New Model for Hall Directors 2014
RESIDENCE LIFE - Live-in Staff Roles
In an effort to upgrade the services McGill Student Housing and Hospitality Services provides to students living in residence, McGill Student Housing and Hospitality Services is moving to new model for student support and programming in our undergraduate residence halls. Starting in Fall 2014, full-time professional Hall Directors, complimented by part-time Faculty-Mentors-in-Rez, will be living and working in our residence halls.
Full-time Hall Directors
Historically, our Hall Directors have been members of the McGill community who live and work with students, in addition to their primary responsibilities as faculty members, senior management staff, and/or other positions closely connected with the McGill community. A quarter-time position, the current role of Hall Directors is to create and sustain a sense of community in their hall, supervise the hall’s team of Floor Fellows, serve as a general resource person for students and staff in the residence hall, support and interact with the hall councils, and act as a Disciplinary Officer of the University when required.
Designed to meet the evolving and growing needs of students, the new full-time Hall Director model will expand our capacity to provide programming and support to our resident students. Under our new model, Hall Directors will be full-time staff, whose primary focus and responsibility is the residence community. They will oversee a grouping of halls or a single large hall and will live in or near the halls for which they are responsible.
As professionals with experience in the fields of residence life, student affairs and other learning/helping professions, they will be responsible for educational programming, training and developing student leaders and student staff (Floor Fellows), serve as a support and resource for resident students as they adjust to University life, provide administrative and operational support, serve as an early alert system for emotional, academic and mental health issues among students, provide crisis management, and serve as Disciplinary Officers when required.
Hall Directors will continue to be central to McGill Residences’ mission of providing an environment in which our students can learn and grow. Our unique and successful “One Rule” formula of respect for oneself and for the community remains our core philosophy, to be fostered through dialogue, role modelling and guidance, rather than by enforcement of a long list of rules and regulations. Directors play a key role in enhancing student life in residences and often form deep and long-lasting bonds with their staff of Floor Fellows, with their hall councils, and with resident students.
Our pilots of the new model
- A 2-year pilot at New Rez saw a full-time Hall Director responsible for 750 students and 14 staff members (floor fellows).
- This year, one full-time director is responsible for 680 students and 17 staff members (floor fellows) in 3 halls: RVC, Carrefour Sherbrooke, Varcity515.
Several times in the past 10 years, halls have been paired together under a live-in Hall Director “couple” (two part-time Directors sharing the load, so the equivalent of a half-time position) – NRH/Solin, Solin/MORE, Gardner/MORE.
A long line of McGill academics have called McGill’s residence halls home since the University's residence system was founded more than a century ago. Today, several faculty and staff live in residences with first-year students, serving as part-time Hall Directors.
Recognizing that taking on the responsibilities of the current part-time Hall Director role may not be possible for faculty and staff who are otherwise interested in expanding their connections and engagement with students outside the classroom, we are implementing a new model to provide more flexible options for members of the McGill community to call our residences home.
Faculty-Mentors-in-Rez will live in a residence hall and commit to a specific number of formal and informal activities with resident students. While we hope that several faculty and staff will choose to make their home with us for an extended period, year-to-year and even semester-to-semester and short- term stays can be considered.
They will play a key role in creating a sense of academic community in residences. Activities could include:
- casual lectures on topics of interest to themselves and students
- planned outings
- mentoring student leaders and Floor Fellows
- facilitated discussion groups on current issues
- drop-in hours and evening tea
- serving as a faculty resource to a Living-Learning Community
- working with hall councils
- participating in Rez Life workgroups
- assisting with staff (Floor Fellow) selection
Our Pilot in 2012-2013
We piloted this concept in 2012-13:
- a Fulbright Scholar lived in a residence hall for one semester and did four programs with students from across the residences in exchange for a rental reduction on the apartment
- a faculty member lived in a residence hall for a full year and was contracted to provide leadership training activities, events for resident students to connect with academics and administrators, awareness raising activities with Student Services, and to serve as an advisor to several programs in development
Between the live-in Faculty-Mentors-in-Rez program and the “drop-in” Faculty in Rez Series, we are creating a myriad of opportunities for the larger McGill community to bring their diverse skill sets, experiences, and ways to engage into the residence community as a means of connecting our students more completely with their McGill experience.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers about these changes can be found here.