What does Residential Life mean to you?
Residential Life Program or Res Life, is a term used to describe the comprehensive programs surrounding the experience one will receive when living “on and off campus” within student accommodation. The Residential Life Program highlights ways for our residents to network, grow and learn. Throughout the course of the semester, we hold a large array of diverse, fun and inclusive events hoping to tailor to each resident in one way or another. Our programs involve campus services for both academic and pastoral, student clubs and societies through university student associations, local and community organisations, even neighbouring residences to share resources and responsibilities, get support and establish invaluable networks. The events can range from social events through to career development such as CV writing and employer nights. We have run different events throughout the semesters such as dinner nights, bowling night, movie nights, art competition, paintball, various day trips and so much more! Res Life is driven by the Residential Life Team and is the pinnacle offering to assist individuals traverse through University.
Who makes up the Residential Life Team at UniLodge @ UC Lodges?
The Residential Life Team comprises of the Residential Life Manager (RLM) and Residential Advisors (RAs).
The RLM role provides leadership and support in the management and development of the pastoral care programs and academic support within our Unilodge buildings. The RLM plays a key role in the successful creation of an engaging and supportive environment for our residents and staff, helping students navigate their university experience. Their main purpose is to assist and support students through difficult and/or challenging times, acting as the central advisory resource throughout one’s stay. In effect, the RLM holds a wide knowledge base in addressing academic and non-academic issues, as well as supporting one’s personal, academic, social and cultural development. The RLM plays a fundamental role in advocating for student wellbeing and provision of care on an executive level.
The RA Team:
Our RA’s are first and foremost recognised as student leaders. RAs are the guardians of our resident’s safety and wellbeing within the Lodges. Our RA’s act as the eyes and ears of our properties, providing advice to the RLM in matters concerning the welfare of students and act under the discretion of Management after hours. The team also assists the RLM in addressing grievances and matters of conflict resolution. RA’s receive comprehensive training, equipped to respond to pastoral concerns with maturity, understanding and sensitivity. The RA team also work closely with the RLM in implementing the Res Life calendar across the sites and ensuring all aspects of the Res Life flow throughout the halls of Lodge, reaching every single resident.
What would you say is your favourite Residential Life Event?
It must be our Commencement Ball! One of the biggest events UniLodge @ UC hosts, the Commencement Ball sets the stage as a formal acknowledgement and welcome to new and returning residents for the academic year it is held. The event spares no expense with offering a meal and drinks package, live entertainment, as well as special guests and speakers. The night gives residents from all accommodation properties at UC the platform to meet fellow residents, creating an even greater and diverse network for to call upon throughout their stay with us.
If you could give new residents some quick tips before they arrive. What would they be?
- Be yourself. Don’t fake it to make it. We pride ourselves for providing an environment where you can be you. Judgement and discrimination have no place within our walls, and you should not feel confined to be anything but yourself. There are hundreds of people for you to meet and form connections with. Some may not be right for you, but you will find your group.
- Plan, plan, plan. One thing you need to be on top of is your planning. No one is perfect, but I guarantee you will not be able to remember everything going on in your life, so plan out your weeks to ensure you don't get caught out.
- Fear doesn’t need to rule you. You should not let fear of meeting new people or getting involved in events and activities overcome you. There is a tremendous number of offerings not only through us but also the university. Take the step out of your comfort zone and participate in what is on offer. And if you need it help is around every corner, so there is never a reason to be fearful.
What do you love most about being a Residential Life Manager?
I love the responsibility I have not just as a manager, but as a leader. The thrill I get from having the ability to lead residents, both new and returning, as they traverse through the complex and somewhat scary, life-changing moment when they start University. Holding a wide knowledge from my years as a student moving from a country town, then as a Residential Advisor and now as the Residential Life Manager. Being able to then pass that knowledge onto the residents and my team brings a lot of joy knowing that they are utilising.
Why should the person reading this pick your property as their new home?
You should choose UniLodge at the University of Canberra because of the engaging and supportive environment that you will be immersed in. We pride ourselves on the offerings we provide residents through our Residential Life Program. We don’t consider you as just another person in the room. We want you to get the most out of your journey through university life and give you the environment to grow, learn and discover yourself.