespected when Gabby talks on the
phone while you are studying because it is hard for you to concentrate”
• Help them move towards resolution. Ask questions about direct actions that could improve the situation.
• “What specifically do you think would be a good compromise for sharing the space?”
• “On a piece of paper, can you each finish the following sentence: I will commit to being a better roommate
by…”
Step Six: Get it in Writing
• Once a resolution is in place. Write it down! (have some paper and a pen with you)
• Ask about appropriate action if the agreement is broken and document that as well. How will they hold each
other accountable to their agreement?
• Get the residents to sign and date the agreement and put a time line on it. (Rest of the semester and revisit at
the start of next semester? Remainder of the school year)
Step Seven: Follow Up!
• Check up on the residents a week or so after the agreement is made.
• If necessary help the residents recommit themselves to the agreement.
• Depending on how things go you may have to start the process over again and possibly involve your
HRA or RD.

MEDIATION CHECKLIST

BEFORE THE MEDIATION:
Talk to all parties individually
Set up the mediation time 24 hours in
advance
Set up in a neutral location
have all materials needed for mediation
inform RD before + get tips
DURING THE MEDIATION:
CLARIFY THE RULES OF THE MEDIATOR AND THE
INVOLVED PARTIES
describe roles & define process
provide rationale for mediation
set ground rules
ESTABLISH A HELPING ENVIRONMENT
establish a non-partisan approach
minimize your verbal input
be a good & active listener
PRESENTATION OF INFORMATION
each party, one at a time
get basis of conflict
CLARIFICATION OF THE SITUATION
summarize the problem as you see it
question and clarify
restate problems factually
EXPLORING ALTERNATIVES
get parties to generate alternatives
seek common denominators between parties
try to get parties to understand other's
perspectives
work for compromise
RESOLVING THE PROBLEM
get parties to make some agreement
summarize agreement
reduce agreement to writing for you and the
mediation group
AFTER THE MEDIATION
FOLLOW UP
Talk to supervisor about mediation and next
steps
Follow up with both parties
Establish if a new mediation needs to take
place or if a move is needed
EVALUATION
evaluate the session on your own
evaluate the session with your RD
is the conflict resolved?
how/what would you do differently?
Crisis Intervention Reference Guide
What is a crisis?
A crisis occurs when there is some serious upset in the normal balance of an individual’s world, such that
their usual ways of problem solving do not work. What happens when a person is in a state of crisis?
1. THEY NEED HELP!
2. The stressful situation and the inability to get things back to normal leads to a HIGH STATE OF
TENSION.
3. The person sees the crisis as a serious threat to their future and has strong feelings of
helplessness and/or vulnerability. Remember that they are in a crisis because they do not feel
able to handle the situation the way they usually do.
4. The person is in a state of mental confusion. They literally cannot think straight. Often they cannot
even see what the problem is.
5. The person is emotionally confused as well. Inside there is often a strong feeling of fear, anxiety,
and/or depression that they have trouble recognizing and identifying.
6. The person’s behavior is disorganized. As they become more and more frantic to resolve the
problem and get themselves back together, their behavior begins to make less and less sense.
A crisis can be resolved in one of three ways
1. Negative
a. The person, even with the best help available, may not be able to restore their balance.
They may even become more disorganized. This is going to be true for some people no
matter what you do to help.
2. Neutral
a. The person may return to their normal state, restore their balance, and go on about their
lives as before.
3. Positive
a. The person may put themselves back together in a new more healthy way, so that
because of the experience they are stronger and better able to handle any new crises that
may occur in the future.
What is a crisis intervention?
Providing service at a point when someone defines a given situation as having reached a critical (crisis)
point and where they want/need something to help cope with (restore balance to) their world.

Goals of a crisis intervention
• To alleviate the immediate impact of the disruptive/stressful event(s)
• To help mobilize the person to cope with the effects of stress
• Guidance through the crisis



