Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  24 / 36 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 24 / 36 Next Page
Page Background

Welcome to your new “House”

Residence Life house system to encourage spiritual growth

By Melissa McCutchan, CIU Student Writer

“What are you leading your students


?” For Director of

Residence Life David Blanchard, this is a favorite question to

ask his Residence Life staff. It’s important to him that his staff of

26 upperclassmen has a driving vision to guide their ministry on

CIU’s residence halls.

It’s this same desire for a forward-moving vision that led

Blanchard, a 2009 CIU alumnus, to begin the Residence Life

Strategic Initiative (RLSI), a new structure for CIU’s residence

halls that will begin with the 2016-2017 academic year.

In recent years, new CIU students lived together in one

building, alongside a team of upperclassmen known as

the Freshman Leadership Team (FLT). Each hall had two

upperclassmen known as Freshman Community Coordinators

(FCC) and one Resident Assistant (RA). For most freshmen, the

hall was a vital part of a first-year university experience. Hall

mates laughed together, prayed together, and went on late-

night ice cream runs together. However, hall mates were often

split up when they moved to upperclassmen halls the following

year, and often the community on upperclassman halls wasn’t

as deep or intentional as it was on freshman halls.

“The way this started was looking at what needs to be adjusted

from what we do now,” Blanchard said. “Part of that was

looking at the current freshman halls and figuring out, can we

maximize that? Can we keep all the best parts of the freshman

experience, because that’s been a really positive thing, but


also address the ‘sophomore slump’ and the rest of what’s

happening on campus?”

Under the new system, freshmen will live with upperclassmen

in a “house,” associated with CIU’s six existing residence

halls. Commuter students and students living in Pine View

Apartments will also be assigned to a house. Each house will

be named for a virtue, have its own crest, Bible verse, and

traditions. Students will have the option of being associated

with the same House all four years at CIU.

“My hope is that by freshmen living alongside upperclassmen,

there will be a trickle-down effect where some of the

upperclassmen can set the tone for the freshmen, what it looks

like to be at CIU,” Blanchard said. “In order to make all that

work, we wanted to build in this cultural component that would

create some tradition for each house.”

While traditions take time to build, Blanchard already has a

few ideas; for example, fun competitions between houses and

social events within the houses. The goal in all of this is spiritual

development. He says that when students build positive

relationships with one another through fun times, they’ll be

more likely to open up to one another about their spiritual lives.

“I really believe that education is more than just head knowledge

or job skills,” Blanchard said. “That’s something really unique at

CIU. There is this intentionality in developing the entire person.”

David Blanchard meets with RAs.



CIU Today

Summer 2016