Office of Public Affairs
(315) 341-2265
Sept. 13, 2000
OSWEGO -- Oswego State has followed its line of enhanced residence halls by creating a new residence hall program this year. Similar to the First Year Experience that has been in Johnson Hall and the Global Living and Learning Center in Hart Hall, students of Oswego can now experience the new first and second year program offered by Oneida Hall.
The program provides a new type of learning environment for students in a hall that also went through a physical renovation over the summer with $200,000 worth of new carpeting and paint, says Hall Director Jennifer Ayotte.
"The new program was put into place in order to help students improve their academic performance and to help them adjust in a positive way," she says.
Oneida Hall is home to around 300 freshman and sophomores along with a few upperclassmen. The program emphasizes the development of a cohesive community that supports a learning environment in which students live.
The program offers seminars that provide guidance and answer the kinds of questions that most students have. "The Passport to Success Program," for example, discusses topics like judicial affairs, time management, study skills, stress management and advisement.
Another program is the "Professor's After Dark Program," which is an interactive series where faculty members come into the hall and present programs designed around their personal interests. Professors are now being interviewed for this program.
Although students are not required to attend the programs, they still have a large turnout.
"All the programs are interesting and done very well," says Oneida resident Stefanie Kennedy, a freshman. "They educate students on some of the things that make it easier to adjust to college without the restrictions of mandatory attendance."
Along with the guidance of faculty and residence assistants, the Oneida Hall program allows interaction between students by providing a mentoring program. Upper-class students can participate in a mentoring program that pairs them up with new students, according to their interest in majors, in order to start them on a path to success.
Although Oneida's program is for first and second year students, the upperclassmen who lived in Oneida last year were allowed to return this year, and not without suitable programs for their needs as well. The hall offers programs for juniors and seniors that deal with issues such as academic achievement, career exploration and life beyond graduation.
One of the many reasons that the new Oneida Hall program has such high expectations for success is that the residents set their own guidelines. The students who reside in Oneida are required to sign a Community Member Agreement and a Community Living Agreement.
The Community Member Agreement states that residents will be active members of the community through leadership, community service and hall council. This agreement allows the students to understand and be a part of the issues that involve them.
The Community Living Agreement defines the goals and standards for the community as determined by the residents. The residents of each floor make some of the rules for its residents to follow
"I like the agreement because the residents are able to set some of the rules, so students know ahead of time what will be tolerated and what won't be," Kennedy says.
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