Ten Guidelines for Immediate Care of a Student Dealing with a Crisis
1. Hear out the person. You should be sure, through reflective listening, that you understand what the
advisee is thinking and feeling. This will help the advisee, and it will help you decide what should be
done.
2. Decide if the advisee is in crisis. Based upon what you have heard, decide whether this is a
temporary, situational crisis, or whether the advisee is in true crisis, by determining whether the
advisee has unsuccessfully used typical coping mechanisms, feels tension and anxiety, feels helpless
to solve the problem without help, and has experienced the problem for some time.
3. Take the person seriously. No matter how trivial or unimportant the problem may seem to you, it is
extremely important to the person "in crisis” that you take the problem seriously too. The perception
that one is in crisis feels as real as an actual life threatening crisis.
4. Keep calm. Even if what you are being told or see frightens or upsets you (and it probably will), do
everything in your power to remain outwardly calm. The advisee needs a person who, upon seeing or
hearing the problem, does not panic or reach the same emotional state as s/he is in. You should
attempt to remain steady, calm, and rational. Note that being calm and rational does not mean that
you should not show and express care and concern.
5. Stick with the advisee. Your physical presence and willingness to stay with the advisee will have a
powerful impact. Keep the person active--talking, walking, anything to keep the person involved in
the problem and give you opportunities to remain engaged with the advisee.
6. GET HELP. Do not try to be a hero and handle the crisis alone. Always call for help from your fellow
RA staff, your HRA, your RD, and/or Public Safety.
7. Avoid interpretation. Crisis intervention is not the time for you to practice psychotherapy or to attempt
to help the person to solve the causes of the crisis. "Psychologizing" is likely to do more harm than
good and elevate your advisee's extreme emotional state.
8. Encourage venting of feelings. Emotional catharsis (venting of feelings) may help to defuse the
immediate crisis. Crying, shouting, talking, punching a pillow, etc. may help the immediate crisis to
pass and provide time for help to arrive.
9. Avoid arguing. You should not argue with your advisee about behaviors s/he may threaten. Doing so
will just arouse anger and defensiveness.
10. Follow up. Your job is not done once you have made the referral. Unless you are instructed otherwise
by CAPS (or similar professionals), your continued emotional support of the advisee will likely be very
important to him or her. In most cases, once your advisee has established a relationship with medical
or counseling services it will no longer be appropriate for you to provide informal counseling with the
advisee on that issue. But it will remain appropriate for you to be available as a caring friend.
Adapted p. 139-141, Residence Hall Assistants in College, M. Lee Upcraft, Jossey-Bass, 1982

Emergency Situations For Resident Advisors:
HRA/RA/DM MUST ASSESS the maintenance concern using the following questions as
guidelines:
1. Does the situation pose a safety/security risk?
2. What have you done to investigate the problem?
3. How many students are affected by the problem?
4. What is the risk of further damage or potential harm to residents?
5. How would a delay in addressing the problem complicate the situation?
If NON- Emergency (Example: light bulb out)
Call your neighborhood Desk! They can help you or a resident put in a work order. The work
order form is also available online through the housing website.

If you KNOW this is an emergency!
1. Call GMUPD 703-993-2810
2. Call the RD on duty
(*More information in the On Call Reference Guide)
On Call Reference Guide
Community Walkthroughs
A lot of people know it as “rounds” but we feel what you do is so much more than just making the
rounds. As RAs it is not our jobs to police our residents but to keep them safe, enforce policy and build
community, and community walkthroughs encompass all of this. So what is the purpose?
# To provide an ounce of prevention – Residents are more likely to follow policy with community
walkthroughs than without them
# To build a caring and inclusive community – Engaging with residents and ensuring a safe
environment – paying close attention to maintenance and facility issues, security issues, and
making sure people are behaving in a safe manner
# Supporting student success – encouraging healthy behavior

RA Roles and Responsibilities During Walkthroughs
# Visibility – having a presence is important so residents have access to you. They actually look for
RAs!
# Community Building- Your job is to help with the following:
- Residents using each other as resources
- Comfort
- Security
- Resident Pride
- Inclusiveness
- Respect
# Help students cease negative behaviors
# Provide information regarding policies
# Follow through on incidents

The On-Call Structure
# HRA on Call
# 2 RDs on call at all times and the Assistant Director of Night Operations
- Rappahannock call 571-308-4506
- Aquia/Shenandoah call 703-307-8894
- Wednesday-Sunday call the ADNO 571-423-6852
# ADRL on-call
- You will never need to call the ADRL on call. Pro Staff will be in contact with the ADRL on call.
Just be aware that there is always an ADRL on call as well as an associate director.
# University Police (703-993-2810), CAPS (703-993-2380) and WAVES (703-993-9999) available at
all times. Usually the RD will make the call to CAPS or WAVES and you should be in contact with
an RD before you make these calls.
**All levels of staff are expected to respond to concerns regardless of whether or not they are “on duty.”

Who To Call?
• The Desk: Call the desk for just about anything. There is a DA available 24-7. This usually includes
maintenance requests or general questions.
• HRA: You can call the HRA on call for anything you may have a question about. HRAs are available for
backup as well. Use them! They will be checking you in for duty each night and will conduct
walkthroughs with staff members each night. If you want the HRA to walk with your duty team that
night, let them know.
• Assistant Director of Night Operations: Anything that you would call an RD for, you can call the ADNO
from Wednesday- Saturday after 7pm. This person is able to handle most any situation but can also
forward the call onto the RD if necessary.
• RD on Duty: The RD is available at all times. There is an RD on duty 24-7. Someone will definitely pick
up the phone! If you have a question during the day, you can ask your RD or the desk but if there is an
emergency during the day, feel free to call the RD on duty phone.
• Police: Available for back up and for assistance during emergency situations. If you need to call a
police officer, you then need to follow-up with a staff member. Either an HRA, the ADNO or RD on duty.




Policies!

