Community Connections: News and Notes from the Director of Residence Life.
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Community Connections: News and Notes from the Director of Residence Life.

News and Notes from the Director of Residence LIfe

Greetings! I hope this newsletter finds you relaxed and rested after fall break.

This mid-semester newsletter contains information about upcoming events, opportunities and deadlines that are important to all residents. It will serve as a reminder and an easy reference as you navigate the second half of the semester.

You may also find it helpful to follow the Office of Residence Life on Twitter, @HoodResLife, where brief event and date reminders will be posted. Following our Twitter feed, as opposed to Facebook postings, maintains your privacy, as we won't follow you.

With about eight weeks remaining until finals, now is a great time to take advantage of the resources Hood offers to boost your success. Seeking out services early can help you avoid feeling undue stress later on.

  • Don't forget, Hood's faculty are committed to helping students succeed; often meeting with a professor during her or his office hours can assist you in understanding challenging material and identifying opportunities to raise your grade.
  • If additional help is needed, the Center for Academic Achievement and Retention, located on the third floor of Rosenstock Hall, provides assistance with writing papers and connecting students with peer or professional tutors—available in many subjects—free of charge.
  • Your RA or area coordinator may be able to connect you with students who are taking similar classes, if a study group is more your style. These staff members also can direct you to additional campus resources equipped to help.

I wish all residents a productive and enjoyable second half of the semester. Please remember to contact any member of the residence life staff if you have questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Zachary A. Luhman
Director of Residence Life
(301) 696-3577
residencelife@hood.edu


How is your roommate relationship?

Roommate relationships require ongoing work by both parties to be successful. Stresses such as academics and social life can interfere with even the best relationship if neglected. Whether you feel like your roommate is your long-lost sibling or you've identified some "pet peeves," the following tips can assist you in strengthening the bond with your roommate.

Talk to one another. Direct, face-to-face communication is essential to a strong relationship. Whether issues have come up, or you just feel like you aren't connecting, finding a time to sit down with your roommate and talk can go a long way to resolving differences. While it may seem easier, or less confrontational, to write a quick text message or post on a Facebook wall, it is rare that this type of communication is successful. Written messages are open to misinterpretation and don't encourage an active dialogue. When you're ready to talk:

  • Find a time and place that is comfortable for both of you. The conversation will be more productive if neither person feels cornered or forced into it.
  • Politely bring up your experiences and feelings, explain what specific behaviors are contributing to your feelings. Avoid accusing or aggressive statements. Don't assume you already know the intentions behind your roommate's actions; allow her or him to explain. Take ownership for your own perceptions and feelings, don't place blame.
  • Talk to each other, not about each other. While friends may seem supportive, it's always best to address any concerns with your roommate directly. Involving friends when airing issues can lead to rumors, hurt feelings and confusion. Ultimately this makes it more difficult to resolve issues because the involvement of others becomes an issue itself.

Seek help. Discussing conflict can be uncomfortable. Use your RA as a neutral mediator if you're having trouble. For mediation to be successful:

  • Both roommates need to be present and willing to talk through concerns. Talking about your roommate issues to your RA is not the same as talking with your roommate while your RA helps you find common ground.
  • Compromise needs to remain an option. No two people are exactly alike; to live together each roommate may have to give up something she or he can live without to get something else she or he sees as a necessity. It's important to prioritize your needs so you can compromise successfully.
  • Mediation is a conversation, not a weapon. It will not be successful if used as a means to appear more powerful than the other person. The role of the RA is to guide the conversation without taking anyone's side, not to give validity to one person over another.

Check your expectations. It is important to recognize what your expectations of the relationship are and to ask yourself if those expectations are realistic.

  • Roommates do not, necessarily, need to become best friends.
  • The relationship may not be "perfect" all the time, so it's important to speak up early when something doesn't feel right. Holding your concerns in can make the situation appear worse than it is.
  • Change takes time, so give your roommate (and yourself) time to adjust to any new agreement you reach when resolving an issue. And be aware, maintaining a relationship is an ongoing process—just because you've talked about one hurdle, doesn't mean you (and your roommate) won't have to talk about new challenges in the future. While these challenges may seem related to what has already been discussed, keep in mind that the other person may not see them this way. Each needs to be treated separately and bringing up the past is not often helpful.

Alcohol Awareness Week

Hood will participate in National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week Oct. 17-21, 2011. Each year colleges and universities nationwide take part in this important event to educate students regarding the effect alcohol-related decisions can have on college campuses. Topics include laws related to alcohol consumption, responsible use of alcohol, the effect of alcohol on academics and the social impact of alcohol. Students will be exposed to a wealth of factual information posted around campus all week.

Additionally, programs highlighting different aspects of alcohol awareness will take place in each residence hall Oct. 18-20. Please see the "Featured Programs" section of this newsletter (below) for more details.

All students are encouraged to stop by the Alcohol Awareness Information table, sponsored by Residence Life and the Wellness Center, in the Whitaker Atrium Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free items and tools that will assist in responsible decision making.


