Living and Learning in the Residential Commons
At SMU, we are transforming the residential life model for students through our Residential Commons program, which integrates the academic, residential and social experience. Living in one of the 11 on-campus Residential Commons during your first two years at SMU, you'll find it's easier to make friends and transition smoothly to university life in a supportive environment. Living and interacting with students from across the United States and the world enriches you and prepares you to be a world changer in today's global society.
Community Expectations & Standards
SMU works collaboratively with students to create and maintain an atmosphere that promotes academic success, personal growth and social awareness. Safety and security are shared responsibilities among residents and the University. Strong communities require participating and cooperation of every resident. As a member of your community, you assume responsibility for what you do, including showing courtesy to others and respect for property. Our policies and Community Standards, given to all residents at check-in, outline reasonable expectations for conduct. We trust that all residents will make choices that promote a strong community and uphold these standards. Those who do not will be held accountable for their actions.
Learning Happens Everywhere
Student interactions and learning experiences outside of class are an important part of the whole college experience, To this end, each commons has a team of faculty and staff who work together to create a community with an academic focus and social opportunities. The team includes these members:
- Faculty-in-Residence: Each Res Commons has a Faculty-in-Residence who is a well-established SMU professor who lives in his or her Res Commons and serves as the academic leader in the community. FiRs help elevate the intellectual environment by hosting planned events and participating in impromptu discussions. A true member of the community, the FiR lives and works in his or her commons.
- Residential Community Director: The RCD is a full-time professional with a master's degree who is experienced in residence hall living and student life issues. Your RCD is responsible for the overall management of a Res Commons, including supervising the Resident Assistant Staff, coordinating programs, supervising student conduct and advising Community Council.
- Resident Assistants: RAs are students who work to foster a sense of community. The RA on your floor is a valuable resource for help in problem solving, conflict mediation and your transition to the University. They coordinate social and educational programs, facilitate hall and campus involvement and assist with the overall management of the residence.
Each residential community has a Community Council to help coordinate activities. Most Community Councils have committees that work with the Faculty-in-Residence and Residential Community Director to help build a strong sense of belonging within the res commons. By serving on a committee, you can help plan and enjoy a variety of group activities, such as the Res Commons Olympics, Commons dinners and cultural events.
The Residence Hall Association, or RHA, is the voice of residents to the Department of Residence Life & Student Housing and to the greater campus community. All students living in a residential community are members of RHA, and have a voice in RHA issues through their Res Commons or Community Council representative. Through RHA, SMU seeks student input on decisions and issues important to campus life, including policy changes, facility improvements or other ways to enhance on-campus living.