Resident Student Handbook – You should be familiar with all policies!
• The resident student handbook can be found here: https://housing.gmu.edu/policies/
• It contains community information, departmental services, leadership, hall agreements, room
assignments, campus resources, wellness & safety, harassment, alcohol & other drugs, community
standards of living (abandoned property to windows) and more
• Code of Student Conduct – Residents will ask questions and you should be able to answer them!
Familiarize yourself with the code of conduct as well
• http://studentconduct.gmu.edu/university-policies/code-of-student-conduct/
CONFRONTING INCIDENTS
Before Confrontations
• Establishing yourself positively in the community before an incident occurs lowers the number of
incidents you will have and makes confronting incidents much easier. Focus on the following before a
confrontation even occurs.
• Show a genuine interest in residents
• Be present and visible
• Be real
• Avoid showing partiality
• Create a community
• Open freedom of expression
• Respect for others
• Caring
• Offer assistance when opportunities arise
• Give residents the opportunity to see you in roles other than that of a policy enforcer
• Know the policies you are enforcing
• Establish a great reputation

Immediately before a confrontation
• What should you do if you know an incident is taking place? Having the answers to the following
questions before you go into a situation will help the incident go as smoothly as possible
• Know what’s expected – Do some practice Community walkthroughs with a returner or HRA, pay
attention during training and ask questions!
• Establish if you need help? From whom?
• Have a plan in place, making sure you and the duty partner are on the same page is key
• Do you need to call the police and wait for them to arrive first?

After Confrontations
• If student wishes to discuss the incident, engage in open dialogue- Be sure not to promise them
anything or make assumptions about next steps. Only talk about how the process goes and answer all
questions honestly.
• Focus on learning and building the relationship
• Ask them to examine their actions from your perspective
• Express concern for them as a person (if appropriate)
• Provide resources – depending on the incident, provide the appropriate resources. Their RD is always a
great resource.
• Give them direction on the student conduct process
• Submit an IR

Incident Reports
• Utilize Judicial Action: https://ja.gmu.edu/ps/
• Log-In Information: mason credentials

Tips for IR writing
• It’s a formal document. It can be read or requested by staff all the way up to the Dean of Students and
beyond or students.
• Know when to document and if you’re unsure, document it anyway! We can always file a report away if
we don’t need it.
• Get detailed information during the incident. Document the names and G numbers for all students
who are involved.
• Only document the facts and be objective. Do not include your feelings or opinions.
• Make definitive statements/observations. Example: “RA Smith saw a 24 12 oz cans of miller lite.”
• Timing matters. Generally, it is expected that you complete the IR soon after the incident. If you need
assistance please contact your HRA or an extension please contact your RD.
• Know what needs to be included:
• Who: the names of everyone involved and describe how each person was involved. If the University
Police was involved, obtain the names and badge numbers of the officers and include the case
number in the IR.
• What: provide detailed, unbiased information about what occurred and include relevant quotes.
Note specifically what you smelled, heard and saw.
• Where: note the location. It should be clear to anyone reading the report.
• When: include a timeline of an incident, starting with what drew you to the location through how the
incident was ultimately resolved.
• Use third person and titles/last names: “RA Coleman observed resident Blarney…”Always refer to
the individual by their last name and title (if applicable) AFTER using their full name once (i.e.
resident advisor John Smith becomes RA Smith).
• Proof read for content as well as accuracy. If after submitting the IR, you realize you left something out,
misidentified someone or included anything else that needs to be corrected, let us know as soon as
possible.
• Grammar counts. Proofread the incident report to ensure that it is properly written and accurate.
• Connecting the writing to the duty response: The importance of observation and knowing the right
questions
• Alcohol violations
• What did you hear from the other side of the door before they opened the door?
• How many and what kind of alcoholic beverages were present?
• Where specifically was the alcohol in the room?
• Were the alcohol containers empty or full? What sizes are the bottles? 750 mL? 1.75 L?
• Who had alcohol in their hands?
• Who was seated or next two alcohol?
• Did anyone admit to drinking or say they weren’t?
• Was anyone involved exhibiting the effects of having consumed alcohol? (note any signs: slurred
speech, the smell of alcohol, etc)
• Did everyone follow your instructions? If not, who and what exactly did they do? What did they
say? (use quotes when possible)
• Noise violation
• How did you become aware of the alleged noise violation?
• How far away from the room was the noise clearly heard?
• When asked to reduce the noise level, did they immediately comply? If not, what exactly did
they say/do?
• What was the source of noise?
How to Run an Effective Meeting
Adopted from Forbes Magazine
Agenda
All meetings need to have a plan. Creating an agenda is key, even in informal settings, having a agenda
is important to ensuring time used is productive. If possible send the agenda out before, at least with an
outline of what will be covered. That way, they know how to prepare. An agenda also helps participants
stay on point.
External Agenda – This is a document you are okay with residents seeing. There is not a ton of detail.
An external agenda can be sent via email or even put up on the wall with butcher paper. This agenda is
not detailed and focuses more on main topics
Internal Agenda – this document is primarily for you and other facilitating the meeting. This is to help
yourself prepare for the meeting and allows space for you to write down exactly what you need to know
in order to be adequately prepared for the meeting.
Time Limit
Most meetings are so long because they’re not effectively run. Set a time limit and stick to it. If you wish,
you can limit the amount of time a resident can talk; For example if you start to notice that the meeting is
in danger of going over the time limit, you can announce that in order to respect everyone’s time, you are
asking that from this point on, people are concise in their responses (limiting everyone to about two
minutes or less) to ensure everyone has adequate time to speak
Decision Process
If the meeting is called to decide something, make sure there’s a decision-making process in place. Will it
be majority rules? Or does everyone in attendance have to agree? Creating a goal for the meeting and
letting residents know what that goal is beforehand. Once a decision is made clairify to make sure
everyone is on the same page.
Follow Up
At the end of the meeting, set deadlines and delegate tasks for next steps. Have something in place that
holds people accountable to the work they’ve been assigned. “By next Wednesday we will have posted
all of our ideas to the Get Connected page and by Friday, people will have voted on their top two
program ideas via the poll I just sent you.” Setting deadlines ensures that great ideas translate into
action.
First Floor Meeting Agenda – 1st Year Communities
Before you begin:
Research and plan a simple fun ice breaker that will allow people to meet one another
Plan the date and time of your Community Standards Meeting
Make sure you have enough copies for each of your rooms to have 1 Roommate Introduction form
Review this agenda to make sure you are comfortable reading and delivering the information
Remember that the information in this agenda is very important and you need to review all of it.
Note that you have 90 minutes for your meeting and you will need all of it. Do your best to stick to the
suggested time for each section.
If you are an RA for a First Year floor remember that you will walk over to Welcome Events. Get them
ready for the hypnotist and Screen on the Green
Get excited! This is the first time your community will be together. Set a positive and enthusiastic
tone. Your residents want to get to know you, one another and the campus!
Introductions (15 min)
• Welcome
• Ice-breaker – simple…fun…engaging…focus on names of people in the community
• Explain your role as an RA
• How can your residents contact you if they need you?
• What resources they might contact you for
• Room location, etc.

