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I know  many of you have been longing for the chance to get the latest in PRC coolness, so wait no longer- The PRC Blog is no longer on break!

While we already into the new year, all of the fun is just getting started! You all are a little bit older and a little bit wiser, so as RA’s take a moment to reflect upon all the great accomplishments and learning moments that you had in the first semester. Even if you are already an experienced RA, you probably have still   grown more than you have even  realized.

Every year Residence Halls change, with a wave of hall (I’m too funny) new residents, building changes, new staff, and equipment- when you”re working with other people, nothing ever remains the same for too long. However, as exciting as these new things can be, those aren’t the changes that you are experiencing now.  Right now it’s only spring semester and you, the RA, are in your zone. You already know your residents, your staff, and your building that you call home. So what’s new?

Well, to put it simply, the answer is you. You’re what’s different. Unlike the beginning of last semester, you know the atmosphere of your hall, the interests of your residents, you’ve shared stories with your staff, and you know you’re building inside and out. Even if you didn’t have any idea how your programs would be received or if  attendance at these programs wasn’t  quite what were hoping for, now you how to advertise, entice, and inform your residents about the great things you have to offer. So right now you should be saying to yourself:

I completely agree with you, everything you did WAS pretty darn awesome. However, now you can act on a whole new level of awesomeness  by trying programs and ideas that you weren’t sure how to do before. Invite a Counselor from the William & Mary Counseling Center to speak about healthy relationships. make a board on consensual relationships, pass out sleeping masks to remind students to sleep before midterms and finals. Remember: You. Are. Awesome. So keep pushing the envelope wit you creativity and the messages you want to get across to your residents. I know, right now you and you residents must be pretty overcome with sheer joy for this semester.

I’ms sorry, but someone had to say it. By the way, you guys should channel some of your enthusiasm into the PRC’s WIMBLE-CONE CHALLENGE! Use the tennis balls, pine cones, or both tennis cones and pine cones to create the most amazing board ever! Boards are due February 22nd, so get started soon if you want to ace them! I’ll stop now… but before I dew, PRIZES ARE GOING TO EPIC.

Kay, bye.


While everyone is eagerly awaiting Thanksgiving Break, the days leading up to it can be beyond chaotic for RA’s and Residents alike with exams, term papers, and other projects obscuring the light at the tunnel. Dreams of home cooked family meals and lazy days with friends can get shoved to the back of your mind as new half-crazed thoughts of: When is the next time I can eat without a to-go box?, I’ve forgotten what my roommate looks like!, What is a laundry machine again and when is the last time I’ve used it?, Espresso, you’re my only friend.., start to dominate your waking thoughts. Take a moment to slow down you routine with your residents and find some time to reflect on the year you’ve shared together as it frantically, yet ever-so-slowly draws itself to an end. During this time, it may be harder than ever for your residents to get together and plan a program, but you can still give them nice thought-provoking activities to complete at their own leisure:

Keeping in mind how this is the season of peace and thanks, have your residents make their own pumpkin covered with strips of thing they’re thankful for.

What you need: 8 strips of orange paper, 1 strip of green paper, 2 green leaves, and 2 pieces of tape. As residents make their own pumpkins of gratitude, they can take a moment to unwind and think about all of the things that really matter to them most in life.

For this next activity, you may be able to gather your hall together for a nice kid’s night in with some cookies, thanksgiving movies, and coloring books. But if you can’t, tack some coloring pages on your next board and let your residents enjoy some old-school fun.
Color Pages

What you need: Some blank coloring pages (you can print some out at the PRC) and a pack of crayons. Residents can take a moment to fill these in anytime they pass the board.

If you RA’s feel really motivated, you can make a nice Thanksgiving themed box, leave aside a couple slips of paper, ask your residents to sign their names and write down what makes them the most happy or thankful. When they get stressed out during finals, you can pass these back out to them with a piece of candy for a nice reminder that better things are still yet to come.
Turkey What you need: construction paper, googly eyes, markers, and scissors. It’s an easy passive program that will be sure to cause a smile when they get these back. If you can’t pass them back out, then maybe make a board out of them!

