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About Residential Life

Nicole Gonzales, Community Director for Stuen and Ordal Halls: “The dynamic atmosphere of Res Life at PLU continues to make my job enjoyable. The Central staff have been amazing at supporting all the CD’s, our staff’s, and our resident’s. They are always ready and willing to lend a hand in any way they can. Most importantly, I get to work with people who care about my growth professionally and my personal well-being.”

Residential Life Mission Statement

Residential Life Mission Statement
The mission of Residential Life is to create a safe, inclusive residence hall experience that supports PLU students’ belonging, learning, and enjoyment while empowering them to positively serve their communities.

Residential Life Statement of Care and Inclusion
Residential Life at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) is committed to living our mission statement through practicing radical inclusivity as an essential operation of our department. During times of political change and division, we believe every student deserves space where they feel safe, heard, and appreciated. We will continue to support civil discourse intended to deepen our understanding of each other and that champions care over indifference. We will not tolerate behavior that stems from intentions rooted in hate. We will continue to build and nurture inclusive spaces that promote students’ belonging, learning, and enjoyment, especially in solidarity with those identifying with historically marginalized communities.

Community Directors, Maggie Hendrickson (Tingelstad Hall) and Tess Matsukawa (Harstad Hall/RHA Advisor) with the Residential Life Mission Statement posters (created Fall 2017).

Examples of Living our Institutional & Departmental Missions in 2017-18:

  • Departmental Initiatives:
    • Creating the Statement of Care & Inclusion to guide our work more directly post 2016 Presidential Election.
    • Implemented best practices around using chosen and preferred names on resident rosters.
  • Residential Learning Communities & Programming:
    • New & growing Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) in 2017-18: 1) Diversity, Justice, & Sustainability RLC in Stuen, including First in the Family Wings, Students of Color Wings, and Environmental & Social Justice Wings; and 2) Lavender Community RLC in Ordal.
    • Wang Center Symposium in March 2018 on topic of Migration – Residential Life is partnering to bring interactive, passive events in each Residence Hall regarding individual and group migration.
  • Student Staff (RA/CA) Training & Professional Development:
    • Between the World & Me Common Reading 2017 – Provided books for every Student Staff member and built in book discussion to Student Staff training and programming.
    • Residential Life Institute (RLI – Fall Training) included for the first time Race & Gender Caucusing and a comprehensive social justice focus.
    • “J-Groups” – Ongoing training for Student Staff on social justice topics following intergroup dialogue format in our January Term. Examples included: “Coffee, Colonialism, and our Planet”;”Diving into Whiteness”; “Environmental Justice and Zero Waste”; “Art & Activism”; “Isms in the Media”; “Disability & Accessibility”; and “U.S. Beauty Standards”.
    • Mid-Year Renewal (MYR – Spring Training) will include a focus on Decolonizing Success, Vocation, and Self-Care.
  • Community Director Activity:
    • Wild Hope Staff Seminar Participation.
    • Participation on the Trans* Taskforce & Presentation to faculty at Fall Faculty Conference.
    • See more CD Professional Development activities on the Professional Development web page.

Poster for the 2017 Common Reading, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Students Living On-Campus:

At any given time, nearly 50% of the full-time undergraduate student body is housed on campus, with approximately 85% of all first year students in residence. PLU requires students to live on campus until they have reached junior status or 20 years of age (unless they are living at home, within 25 driving miles of campus, with parent(s), spouse or child. Once released from this requirement, 31% of residential students entering their 3rd year at PLU and 18% of students entering their 4th year remain in campus housing. While some of our students choose to move to privately owned houses and apartments surrounding campus, they maintain a strong sense of identification with their original campus living community.

Social Media:

As a part of our Occupancy/Marketing Initiative this year, Residential Life has increased its strategic presence on-line. Learn more about the culture and activities of our department by checking out our social media!

Residential Life Staff - Jes+Dana
From left to right: Dana McDonald (Residential Operations Coordinator) & Jes Takla (Director of Residential Programs)