Goal of Meeting (2 min)
The goal of this meeting is to discuss a few policies, some resources on campus & ways to get involved
on the floor, and then go to the Patriot Premier welcome week event together

The Neighborhood (10min)
• Neighborhood name, buildings in your neighborhood
• What to do if they get locked out
• Work orders/facilities issues
• How do residents report an issue
• Where to find work order system
• Housekeeping Staff
• What do they do, what do they not do?
• Who is our housekeeper. Remember that he/she is a member of our community
• how will we say “thank you”
• If you have a problem in your room or housing area and need assistance, visit your neighborhood
desk or give them a call to report the issue.
• When reporting problems, please give your building, room number and a complete description of the
problem. Concerns can be submitted 24 hours a day!





George Mason Police Department
Location: Police & Safety Building (in front of the Rappahannock River Deck)
Contact number: 703.993.2810
Website: www.gmu.edu/depts/police

GMU Police Force are state certified police officers empowered to enforce all state and local laws on all
George Mason campuses. Program the GMUPD # into your cell phone. Always know where you are if
you have to make the call for help. Use this number for police, fire, or medical assistance or
emergencies.

Availability: 24 hours a day year-round, University Police officers are responsible for maintaining order
and public safety. University Police officers regularly patrol the streets, parking lots, and grounds of the
campus. In addition to motor, bicycle and foot patrols

Services:
• If you see something, say something! Don't wait for "suspicious" to become a crime. Don't be shy
about calling the police.
• Lock it or lose it (residence hall, car, study rooms...) Keep secure copies of your electronics' and
credit cards' serial numbers and important information should those things become lost or stolen.
Laptops, phones, wallets, and parking passes are the most common stolen items. Report it ASAP.
• Campus Escort: Don't risk it. Call for a walking escort 24-7 if you feel unsafe walking by yourself
anywhere on campus.

Safety and Policy Review (20min)
• Fairfax and the Mason campus is safe, but that doesn’t’ mean that crimes do not occur. College is a
time to explore and have fun. Be smart about it and reduce your risk of harm by protecting yourself.
• Before the going out to an event:
• Utilize public transportation or taxi services. Getting in a car with someone you don’t know or
“shuttling”, puts you at risk. They may have consumed drugs or alcohol, and/or you have no way of
knowing where they will take you.
• Use the buddy system: go together, leave together, no matter how much someone protests.
• Establish a signal or code word with other members of your committee, security, or organizations to
help you out in an awkward situation.
• Personally set limits and help your friends set limits to the amount of alcohol that they will consume
and make sure to stick with them.

