Residence Life Office

Residence Hall Living


On campus living is an integral part of SUNY Potsdam's mission and Residence Life plays a vital role in the students' collegiate experience.  Our department believes that a residential environment contributes significantly to the transformational education of our students.

The core of our philosophy is the sense of community that our staff intentionally creates throughout the residence halls.  The development of meaningful learning opportunities that are uniquely suited to student is central to our work.  Residence Life strives to connect students to each other and foster the development of life-skills.  Cooperation, commitment, and a sense of responsibility to self and others define our community that develops as a result of students living and learning together.

In addition, we intentionally facilitate community involvement in an environment that is infused with the values of civility, inclusivity, responsibility, and service.  Students are encouraged to grow in their self-awareness and are empowered to make significant connections with each other in our community based on these values in order to achieve their goals and in our global society.

In pursuit of this vision,:

  • we will provide staff who are caring, dedicated, diverse, professional, and well trained in order tp provide support and guidance to our students;
  • our facilities will be clean, safe, accessible, and modern and include amenities and furnishings that contribute to student success;
  • and programs and activities offered will promote community development and active campus involvement.


The Department of Residence Life Office at SUNY Potsdam provides a safe and clean environment, resourceful staff, and learning experiences for the members of our residential community in pursuit of their educational goals.

Residential Learning Outcomes

Participation in our residence life program provides students with the skills, abilities, and knowledge to:

  1. Self-Discovery & Development: Students will grow in their understanding of themselves; building upon their strengths and improving their shortcomings.

    • Rationale: Personal development is a life-long process and every student should engage in self-exploration.  An understanding of one's own values, talents, and attributes are the foundation for achieving personal excellence and contribute to making informed decisions and solving problems.  In providing opportunities to enhance their self-concept through developing these skills, students will become more self-reliant and personally responsible.
  2. Community Engagement: Students will learn to form healthy, interdependent, and meaningful connections with others by embracing civility and diversity.

    • Rationale: An active and healthy community relies on students' involvements and ownership of their community.  A comprehension of civic responsibility and accountability is crucial for establishing a community founded on respect for others with an appreciation for differences.  Students' participation in civic engagement opportunities (such as volunteer community service) better prepares them to become contributing members of society.

The Staff

  • Director of Residence Life
    The Director of Residence Life coordinates all aspects of our housing process.  In addition, the Director manages the occupancy of the halls after opening.  The Director works on single requests (including medical singles) and petitions for releases and exemptions from our residency requirements.  The Director works with the Physical Plant staff on renovations of existing buildings, summer projects, enhancement of the facilities, and new construction projects.  S/he is involved in overseeing various budgets.  S/he is ultimately responsible for maintaining the educationally based residence hall communities that are conducive to both living and learning.  As such, the Director will be involved with the resident student conduct process and emergency on-call coverage.  The Director supervises the office's administrative assistants as well as the other professional staff in the Central Office.
  • Assistant Director of Residence Life for Housing & Operations
    The Assistant Director is Residence Life’s liaison with the Physical Plant staff and helps to ensure safe and clean residential facilities.  In addition, the Assistant Director is responsible for such things as storage areas, damage billing, and the keyless entry system.  S/he coordinates housing for periods of time when classes are not in session (i.e. early arrivals, breaks and summer), as well as for visitors to the campus, (i.e. graduation and conferences).  S/he is also involved in the housing process, summer projects, and coordinates the equipment replacement process.
  • Assistant Director of Residence Life for Staff & FYE
    The Assistant Director is responsible for a majority of the staff in the department. S/he directly supervises the full-time Area Coordinators and Residence Directors, part-time Graduate Residence Directors, and indirectly supervises the Resident Assistants.  The Assistant Director oversees the coordination of the recruitment, selection, training and evaluation of all of the Professional live- staff.  In addition, the Assistant Director coordinates the First Year Experience (FYE) program and is responsible for FYE staff training and development, large-scale program planning, and the Residential Fellows program.
  • Area Coordinator
    The Area Coordinator lives in the halls and is the primary person responsible for managing a large residential area/quad.  The 3 ACs are supervised by the Assistant Director of Residence Life for Staff and FYE.  The ACs directly supervise the GA in their area as well as the student staff of RAs.  The ACs coordinator many of the activities within the Department of Residence Life.  The ACs are involved with building community, programming, housing, student conduct, maintenance requests, etc. in their assigned residence hall area.   
  • Residence Hall Director
    The Residence Hall Director (RD) lives in and is the primary person responsible for managing a residence hall building and supervising the residence hall student staff (RAs and Mentors).  There are 3 RDs who are directly supervised by the Assistant Director of Residence Life.  The positions are split between full-time RDs and part-time Graduate RDs.  The RDs coordinate many of the activities within the Department of Residence Life . The RDs are involved with building community, programming, housing, student conduct, and maintenance requests, etc. in their assigned residence hall.
  • Graduate Assistant
    The Graduate Assistant (GA) lives in the halls and works with the AC to manage a large residential area.  There are 3 GAs who are supervised by the ACs.  The GAs work with the AC to support all of the functions that happen in their area.
  • Resident Assistant
    The Resident Assistant (RA) is probably one of the better known positions on campus. Each residence hall has a staff of RAs who are selected for their enthusiasm, organizational skills, maturity, and willingness to help others.  They participate in training sessions, attend weekly staff meetings, attend “in-service” training programs on relevant topics throughout the academic year, and meet individually with their supervisor biweekly. The RA lives on a floor/area with 20-35 residents.  There responsibilities include answering questions, confronting policy violations, responding to emergencies, referring students to campus resources, reporting maintenance problems, and planing activities for their residents.
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Residence Life has 2 Administrative Assistants who manage the day to day operations of the office.  They work and manage the key system, room changes, housing assignments, and overall communication with all of our constituents.


Specific Staff names and contact information can be found in the Residence Life Directory.