This is the last blog post of the season! Good luck everyone!

Passive Programming

As the year starts to come to an end, you may see a bit of a change in your residents. I know I am starting to spend more time on my own either in my room, the study lounge or the library. Everyone is different but some students may be keeping to themselves more as their workload increases, the holidays start to get closer and their schedules start to become more hectic. So, you might see less and less residents participate in your active programs. This is when passive programming can be really effective.

A nice benefit of passive programming is that it livens up the environment. Lots of boring posters and signs cluttering up your hallway? Throw up some funny quotes to liven the mood. Is that hike to the top of the stairs long and boring? Use that stairway to illustrate successful steps to studying. Passive programming gets information across while keeping things interesting.


Passive programming is also a great way to get information across that would otherwise go unnoticed and underappreciated. Residents sometimes need to hear this information but they don’t want to listen. Passive programming is almost like tricking your residents into learning.

Here are some passive programming ideas:
•Great Graffiti: In the bathroom, hang up a large piece of butcher paper and post silly questions to your residents like “What was your favorite 90’s cartoon?” or “Who is your role model?”
•Exam Eggs: To give your residents information about good study habits, puts little tips inside Easter eggs with some candy and hide them around the hall for them to find.
•STD’s in the Shower: Go to the PRC and stencil out one of the door hangers stencils. Write some information about STD’s on it and then laminate it. Hang it on the shower head and trust me, their eyes will start to read over it.
•Singing in the Shower: Again, cut out one of the door hanging stencils but this time, write out a favorite song on it. (Disney songs are the most effective, I think) This will help residents de-stress as they sing in the shower!
My favorite form of passive programming is door posting. I love it when my RA posts little bags of candy or coloring pages on my door. I feel like it is their way of saying, I am here and I want you to know that you can do this, without explicitly saying it.

Here are some great door posting ideas:
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Happy programming!

Hey all!

So I’ve done a couple workshops already this semester and a popular theme of these has been creative advertising! So I’d like to recap some tips here available for everyone!

1. Find your hook

Consider providing an incentive (tangible like food or otherwise like knowledge!) for attendance and market that incentive

2. Getting attention

Use a catchy name, title or slogan for both the program and for your flyer

Use puzzles, coded messages or interactive flyers

Use unconventional shapes, locations, and reiterations to grab attention

Keep the message simple yet mysterious to lure in the viewer and pique interest; use unconventional objects for flyers such as paper plates, door hangers, balloons, streamers or buttons

Use non-flyer publicity such as facebook/twitter, e-vite, word of mouth, goodie bags

3. Choose your location wisely

Use strategic locations where people frequent like the bathroom stall doors, fridge, mirrors, doors, and certain bulletin boards (thinking of apartment communities here)

Check out these cool examples of creative advertising creative by previous PAs!

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Happy advertising!


Life Hacks in the PRC

There is nothing worse than gathering up all your project materials and carrying them back to your dorm only to realize that you forgot bordette, a picture or a stencil.
And somehow at least one of those pesky letters always seems to get up and walk away. We have all been there, myself included. I once walked from the Programming Resource Center all the way over to the Campus Center only to realize once I was standing in front of my board that I forgot background paper. There was a good minute or so where I contemplated just completing the board without it, but I begrudgingly went all the back to the PRC and cut myself enough green background paper to make three bulletin boards. (Don’t worry; I brought back the remaining scraps the next day. We need not waste). This sudden realization that something was forgotten or left behind can really put you on edge. Here are some ‘PRC hacks’ that will help your board creation go smoothly.

