Residence Experience

3 students sitting at a picnic table outside of REV.

You may be feeling a little overwhelmed by everything right now, but fear not - Campus Housing is here to support you in your University Experience in Residence! From helping you transition to university life, learning more about your identity, staying on top of your wellness, and exploring growth for life beyond your residence experience, we’re here to assist you.

Educational Priority

Our Residence Experience is designed to focus on you and your learning at the University of Waterloo.

By living in Campus Housing, students will be able to meaningfully contribute to their own personal and professional growth while thriving in a diverse and inclusive community.  

Learning Goals

Identity Development

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Students will explore and develop their identities, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of their values, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses through a process of reflection and self-exploration. 

Students who live in residence will be able to: 

  • Explore the core values and beliefs that influence their attitudes and behaviours. 
  • Construct an awareness of the intersecting aspects of their evolving identity. 
  • Articulate and leverage their unique strengths and skills that can be applied in their personal and professional lives. 
  • Implement a plan to develop their areas for growth. 
  • Explore and pursue their unique interests by engaging in experiences and relationships within the campus community. 

Community Engagement and Responsibility

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Each student will understand and take accountability over their communal impact, while co-creating a respectful and inclusive on-campus home. 

Students who live in residence will be able to:  

  • Demonstrate accountability for the impacts of their actions in the residence community. 
  • Articulate a personal commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. 
  • Navigate decision making and foster healthy relationships by respecting consent, boundaries, and effective communication. 
  • Employ effective use of knowledge, strategies, skills, and resources to navigate conflicts. 

Academic Engagement

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Each student will continue to cultivate their academic interests while building upon their skills and broadening their knowledge base. 

Students who live in residence will be able to:  

  • Engage with a diverse network of people and resources to support their academic success. 
  • Explore and pursue academic interests that will shape their personal, academic, and professional university experience. 
  • Refine their learning skills and strategies to navigate academic challenges. 
  • Evaluate physical environments and learning spaces that optimize their learning experiences. 

Developing Resilience

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Students will develop mechanisms to assist them through periods of transition and adversity and will be able to identify resources and strategies to support their holistic wellness. 

Students who live in residence will be able to:  

  • Apply their knowledge of campus resources to support their transition and wellness needs. 
  • Practice strategies to cultivate their holistic wellbeing. 
  • Develop coping strategies and stress management techniques to navigate personal and academic challenges effectively. 
  • Build skills that enhance self-reliance in their living environment. 

Residence Experience Components

Whether you are transitioning into first-year, or continuing to develop your academic, personal, or professional skills.  The Residence Experience Model is designed to guide community building and learning from a series of Educational Strategies.  

Over four Phases, residents are presented with six Educational Strategies to learn about various topics influenced by the Learning Goals. 

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One-on-ones with your Don

Dons are upper-year student leaders who live in residence and bring their enthusiasm for university life and the student experience to our residence communities. During the year, your Don will reach out to have intentional conversations with you to set goals, offer resources, and support you in navigating your residence experience. 

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Community Meetings

Your Don will host informational and interactive community meetings to share information with you and give you an opportunity to get to know your community. During this time, your Don may provide updates to ensure your safety in the community, share valuable resources and services on campus, or facilitate an open discussion about current events.

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Community Programs

Your Don will host social events for you and other students to get to know each other better! These activities are organized to build a stronger community and your Don would love to hear your ideas.

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Bulletin Boards 

During each of the four Phases, Bulletin Board displays will be posted in each Central Complex in residence. You will have the opportunity to interact with resources related to the topics of Consent, EDI-AR, Mental Health, and Academic Skills Building.  

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Throughout the term, you will find your Dons and Campus Housing Staff at booths located in various Central Complexes. Here, you will have the opportunity to discuss topics including Consent and Mental Health while engaging in fun activities.  

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Roommate Agreements 

Your Don will introduce Roommate Agreements at your second Community Meeting. Roommate Agreements present the opportunity for roommates and suitemates to discuss expectations, boundaries, distribution of tasks, and communication styles. For more information about Roommate Agreements, visit the Roommates page on this site.