During a social event:
• Trust your instincts! Keep an eye about your surroundings to see what is occurring around you.
• Look out for your guests as well as your friends.
• Don’t be afraid to interrupt or to make a scene.
• Do not accept drinks or food from others.
After a social event:
• Leave together, even if you have to stay after for clean up.
• Have your keys ready when you are going to get into your car to drive (only if you have not been
drinking).
Policy Overview
Touch on the following policies, refer them to the Resident Student Handbook for more information
which can be found on the housing.gmu.edu website.
KEYS 
• Do not share your room key or swipe card. Remember to lock your door! Most thefts happen
because someone left their room door open. Even when you go to the shower!
• Keep your key on you at all times. If you lose your key, visit the desk.
ALCOHOL/DRUGS
• If you are under 21 consuming alcohol is illegal. If you are under 21 and you are in a location where
alcohol is present you are violating university policy.
SAFETY/SECURITY
• For the safety and security of all residents and all personal belongings in the hall or floor, don’t prop
doors to the buildings and do not let others “tailgate” into the residence hall. If you see someone you
don’t know or who looks like they don’t belong on the floor, ask them who they are! Take ownership
of your community.
• When the fire alarm goes off, treat it as real and get out of the building and away from the building.
Never assume the alarm is false.
YOUR SAFETY
• Please sign up for Mason Alert at alert.gmu.edu to be informed of any emergencies on or affecting
campus. Follow their instructions.
• Please download the Crisis Edu app for information about what to do during a campus emergency.
QUIET HOURS
• Quiet hours begin at 10pm on Sunday-Thursday and at 12am on Friday and Saturday. Quiet Hours
are in place so that we can create an atmosphere that is respectful of all members of the community.
ROOMMATE ISSUES
• If you have an issue with your roommate(s), first talk to them! Then, talk to your RA. Many issues can
be resolved with a conversation between you and your roommates.
• Hand out Roommate Introduction forms. Ask residents to sit down with their roommates at another
time to fill them out. You will meet with them in early in the semester to go over these and Residential
Living Agreements.
Get involved! (15 min)
• Neighborhood Council is a great way to get involved on campus as a first-year student! Here’s some
information about the information session: meets Mondays at 7:30pm…(check with ADRL for
location prior to meeting)
• Look at the Welcome Week calendar, circle events we want to go to as a floor
Preamble!
It will be important to talk about the Preamble events, especially the ones you are taking the residents to.
Check out the link for information: http://welcomeweek.gmu.edu/the-preamble/

At the end of the meeting:
• Questions/Close by reminding your residents about the date and time of your Community Standards
Meeting (within 7 days)
• Remind them that you will meet again Sunday evening to go over more resources and get ready for
the first day of classes
• This is where we will review community standards
Sunday Floor Meeting Agenda – 1st Year Communities
Before you begin:
• Research and plan a simple fun ice breaker
• Review date and time of your Community Standards Meeting
• The goal of this meeting is to check-in with students…review policies…services as Mason…and
answer questions residents might have related to starting classes or getting connect to student
groups…etc
• Note that we will be doing Occupancy Verification Rosters this week…so if they notice their
roommate or suitemate hasn’t arrived to let you know

Welcome
• Ice-breaker – simple…fun…engaging…focus learning something fun about everyone
• Check-In to see if students have questions about anything they have experienced so far
• Address any trends you have already observed over the last day(s) with the floor/community being
together

Review Campus Services
Mason Police
Location: Police & Safety Building (in front of the Rappahannock Parking Deck)
Contact number: 703.993.2810
Website: www.gmu.edu/depts/police
GMU Police are state certified police officers empowered to enforce all state and local laws on all George
Mason campuses. Program the GMUPD # into your cell phone. Always know where you are if you have
to make the call for help. Use this number for police, fire, or medical assistance or emergencies.

Availability: 24 hours a day year-round, University Police officers are responsible for maintaining order
and public safety. University Police officers regularly patrol the streets, parking lots, and grounds of the
campus. In addition to motor, bicycle and foot patrols
• If you see something, say something! Don't wait for "suspicious" to become a crime. Don't be shy
about calling the police.
• Lock it or lose it (residence hall, car, study rooms...) Keep secure copies of your electronics' and
credit cards' serial numbers and important information should those things become lost or stolen.
Laptops, phones, wallets, and parking passes are the most common stolen items. Report it ASAP.
• Campus Escort: Don't risk it. Call for a walking escort 24-7 if you feel unsafe walking by yourself
anywhere on campus.
 
CAPS - Counseling & Psychological Services
Location: SUB-1, Rm 3129
Contact number: 703.993.2380
Website: caps.gmu.edu

Availability:
• Walk in Hours: M-Fr, 8:30am-5p
• In the case of a mental health emergency
• During the day, M-Fr, 8:30am-5pm call CAPS or walk-in to be seen in SUB-1, room 3129
• Evening or on weekends, please contact your RA/Housing staff or contact University Police to
contact a CAPS counselor on-call.

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) promote students’ successful academic progress and
personal adjustment through the following services:
• Psychological Services: which provide free and confidential individual or group counseling for a wide
variety of personal concerns.
• Learning Services: which provide individual academic skills counseling, academic skills workshops,
Certificate in Academic Skills, and support for students with LD or ADHD.
• Multicultural Services: provides peer support and info for students of diverse cultural and ethnic
backgrounds via the Peer Empowerment Program.
• Emergency Services: provide emergency mental health consultation.
• Mental health emergencies include things like: having thoughts of suicide, thoughts of violence
toward others, hearing others express thoughts of suicide or of harming others, engaging in
dangerous behaviors, inability to care for oneself, etc.

