Community Development Model

Purpose of Community Development

Community development initiatives strive to foster reflective, meaningful and authentic dialogue among community members in the residence halls in order to form men and women for and with others through transformational and inclusive learning.

Community development is arguably one of the most important jobs of every RA on the Marquette campus. The Office of Residence Life believes that everything the RAs do in their position stems from building community, which is why our departmental mission statement is called the Philosophy of Community.

The Office of Residence Life model strives to support the educational mission of Marquette University to educate the whole person and put student formation and learning at the heart of the work in Residence Life. Students who live in the residence halls have a unique opportunity to interact and build relationships with others that will ultimately promote learning if students are challenged to engage in dialogue and reflect on experiences with others. Community Development Model is grounded primarily in Ignatian Pedagogy which “relates student learning and growth to personal interaction and human relationships” (Thon, 2013, pp. 37).

The community development model contains several different components, four of which serve the purpose of promoting dialogue among community members in the residence halls:

  • Individual Conversations – RAs will have one-on-one conversations with residents throughout the course of the year to get to know students as individuals, help them process and reflect on the experiences that they are having, and evaluate how the year has gone.
  • Community Gatherings – RAs will provide opportunities for residents to gather each week to facilitate consistent group interaction and dialogue, including informational floor meetings and casual social opportunities, otherwise known as Weekly Traditions.
  • Roommate Agreements – RAs will promote dialogue among each set of roommates by facilitating a roommate agreement meeting. This meeting will help roommates to learn about each other, communicate their needs, and manage conflicts that could occur.
  • Hall and Campus Experiences – RAs will help residents connect with experiences upon which they can reflect, learn, and connect to larger communities by promoting and attending hall and campus events with residents throughout the year. The hall events are planned by the community programming council.

Thon S.J., Andrew J (2013). The Ignatian Imperative: Student Affairs Educations in Jesuit Higher Education. Milwaukee, WI: JASPA, AJCU, Marquette University College of Education