Keep Track of Your Letters. This may seem obvious, but it is one of the most common problems. There is actually a whole drawer in the pre-cut stencil box dedicated to lost letters. It also really helps to count out your letters beforehand on a post it note so you aren’t counting off in your head at the stencil station. And once you cut out all your letters, head on over to the adhesive machine. As you push your letters through, spell everything out. This way you can make sure that you have everything and can grab one before you leave. This is also really helpful to do with stencils. It also keeps all your letters on one giant sticker sheet, which is pretty hard to lose. 3Xuzn5l

Measure Twice, Cut Once. Once you get to the point where you are ready to cut out your background paper, make sure you know the dimensions of your board. If you don’t know or forgot to measure, we have your back on this one. There is a binder in the PRC that had all the dimensions of the bulletin boards in every hall in every dorm on campus. I would even recommend using this to double check your sizes. Once you know your sizes, measure out your background paper. Give yourself about 6 inches of wiggle room on each dimension. You can always cut down your background paper, but once it is cut you cannot add anymore. Then roll it up and use a rubber band to keep it nice and smooth. This will also prevent tearing from happening. tumblr_inline_mtcq8d1kyo1r79k32

Keep All Your Materials in the Same Place. The PRC is a big, wonderful space to work in, there is no denying that, but there are some drawbacks to this. When you go from working at the stencils to the glitter table, some things can get left behind. So as soon as you come in to work, claim a spot that will be designated as your holding station. Then after each work station, go back to your holding station and drop things off, pick things up or look at your to-do list. This will also help you keep track of how much more you have left to accomplish. Then once you are ready to head out, you only have to check one area for everything. tumblr_inline_mso18p6ZnS1qz4rgp

Have a Game Plan. You may have a great idea for a bulletin board in your head, but please plan it out before you get here. Or plan it out in the PRC, but before you starting cutting and printing; you should have an idea of what the end goal is going to look like. This way you can streamline the process and get your board up faster and with less hassle. I find that people who just have a conceptual idea in their head about a board tend to make more trips to the PRC for that one board. Planning is an essential part of the process.

These are just some basics hacks, but they make things so much easier. If you keep yourself organized and do the things I have outlined above, you will thank yourself in the end. Then you can celebrate your successful new board. tumblr_inline_msv0ys73lW1qz4rgp


You guessed it! This blog post is going to be about Pinterest and all the resources it can offer you as part of Res Life staff. Male readers–keep reading! Contrary to what many believe, Pinterest offers so much more than creative wedding ideas, hair and wardrobe ideas for women (though those categories can be especially fun for me to browse).

The basics of how Pinterest works:

  • Once you have an account, you can choose to create “pins” which is an image or video you add to the site from another website or from your computer and these “pins” link back to their source, which is normally another website.
  • “Boards” on Pinterest are where you sort your pins based on themes (examples: party ideas, sports, style, art, wish list, fitness and health ideas, clothing ideas, cool places, bucket list, decorating ideas, DIY, wedding ideas)
  • Your pins can be re-pinned by others to their boards just as you can pin others’ pins to your boards
  • You can follow other users or their specific boards

You don’t have to have an account to use Pinterest. I don’t have one but I can still access all these cool ideas. Here’s how I do it:

Using the Google search bar, I type in “Pinterest search + ______”

Specific examples of things I have looked up include “Pinterest search + res life,” “Pinterest search + inspiration,”  and “Pinterest search + DIY” to look up ideas on these themes, but use whatever key word you want and related pins will generate from the Pinterest website.

Or you can make an account and keep track of all the pins you like with your boards! Which is probably what I should do since I’ve been using Pinterest a lot more frequently…

Pinterest can be used for:

  • Making a wishlist
  • Planning a trip
  • Organizing an event
  • Starting a collection
  • Planning a project
  • Promoting corporate/non-profit efforts (many companies have Pinterest accounts to enhance marketing, communication and their online presence)

Some ideas on how you can use Pinterest as an RA or other member of Res Life staff:

  • consider creating a Pinterest page for your hall and advertising it as a place where people can submit and pin ideas to the board or page
  • create a board of ideas, images, videos or links that inspire your event planning and activities
  • search the site for ideas on board themes and design
  • search Pinterest for fitness, time management, organizational, health, food and professional tips

Here are some cool Pinterest pages for you to browse!

