EcoHouse at SUNY Geneseo A Transformative Learning Community
Founding a Community ● Student Founded Community ○ In Fall 2009, a group of students proposed the creation of a living community focused on social justice and sustainability ○ Founding students worked with Department of Residence Life ● Idea was to create a space for education, critical thinking, and community development focused on environmental and social justice issues.
Building Style ● 80 residents, 4 resident assistants ● pseudo-suites, 2 double rooms adjoined by a shared bathroom ● kitchenettes located on each floor to support community development ● study lounges on ground and 4th floors ● music practice room on ground floor
Community Norms/Values ● EcoHouse is a community dedicated to promoting Sustainability and Social Justice on campus and in the community ● Goals: ○ T0 create an inclusive community free from judgement ○ To establish and maintain a safe space where residents feel they can openly share their opinions with others ○ Implementing and practicing environmentally responsible behaviors
Residential Education Goals ● Learning outcomes: ○ General Outcome- “SUNY Geneseo students will grow in their social and communication skills through living and working collaboratively with others, engaging in respectful relationships, and assuming responsibility for the common good.” ○
House Outcome: “We will focus on increasing our knowledge of issues of sustainability and social justice in an effort to learn not just about the issue itself, but about the underlying issues, root causes, and impact. Residents will also focus on educating the larger SUNY Geneseo community.”
Application Process ● Selective, over 150 applicants for 80 spots ● Applicants must: ○ Discuss their past involvement in social justice and/or environmental issues ○ Articulate what they wish to gain from living in the EcoHouse community ○ What skills, experiences, knowledge they bring to the community ○ Ways they intend to get involved in the building
Resident Selection ● All applications are read and reviewed by the Area Coordinator ● Residents interested in continuing to live in the building must complete a returning resident application
Community Composition - Freshman/transfer floor: -20 spots reserved for new students - new student community development - Homesteading: available for returning students - New Applicants placed in slots not taken by new students and returning residents
House Fellows ● Faculty and staff nominated by house residents to become honorary members of the community ● House fellows are not just from academic departments, but from student and campus life, facilities and maintenance, etc. ● Often visit the building for formal events, such as educational programs, and also for informal events, such as potlucks.
Resident Assistant Programming - Farmers Market Trips - Weekly TED Talks - Community meals - Sustainable projects (vertical garden) - Oxfam Hunger Banquet
Hall Council Programming - Fall Fest - Haunted Arboretum - Late Night Events - Holiday Jubilee - Relay for Life fundraising - Candygram and rose sales, bottle and can drives
- Earth Week Events - Terracycle
Annual Campus-wide Programming - Annual Walk for Water - Oxfam Hunger Banquet
Campus Involvement ● ● ● ●
Collaboration with Geneseo Environmental Organization Working with Geneseo Pride Alliance In-Hall programing with Geneseo Health Guards Representatives on the President’s Commission on Sustainability ● Co-organizing campus-wide programs and events with other residence halls
Community Involvement ● Volunteering at Tree Creations, a private park of tree houses ● Volunteering at “I Love My Parks Day” at Letchworth State Park ● Fundraising for Relay for Life ● Planning and hosting community-wide events
Continuing Vision Moving forward, EcoHouse is working to increase collaboration with other on-campus clubs and organizations, and community groups for more extensive programming, outreach, education, and advocacy.
Thank you for Attending! Any questions? Interested in learning more? Contact Us! Presenters:
RA Jennifer Benson: [email protected]
RA Jessica Kroenert: [email protected]
Area Coordinator Elliot Zenilman: [email protected]
Dean of Residential Living, Dr. Celia Easton: [email protected]
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