WAVES - Wellness Alcohol and Violence Education and Services
Location: SUB I, SUITE 3200
Contact number: office: 703-993-9999 
24-hour cell 703-380-1434
Website: waves.gmu.edu

Availability: 24 hours a day, seven days a week through use of the cell phone; or Walk in hours between
8:30am and 5pm in Sub 1 3200 Student Health Services

WAVES is committed to providing direct services for anyone impacted to sexual assault, stalking and
dating/partner violence. All services are available to survivors and to their families, significant others, and
friends at no cost.
• Services related to Inter-personal violence:
• Comprehensive assistance in reporting sexual assault, stalking, and dating/partner violence
• Crisis intervention services and referrals
• Information on the issues for students doing research
• Trained peer support to provide assistance to student survivors
• Psychological, medical, legal and conduct support and information
• Assistance with academic intervention
• Confidentiality: Supportive services are kept confidential until a client requests assistance from
other agencies or offices.

While at Mason, you’ll be making decisions every day that affect your health. WAVES is also a place to
find resources and information to help you with that decision-making. The office has info on safer sex,
body image, self-esteem, stress management, alcohol and drugs, breast and testicular cancer , health
and smoking cessation, to name a few.
Services related to Wellness & Alcohol/Drug Education:
• WAVES staff provide individual consultations and support to students about alcohol/drug and other
health issues
• Free HIV testing- No needles, no blood and results given in 20 minutes.
• Condoms, dental dams, and lubricants are provided throughout the entire year too!
Availability: M-Fr 8:30am-5pm

Student Health Services
SHS provides doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, a pharmacy and a lab. All Mason students can be
seen by a healthcare provider. There is no fee to be seen. There are fees for medications, labs, and
procedures.

Location: SUB I, first floor
Contact number: day: 703-993-2831, also use this # after-hours to speak with an after-hours nurse.
Website: shs.gmu.edu
Availability: Monday – Saturday with various hours; please check their website for hours.
Services:
• Schedule appointments for many health concerns and have walk-in appointments for urgent care
needs. All healthcare at SHS is confidential.
• Flu shots in the fall
• Care for on-going medical concerns, please visit SHS while you are feeling healthy and speak with a
healthcare provider about your concern; then we can better help you when you are not well.

Enrollment Central
Convenient, one-stop shop located on the ground floor of Student Union Building I. If you need
information or services from the offices of Financial Aid, Student Accounts, the Registrar, or Transfer/
Admissions, stop at Enrollment Central first
Location: SUB I, ground floor
Contact number: 703.993.3690
Availability: M-Fr 9-5
Services:
• Assistance with change of major/minor
• force adds, account holds,
• payment information,
• inquiries regarding your admission if you are a transfer student
• general campus information

Safety and Policy Review
Fairfax and the Mason campus is safe, but that doesn’t mean that crimes do not occur. College is a time
to explore and have fun. Be smart about it and reduce your risk of harm by protecting yourself.

• Please sign up for Mason Alert at alert.gmu.edu to be informed of any emergencies on or affecting
campus. Follow their instructions.
• Please download the Crisis Edu app for information about what to do during a campus emergency.


Hall Policy Overview
A full list of hall policies can be found in the Resident Student Handbook which can be found on the
housing website - housing.gmu.edu
• KEYS
• Do not share your room key or Mason ID and remember to lock your door! Most thefts
happen because someone left their room door open. Even when you go to the shower!
• Keep your key on you at all times. If you lose your key, visit the desk.
• ALCOHOL/DRUGS
• If you are under 21 consuming alcohol is illegal. If you are under 21 and you are in a location
where alcohol is present you are violating university policy.
• SAFETY/SECURITY
• For the safety and security of all residents and all personal belongings in the hall or floor, don’t
prop doors to the buildings and do not let others “tailgate” into the residence hall. If you see
someone you don’t know or who looks like they don’t belong on the floor, ask them who they
are! Take ownership of your community.
• When the fire alarm goes off, treat it as real and get out of the building and away from the
building. Never assume the alarm is false.
• QUIET HOURS
• Quiet hours begin at 10pm on Sunday-Thursday and at 12am on Friday and Saturday. Quiet
Hours are in place so that we can create an atmosphere that is respectful of all members of
the community.
• ROOMMATE ISSUES
• If you have an issue with your roommate(s), first talk to them! Then, talk to your RA. Many
issues can be resolved with a conversation between you and your roommates.
• Hand out Roommate Introduction forms. Ask residents to sit down with their roommates at
another time to fill them out. You will meet with them in early in the semester to go over these
and Residential Living Agreements.

Involvement              
Neighborhood Council is a great way to get involved within the community to building leadership skills
and enhance your resume.
• Neighborhood Council is the voice of the students living in the Neighborhood and will plan events
and be a forum to changes students want to see within the halls and on-campus
• Here’s some information about the information session: meets Mondays at 7:30pm…(check with
ADRL for location prior to meeting)

Review Welcome Week Events...talk about who wants to go to what…where you will meet up as a floor
if you are going to things together

At the end of the meeting:
• Questions/Close by reminding your residents about the date and time of your Community Standards
Meeting (within 7 days)

First Floor Meeting Agenda – Upper-Division Communities
Before you begin:
• Research and plan a simple fun ice breaker that will allow people to meet one another
• Plan the date and time of your Community Standards Meeting
• Review this agenda to make sure you are comfortable reading and delivering the information
• Remember that the information in this agenda is very important and you need to review all of it.
• Note that you have 90 minutes for your meeting and you will need all of it. Do your best to stick to the
suggested time for each section.
• Get excited! This is the first time your community will be together. Set a positive and enthusiastic
tone. Your residents want to get to know you, one another and the campus!

