Resident Voices Making Change

July 28, 2023

In a residential setting, providing the means for youth to express their needs, solve problems, and help shape their community is an important part of maintaining a socially and emotionally supportive environment.

Resident Councils are recognized for the important contributions that members make when given the opportunity to speak for themselves. They provide a forum for residents to voice concerns directly to staff; identify problems and solutions from residents’ perspectives; and open up discussion on topics of interest to the residential community.

Green Chimneys’ Residential Life Council has become an effective mechanism for representing the needs and interests of the dorm community. It consists of nine residents who meet monthly to share concerns or make suggestions for residential program and campus improvements; plan activities and special events; and even provide input during the staff hiring process.

Speaking to the Issues

The Council has three main committees: Hospitality, Special Events & Activities, and Grievance. Members are able to choose which committee they want to bring their special talents to, so they can truly speak to the issues they care about most.

Hospitality Committee members are responsible for welcoming new residents and staff, and helping them to become familiar with campus, services and residential routines. Members of Special Events & Activities collaborate with staff advisors and the Recreation Department to plan on- and off-campus activities, arrange holiday/cultural celebrations, and various themed events, such as the SnowBall, a dance for students of all ages and the group’s most successful event to date. Grievance members take their job very seriously, reviewing issues raised by residents or staff, and sharing with staff advisors who then pass matters to the appropriate department. The group also reviews policies and procedures periodically to keep residents informed of updates.

At Green Chimneys, Resident Council is just one of the ways students are encouraged to make good choices, express themselves, and ultimately, advocate for their needs. Our students are building their confidence and building a community that they all want to live in.