Residence Life and University Housing Departments are always looking for new ways to create community within the residence halls and beyond. From recognizing student leadership to connecting residents with shared interests, international students, or supporting Living Learning Communities, a sense of belonging in on-campus housing can be cultivated with buttons!
1. Build Community
Part of learning alongside and engaging students is about providing an inclusive living environment where students feel that they belong. Creating buttons for those living on certain floors or within a Living Learning Community creates a sense of pride amongst members. It’s also a great opportunity to celebrate the features and quirks that make each housing option unique.
2. Keep Up Morale
Creating a sense of community is an on-going process. Buttons can be a quick and easy way to celebrate events or the cycles of the school year, and build camaraderie for students living in community together. Buttons for orientation or as a summer send off can be purchased in bulk and distributed for years to come. Consider distributing motivational buttons during finals week, like the example pictured from Grinnell College, or specific floors or residence halls can commemorate a memory from the year in their own special button design.
3. Housing-Led Initiatives
University Housing offices often serve as a catalyst for campus-wide change. From initiatives such as recycling and sustainability, or gender inclusive accommodations, students and faculty sporting buttons show support and help build critical mass campus-wide. And because student housing can provide the opportunity for students to be introduced to peers who identify differently from them, communicating support for each other through buttons can create solidarity, and help students find allies and friends.
4. Housing Organizations
Although campuses have a variety of housing organizations, national groups such as National Residence Hall Honorary or your campuses Residence Hall Association can exhibit their hard work and dedication by creating buttons as take-aways for large scale events, or in NRHH for recognizing students in the top 1% of students living in the residence halls.
Part of working with students is encouraging identity exploration, taking risks, and helping them become awesome and engaged humans. Inviting students to think outside the box and create or host programs for themselves and for their peers makes for an empowering college experience and helps them take ownership for the communities they build in the residence halls. Taking ownership can also come in the form of wearing some sweet buttons that represent their hard work!
Buttons are a great way to cultivate community within the residence halls and beyond. Check out our blog for more university button features, including Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s freshman buttons or the buttons created to celebrate the opening of the University of Chicago’s Saieh Hall for Economics.