Introductions
• Welcome
• Ice-breaker – simple…fun…engaging…focus on names of people in the community
• Take a quick poll to see how many residents are new to the halls at Mason…and new to Mason all
together
• Explain your role as an RA
• How can your residents contact you if they need you?
• What resources they might contact you for
• Room location, etc.

Goal of Meeting
The goal of this meeting is to introduce community member to one another, discuss a few policies, some
resources on campus & ways to get involved within the community

The Neighborhood/Building
• Neighborhood name, buildings in your neighborhood
• Neighborhood Council is a great way to get involved within the community to building leadership
skills and enhance your resume.
• Neighborhood Council is the voice of the students living in the Neighborhood and will plan
events and be a forum to changes students want to see within the halls and on-campus
• Here’s some information about the information session: meets Mondays at 7:30pm…(check
with ADRL for location prior to meeting)
• 24 Hour desk
• Location
• What to do if they get locked out
• What can they do at the desk?
• Check out a loaner key, check out board games, vacuums, carts, basketballs, etc.
• Work orders/facilities issues
• How do residents report an issue
• Where to find work order system
• Housekeeping Staff
• What do they do, what do they not do?
• Who is our housekeeper, A member of our community, how will we say “thank you”
• Building specific things…
• e.g. lounges, computer labs, meeting spaces, etc.
• If you have a problem in your room or housing area and need assistance, visit your neighborhood
desk or give them a call to report the issue.
• When reporting problems, please give your building, room number and a complete description
of the problem. Concerns can be submitted 24 hours a day!

Review Campus Services
Mason Police
Location: Police & Safety Building (in front of the Rappahannock Parking Deck)
Contact number: 703.993.2810
Website: www.gmu.edu/depts/police
GMU Police are state certified police officers empowered to enforce all state and local laws on all George
Mason campuses. Program the GMUPD # into your cell phone. Always know where you are if you have
to make the call for help. Use this number for police, fire, or medical assistance or emergencies.

Availability: 24 hours a day year-round, University Police officers are responsible for maintaining order
and public safety. University Police officers regularly patrol the streets, parking lots, and grounds of the
campus. In addition to motor, bicycle and foot patrols
• If you see something, say something! Don't wait for "suspicious" to become a crime. Don't be shy
about calling the police.
• Lock it or lose it (residence hall, car, study rooms...) Keep secure copies of your electronics' and
credit cards' serial numbers and important information should those things become lost or stolen.
Laptops, phones, wallets, and parking passes are the most common stolen items. Report it ASAP.
• Campus Escort: Don't risk it. Call for a walking escort 24-7 if you feel unsafe walking by yourself
anywhere on campus.
 
CAPS - Counseling & Psychological Services
Location: SUB-1, Rm 3129
Contact number: 703.993.2380
Website: caps.gmu.edu

Availability:
• Walk in Hours: M-Fr, 8:30am-5p
• In the case of a mental health emergency
• During the day, M-Fr, 8:30am-5pm call CAPS or walk-in to be seen in SUB-1, room 3129
• Evening or on weekends, please contact your RA/Housing staff or contact University Police to
contact a CAPS counselor on-call.

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) promote students’ successful academic progress and
personal adjustment through the following services:
• Psychological Services: which provide free and confidential individual or group counseling for a wide
variety of personal concerns.
• Learning Services: which provide individual academic skills counseling, academic skills workshops,
Certificate in Academic Skills, and support for students with LD or ADHD.
• Multicultural Services: provides peer support and info for students of diverse cultural and ethnic
backgrounds via the Peer Empowerment Program.
• Emergency Services: provide emergency mental health consultation.
• Mental health emergencies include things like: having thoughts of suicide, thoughts of violence
toward others, hearing others express thoughts of suicide or of harming others, engaging in
dangerous behaviors, inability to care for oneself, etc.

WAVES - Wellness Alcohol and Violence Education and Services
Location: SUB I, SUITE 3200
Contact number: office: 703-993-9999 
24-hour cell 703-380-1434
Website: waves.gmu.edu

Availability: 24 hours a day, seven days a week through use of the cell phone; or Walk in hours between
8:30am and 5pm in Sub 1 3200 Student Health Services

WAVES is committed to providing direct services for anyone impacted to sexual assault, stalking and
dating/partner violence. All services are available to survivors and to their families, significant others, and
friends at no cost.
• Services related to Inter-personal violence:
• Comprehensive assistance in reporting sexual assault, stalking, and dating/partner violence
• Crisis intervention services and referrals
• Information on the issues for students doing research
• Trained peer support to provide assistance to student survivors
• Psychological, medical, legal and conduct support and information
• Assistance with academic intervention
• Confidentiality: Supportive services are kept confidential until a client requests assistance from
other agencies or offices.