  • General Information on Interesting Things (great poster resources/ theme ideas for boards despite this vague sub-heading)


http://www.pinterest.com/sharp/best-infographics/(a board of one of the co-founders of Pinterest)

  • Inspiration





  • Just for Funsies:



  • Food:



  • To Keep Up the PRC 90s Theme:


Happy Pinteresting!





It’s back again another year! The day many anticipate, and others dread… FAMILY WEEKEND!!! Often considered TWAMP mayhem on account of the lack of parking spaces as well as lack of classroom seats, there are several underrated perks to having them rents come to town! Not to mention all of the fun events included as part of Family Weekend! You may think of this weekend as a negative experience as well, but listen up, and PRAISE BEYONCE that Family Weekend is a thing!

First of all, let’s get to it and discuss food. Ain’t you getting bored of having Sadler 5 times a week, EVERY. WEEK. Then conveniently when you finally need a break from the cycle, BOOM! – Your parents have arrived to whisk you away to MULTIPLE meals of your choice. And also, hopefully they will also take you out supply shopping or if you’re really lucky or persistent, clothes shopping!! Plus who needs a car on campus when your parents are coming down?! And the best part of these perks, YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY. As college students, we are slowly being immersed into the actual real world, in which lovely Mumsie and Popsicle can’t or won’t always be able to help you out financially. So take advantage of it while you can y’all!

As for the official events taking place, here is a run-down of them all!


1)      Featured Faculty Series – There will be faculty lectures from a variety of subjects.

President’s Welcome Session – Come listen to yours truly, President Reveley, and let your parents know about the guy they’ve been missing out on!

2)      Family Weekend Picnic – Enjoy a picnic lunch complete with a jazz trio, tours of the historic Wren Building and President’s house, and socializing with other W&M families. Wren Yard (Ticket Purchase REQUIRED!)

3)      William & Mary Sings – An A Capella Concert featuring a dozen talented student a cappella groups.  Lake Matoaka Amphitheater (IN CASE OF RAIN, the event will be held in W&M Hall)

4)      Tribe Football! – Zable Stadium (Ticket Purchase REQUIRED!)


1)      Bone Marrow Family Weekend 5K (Begins at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Student Recreation Center) – Pre-register or arrive at 7:30 a.m. for race day registration.


No matter what you do, just make sure you make most of the time you have with your family, for you likely won’t see them for quite a long while. It is the weekend, so try not to push your fam right out the door on account of “homework” that “immediately needs to be done.” PUH-LEASE. I’m pretty sure we all appreciate the things our families do for us, so why not show it!

Have fun this weekend y’all! But not too much fun! 🙂


David Kilpatrick

It may only be the second week of school, but your residents (and you) may already be feeling the burden of too much reading, too many papers, and those tough decisions of whether to do work or take a break and enjoy the last few warm days with friends. Freshmen especially may be realizing that the study strats that worked in high school may not live up to the demands of college. And though many William and Mary student might think asking for help is as good as defeat, our school has lots of resources in place to make sure those students who want to succeed will do so. Check out some of these resources below:

1. The number one resource there for you is the Dean of Students Office. Don’t just think about them as disciplinarians or the ones you go to in emergencies, the DoSo has both worksheets and workshops for time management, study skills, and strategic learning. They’re also happy to hold one of these workshops for a hall as a hall program!

2. Tribe Tutor Zone. Technically, this is part of the Dean of Students Office, but it’s in Swem and run by students. The Tribe Tutors were recommended by faculty members because they had outstanding performance in the classes that they now tutor for. Because these are specialized and individualized tutoring sessions, they do cost money, but it’s a very low fee of $10/55 minute session, and it’s charged to the student account, so many students can just rely on their parents to foot the bill. If you know of a resident who’s struggling in a specific class, consider recommending the Tribe Tutor Zone to help them master both study skills and course-specific material.