Plan Ahead for Thanksgiving Break

The residence halls, houses and off-campus apartments will close for Thanksgiving break
Nov. 23 at noon and will re-open Nov. 27 at 9 a.m. The normal housing contract and fees do not cover housing during this break. Students are expected to depart campus by the above closing date and time and should not plan to return prior to the re-opening date and time.

Students who wish to remain on campus for any part (or all) of the break must apply for break housing by Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. Applications are now available outside Student Life (Whitaker 221). The cost of housing for Thanksgiving break is $120 for the break period or any portion thereof. This fee is waived in some circumstances (see the application for details). Late applications are subject to an additional $10 fee, even if the cost of housing itself is waived. Meal service is not available during breaks.

All students who need to remain in housing after Nov. 23 at noon or return to housing prior to Nov. 27 at 9 a.m. must complete a break housing application in advance. Students found in housing without authorization during the break are subject to late departure and early arrival fees as listed on Page 57 of the Student Handbook.

Additional information on Thanksgiving break closing procedures and requirements will be provided in early November.


Featured Programs

Alcohol Awareness: The Red Cup Event
Tuesday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m.
Smith Tiki Lounge
This program will address making smart choices when it comes to alcohol use as well as how your choices can affect others.

Alcohol Awareness: You Don't Know Jack … or Jim … or Jose
Tuesday, Oct. 18, 8:30 p.m.
Memorial Formal Lounge
Win big with this fun trivia game, plus you just might learn something new!

Alcohol Awareness: Blame it on the …
Tuesday, Oct. 18, 8:30 p.m.
Shriner Basement Lounge
How well will you do with the beer goggles on? Find out at this hands-on event where the effects of alcohol on your vision will be simulated.

Words for Wellness
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Coblentz 2nd Floor Lounge
Need some inspiration? Create an uplifting mirror message and boost your wellness.

Alcohol Awareness: It Could Happen to You
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 9 p.m.
Meyran Social Lounge
Join fellow students to hear about the morning after the party. You'll hear from students who made good decisions … and not so good decisions.

Alcohol Awareness: Shots
Thursday, Oct. 20, 8:30 p.m.
Coblentz 3rd Floor Lounge
Have a few … (mocktails) and find out how alcohol related behaviors can affect you.

Downtown Frederick Ghost Tour
Friday, Oct. 21, 8:30 p.m.
Meet in front of Meyran
Take walking tour downtown with an experienced guide and hear about ghost stories of past and present Frederick!

Pumpkin Pickin'
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m.
Shriner Basement Lounge
Paint your own pumpkin while learning about Halloween traditions in different cultures.

Halloween Classics
Sunday, Oct. 30, 2 p.m.
Smith Tiki Lounge
Are you ready to be scared? Join us for some frightening television.


Important Dates for Residents: October-December

  • Oct. 18
    Floor meetings as determined by RAs
  • Oct. 27
    Safe Harvest, 5-8 p.m.
  • Oct. 28
    Fright Night in Whitaker Campus Center
  • Nov. 1
    Hall meetings in all residence halls
  • Nov. 4
    Advising Day, no classes
  • Nov. 6
    Daylight Savings Time ends, set clocks back one hour
  • Nov. 7
    Spring semester registration for seniors
  • Nov. 8
    Spring semester registration for juniors
  • Nov. 9
    Spring semester registration for sophomores
  • Nov. 10
    Spring semester registration for first-year students
  • Nov. 11
    Last day to withdraw from a class
    Thanksgiving Break Housing Applications due, 5 p.m.
  • Nov. 15
    Floor meetings as determined by RAs
  • Nov. 19
    "Messiah" performance, 7:30 p.m. , Coffman Chapel
    "Messiah" semi-formal, 10 p.m. , Coblentz Dining Hall
    Winter Break Housing Applications available, Whitaker 221
  • Nov. 20
    "Messiah" performance, 3 p.m. , Coffman Chapel
  • Nov. 22
    Dry Campus Policy in effect, 9 p.m.
  • Nov. 23
    Thanksgiving recess begins, no classes
    Residence halls close, noon
  • Nov. 27
    Residence halls re-open, 9 a.m.
  • Nov. 28
    Classes resume, 8:30 a.m.
    Dry Campus ends, 8:30 a.m.
  • Nov. 30
    SGA holiday dinner, 4:30 p.m. , Coblentz Dining Hall
  • Dec. 2
    Winter Break Housing Applications due, 5 p.m.
  • Dec. 4
    Vespers, 7:30 p.m. , Coffman Chapel
  • Dec. 6
    Hall meetings in all residence halls
  • Dec. 10
    Reading Day
  • Dec. 11
    Reading Day
    Late Night Breakfast, 10 p.m. , Coblentz Dining Hall
  • Dec. 12
    Exams begin
  • Dec. 16
    Exams end
    Dry Campus Policy in effect, 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 17
    Residence halls close, noon

Hood College Office of Residence Life
401 Rosemont Ave.
Frederick, Maryland 21701
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