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Residence Life's Mission and Goals

The mission of residence life is to provide a safe, secure, and comfortable living learning environment that supports the academic mission of the university. We prepare students to be global citizens by fostering the personal and social development of each resident through intentional interactions. In collaboration with campus partners, we promote an experience that focuses on leadership, diversity, and sustainability.

Residence Life Goals


Our Goals

Through collaboration with campus partners, residence life will:

  • Provide residents with a safe and secure living- learning environment.
  • Create an engaged community in which students feel a sense of pride while fostering a diverse and inclusive residential experience.

Support the academic mission of the university by promoting holistic student development through social, educational and leadership experiences.

  • Maximize efficiency and intentionality through the sustainable use of resources.
  • Continuously assess, evaluate and enhance departmental initiatives.
  • Residence life staff members utilize four focal points in the development of departmental initiatives, programs and services:


Community is the cornerstone of the residential experience at Salem State. We believe in fostering diverse and inclusive communities where residents are valued for their uniqueness. Our residential areas provide opportunities

for active involvement and leadership on a variety of levels, and are arenas for developing meaningful social relationships. This involvement allows residents to learn and demonstrate respect for one another in their living environments. Residence life is focused on maintaining safe, secure and well-maintained residential areas where residents and staff take pride in their community.


Much of the university residential experience involves learning outside the classroom. We believe in developing both structured and unstructured learning opportunities for residents in an environment that recognizes different learning styles. Through a variety of academic, life skill, experiential, and developmental programs, our

staff provides opportunities for residents to gain a new understanding of issues affecting them. Through various processes and procedures, residents learn how to take on responsibility, gain self-sufficiency and develop the skills necessary to operate in larger communities outside the university.


College is an opportunity for students to explore who they are, and their beliefs and values, as well as how those values impact their vocational and avocational aspirations. The spiritual, cultural, emotional, sexual, and general identity development of our residents is supported through formal and informal initiatives. Residence life’s goal is to have residents, upon their graduation, depart with a better understanding of who they are, and how they relate to a global community.


An important aspect of the collegiate experience is taking knowledge and turning it into action. We encourage students to take responsibility for promoting awareness, questioning decisions and processes appropriately and advocating for change. Through involvement in service learning opportunities and leadership roles, students can demonstrate responsibility and respect for one another, the campus and the surrounding environment.

Statement of Diversity


Our commitment of diversity

Residence life is dedicated to developing inclusive and affirming communities in which all residents feel welcomed, validated and appreciated for their uniqueness. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, ability, socioeconomic status, marital status, culture, veteran status, national origin, and age, every member of the residential community has the right to live in an environment in which sensitivity, respect and understanding are paramount.

Diversity within our residential communities is integral to fulfilling our mission to enhance the education our residents receive within the classroom. Without differences of opinion, experience, belief, perspective, background, and identity, our interactions are less than they could be otherwise. We strive to reflect diversity in both staff and leadership positions in the department to ensure that decisions and initiatives implemented are inclusive and just.

As a department, we will not tolerate inappropriate behavior, particularly as it might relate to an individual’s identity. When one individual, or a group of individuals, acts to destroy the essence of our diverse community, or shows a lack of respect to an individual, we will respond appropriately. We will not tolerate behavior that is not in line with the belief that each individual is a valued member of our community, and should be treated with dignity and respect.

Like diversity itself, our efforts to create this vision of a diverse community will continue to evolve as we learn alongside our residents.

Residence Hall Association (RHA)


RHA's strides to impact residence life

Salem State University’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) is an organization of students living in its residence halls. The residence hall association serves as a forum to improve communication between students, staff, faculty, and administration, coordinates campus-wide programming efforts and develops comprehensive leadership development opportunities for residence hall students.

As the representative organization for students residing

on campus, the residence hall association tackles issues related to the safety, security, and well-being of resident students, and serves as the umbrella organization for each residence hall’s community council and National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH).

Our residence hall association is affiliated with the National Association of College and University Residence Halls, Inc. (NACURH). NACURH is the largest student-run organization in the nation, comprised of RHA groups from campuses all around the country. Salem State’s residence hall association sends representatives to regional and national conferences throughout the year, and is an active member of the NACURH organization. These conferences bring together resident student representatives from all over the country, providing a great forum for exchanging ideas, attending educational programming sessions, showing school pride, and having fun! For more information on NACURH, please go to nacurh.org.

Every resident student is a member of the residence hall association and is encouraged to attend the residence hall association weekly meetings to voice concerns, bring up issues or ask questions. The residence hall association meets every Tuesday night at 7:30 pm in Viking Seminar room, next to Starbucks.

In addition to numerous regional awards, Salem State’s residence hall association has achieved national recognition over the last four years as a model of organizational development (1999 Building Block RHA Award, and 2006 NRHH Building Block Award), for exceptional program design and implementation (2000 Program of the Year runner-up for our Yellow Ribbon Project) and for outstanding leadership training (2002 student award for leadership training). More recently, our RHA was named National School of the Year in June 2006 by NACURH, beating out schools such as the University of Florida and the University of Texas. In March 2007, it coordinated efforts to help win NEACURH’s Commitment to Diversity Award.

Some of the residence hall association’s major events include:

  • First Day Carnival
  • Leadership Training Conferences
  • Haunted Happenings
  • City of Salem Halloween Parade
  • Anything for Money
  • The Snowdown 
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