3. The Writing Resource Center. Also in Swem, the Writing Resource Center is a free resource to help students improve their writing and public speaking skills. They also have tons of handouts and resources available online. Consider asking a WRC consultant  to come to your hall to give a brief presentation or to host your residents for a 15-minute tour at the WRC (services they advertise as available to professors of small classes, but which are certainly generalizable to residence halls).

4. The Office of Academic Advising. Does a resident need help planning their class schedule? Can’t quite figure out how to get in all their major requirements, GERs, and take that semester abroad? Academic Advising is the department of experts, who know the school’s policies inside and out and can set up an 8-semester plan in just a few minutes.

5. Professors! If a student is struggling in a class, they may not need to look any further than the front of the class room. Professors know more than anyone else on campus about what they expect and what it takes to do well in their class. They also appreciate it when students actively seek help and try to develop relationships. Go to a professor’s office hours, and you may see the difference when you get your next essay back!

With these resources at your fingertips, you and your residents will be sure to have a great semester!



Welcome back, res life staff! After all your hard work, residents are finally moved in and classes have begun. You could think that means it’s time to sit back and take a well-deserved break, but you know that in the life of a William & Mary student that’s simply not the case. Instead, it’s time to start building relationships within your hall and to  foster your residents’ intellectual and personal growth outside the classroom. Luckily for you, Residence Life has developed a model to help you do just that.

In the past, we have operated by the Residents’ Needs model, whereby programming (as well as everything else you do as an Res Life staff member) is based on assessing the needs of both individual residents and the community as a whole and then working to meet those needs. Though we still use this model, past RAs have complained that it’s more than a little bit vague, and so the Res Life powers that be have added another model: the first 4 weeks.

Week 1: Social Event with Community. This is a getting to know each other-type event. As always, food based events like going to dinner, baking, or going on a CW cider run are good, but you might also consider adding an interactive component like an icebreaker or other game. Maybe even go all out and have a game night!

Week 2: Active Event with Community. It may be hard to  distinguish this from a social event, but the true difference is that here the focus lies more in doing something than simply getting to know one another. You could choose to take “active” literally by attending a group fitness class, signing up for an IM sports team, or just playing a casual game of frisbee in the Sunken gardens; or you could engage in other active events like a scavenger hunt, attending an AMP event together, or going on a ghost tour.

Week 3: Passive Event with Community. This should be an event for which residents don’t necessarily need to be in the same place at the same time. You might have a bulletin board decorating contest, a game of pay it forward (where residents do something nice for one another or leave one another compliments or words of wisdom), or just leave some pizza in the lounge.

Week 4: An Event with Another Community. This can be a great break for you because you can co-program with one of your friends. You also have more residents available to come to your program, so use this as a chance to do something big. You could do something competitive, like a volleyball game, bake-off, or talent show, or do something that will last all year or semester such as creating a upperclassman-freshmen buddy system.

What’s best about this system is that it really doesn’t need to be limited to the first four weeks. Use it as a model for the rest of the semester so that you don’t get stuck in a rut of TV nights or making cookies.  Before you know it, you’ll be a programming wiz!

Awesome First Four Weeks board made by P.A. Paula

Awesome First Four Weeks board made by P.A. Paula

Admitted Students Day is always an exciting time – it makes the returners excited for the coming year or nostalgic for the last four years and, personally, I don’t think you could have come on a better day.  Our campus is beautiful all the time but there is something about a spring day that makes it so much better.  Hopefully you’ll be able to experience that more fully next year!


So, are you still trying to make your decisions, newbies?  I admit that our weather is… special… but WM is really awesome, especially our WM community.  I’m sure you have heard about the community a lot already (if you haven’t I can guarantee you will) but it truly makes us unique.  A big part of your early community here will be your freshman hall – really take advantage of these early friendships you make.  They will stay with you.  Also, just as importantly, take advantage of your RA.  They are here to help you transition to college life – whether it is academic or social.  If you have a question or there is an activity you want to do, ask your RA!  We don’t want you to fumble – we want you to love it here as much as we do!


So, once again, welcome!

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