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National policies influence campus residential policies

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The roommate bill of rights allows students to "have a safe place to live, sleep, eat but also an environment conducive for studying and learning.”
The roommate bill of rights allows students to have “an environment conducive for studying and learning.”

Dean of Students and Residential Life Marie Humphrey said that there are certain guidelines and best practices nationally that are used to institute new residential policies.

New to CSU-Pueblo, Humphrey began her duty as dean of students and residential life on Jan. 20.

Prior to that, she served as the director of residence life and housing and event services at Regis University since 2003. She also has a doctorate in educational leadership and human resource studies from CSU-Fort Collins.

“There is an umbrella that we have to comply with, what I have to comply to, and this is what I have been trying to do,” Humphrey said.

“It is really important that students know that I’m not out to get them. I’m not trying to regulate their lives in that context. I want them to be happy, safe and to respect their roommate, and their suitemates which is the most important thing,” she said.

According to Humphrey, the processes in implementing the new policies in the residence halls are based on the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and the Association of Intermountain Housing Officers.

The ACUHO-I is dedicated to more than 1,000 member campuses, as well as more than 250 product and service providers. It says it is “dedicated to creating educational and enriching residential experiences on campuses located around the world.”

ACUHO-I also said they strive “to provide a variety of information resources such as magazine and journal articles, conference and institute sessions, online programs, blog posts, and more to educate its members.”

“Your rights as a student affect others which means students should be able to eat, sleep, and study in the residence hall space,” Humphrey said.

The ACUHO-I statement of residents’ rights and responsibilities and roommate bill of rights are also essential to the decision process in implementing new policies. It states several rights that residents must abide by and be responsible to, and the Roommate Bill of Rights also defines mutual responsibilities and rights among roommates.

Along with the ACUHO-I statement, the CAS standards in higher education and AIMHO, which is the regional organization for housing officers, are important in making decisions when instituting new policies.

According to CAS, it is their mission to “promote the improvement of programs and services to enhance the quality of student learning and development.”

They work collaboratively to develop and promote standards and guidelines to encourage self-assessment. AIMHO’s purpose is also to work for continual improvement of housing operations for students and staff members in institutions of higher learning.

According to Humphrey, this is what programmatic pieces are based upon within colleges and universities. They are also used as some guiding principles, guidelines, assessments and learning outcomes.

“So for each housing area within the region, nationally, and internationally, there is a mission that is clearly stated. We have our mission as well. Each housing and residence life programs must be a part of the overall development of the whole student,” Humphrey said.

“The programs must be reflective of the needs of individuals, populations, and constituents that you are serving and overall support for students’ rights in residence hall living.”

“We should be enhancing the academic side overall with supporting grade point averages and that goes back to the bill of rights so that students have a safe place to live, sleep, eat but also an environment conducive for studying and learning,” she said.

 

This article is part two of a three-part series.