Residence Life Community Development Model

The Housing and Residence Life Department exists to provide an on-campus living experience that complements and enhances the academic life of our residents.  We operate under a Community Development Model that is rooted in the University’s Jesuit identity, supported by the theory and best practices of the Housing Profession, and continually evaluated by stated outcomes.  Our Community Development Model is not solely about events that happen in the residence halls but is to be viewed as a comprehensive approach that guides our “way of being” in community together. 

Our Community Development Model is built around four pillars:  Connection, Interaction, Engagement and Reflection.  Students who live in University housing – regardless of class standing, building location, or type of residence – will find these pillars evident in their hall environment, community events, and relationships with each other and the residence life staff. Our Community Development Model pillars are described in detail below: 

Connection

“Community” is the most important part of the Gonzaga experience for the majority of our students.  We believe that in the residence halls, a connection to where you live or a sense of place is an important aspect of living in community.  In Residence Life at Gonzaga, “connection” means that residents have an opportunity to find their place in this community.

Interaction

“Community” by definition is not something that can be accomplished alone or created by an individual.  We believe it is important that students have experiences with others whose personalities, beliefs, and cultures, are different from their own.  In Residence Life at Gonzaga “interaction” means that residents will have intentional conversations with other students, residence life staff, and leaders in the Gonzaga community. 

Engagement

“Community” involves all of its members taking ownership and being invested in creating a space that is welcoming and inviting for all. We believe that being in relationship with others leads to communities of caring, meaningful dialogue, and a sense of belonging.   In Residence Life at Gonzaga “engagement” means that residents actively participate in the community. 

Reflection

“Community” is continually impacted by individual decisions and actions.  We believe that inquiry and critical thinking play an important role in shaping congruence between behaviors and beliefs.  In Residence Life at Gonzaga “reflection” means that students will have an opportunity to process and make meaning of their on-campus living experience.

Community Development Model