While at Mason, you’ll be making decisions every day that affect your health. WAVES is also a place to
find resources and information to help you with that decision-making. The office has info on safer sex,
body image, self-esteem, stress management, alcohol and drugs, breast and testicular cancer , health
and smoking cessation, to name a few.
Services related to Wellness & Alcohol/Drug Education:
• WAVES staff provide individual consultations and support to students about alcohol/drug and other
health issues
• Free HIV testing- No needles, no blood and results given in 20 minutes.
• Condoms, dental dams, and lubricants are provided throughout the entire year too!
Availability: M-Fr 8:30am-5pm

Student Health Services
SHS provides doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, a pharmacy and a lab. All Mason students can be
seen by a healthcare provider. There is no fee to be seen. There are fees for medications, labs, and
procedures.

Location: SUB I, first floor
Contact number: day: 703-993-2831, also use this # after-hours to speak with an after-hours nurse.
Website: shs.gmu.edu
Availability: Monday – Saturday with various hours; please check their website for hours.
Services:
• Schedule appointments for many health concerns and have walk-in appointments for urgent care
needs. All healthcare at SHS is confidential.
• Flu shots in the fall
• Care for on-going medical concerns, please visit SHS while you are feeling healthy and speak with a
healthcare provider about your concern; then we can better help you when you are not well.

Enrollment Central
Convenient, one-stop shop located on the ground floor of Student Union Building I. If you need
information or services from the offices of Financial Aid, Student Accounts, the Registrar, or Transfer/
Admissions, stop at Enrollment Central first
Location: SUB I, ground floor
Contact number: 703.993.3690
Availability: M-Fr 9-5
Services:
• Assistance with change of major/minor
• force adds, account holds,
• payment information,
• inquiries regarding your admission if you are a transfer student
• general campus information

Safety and Policy Review
Fairfax and the Mason campus is safe, but that doesn’t mean that crimes do not occur. College is a time
to explore and have fun. Be smart about it and reduce your risk of harm by protecting yourself.

• Please sign up for Mason Alert at alert.gmu.edu to be informed of any emergencies on or affecting
campus. Follow their instructions.
• Please download the Crisis Edu app for information about what to do during a campus emergency.


Hall Policy Overview
A full list of hall policies can be found in the Resident Student Handbook which can be found on the
housing website - housing.gmu.edu
• KEYS
• Do not share your room key or Mason ID and remember to lock your door! Most thefts
happen because someone left their room door open. Even when you go to the shower!
• Keep your key on you at all times. If you lose your key, visit the desk.
• ALCOHOL/DRUGS
• If you are under 21 consuming alcohol is illegal. If you are under 21 and you are in a location
where alcohol is present you are violating university policy.
• SAFETY/SECURITY
• For the safety and security of all residents and all personal belongings in the hall or floor, don’t
prop doors to the buildings and do not let others “tailgate” into the residence hall. If you see
someone you don’t know or who looks like they don’t belong on the floor, ask them who they
are! Take ownership of your community.
• When the fire alarm goes off, treat it as real and get out of the building and away from the
building. Never assume the alarm is false.
• QUIET HOURS
• Quiet hours begin at 10pm on Sunday-Thursday and at 12am on Friday and Saturday. Quiet
Hours are in place so that we can create an atmosphere that is respectful of all members of
the community.
• ROOMMATE ISSUES
• If you have an issue with your roommate(s), first talk to them! Then, talk to your RA. Many
issues can be resolved with a conversation between you and your roommates.
• Hand out Roommate Introduction forms. Ask residents to sit down with their roommates at
another time to fill them out. You will meet with them in early in the semester to go over these
and Residential Living Agreements.

At the end of the meeting:
• Questions/Close by reminding your residents about the date and time of your Community Standards
Meeting (within 7 days)

Roommate Agreements
One of the proactive resources that you have to work through conflicts with your residents is roommate
agreements. These are a critical tool for you to help room and suite mates establish their own ground-
rules for living together. It’s important to facilitate this conversation appropriately so that the responses
that are recorded on the agreement is meaningful. Make sure to follow the guidelines to establish
meaningful roommate agreements:
• Set a time that all of the room/suitemates can be present
• Establish some ground rules for the conversation
• Decisions should be made through consensus rather than voting
• Explain the roommate rights and responsibilities that are on the first page of the agreement
• Walk through the communication guidelines with the students
• Seek context for responses so that everyone understands what they’re agreeing to
• Remember that you should be leading the conversation and not answering the questions for them
• This also means that you should be guiding them to have a meaningful/reflective conversation
about how they will live together and give them the tools to work through conflict together
If you’ve been through a roommate
agreement discussion before, how did it go?
How did it influence your roommate
relationship? What can you do to make sure
this conversation is a positive one for your
residents?
What can you do to make sure this
conversation is a positive one for your
residents?