Community Involvement


New students thrive when a university actively fosters and reinforces learning and development across all spheres in which our students interact—from the classroom and beyond. A common and shared set of social and cultural experiences at Oregon State University will help to build a sense of belonging and integration within the community for all first-year students.


  • Allow first-year students to build greater connections with their peers, including upper-class students
  • Help students learn how to become responsible citizens and live safely in community

Lead Contacts

Eric Alexander
Director, Student Leadership and Involvement

Tracy Bentley-Townlin
Interim Dean of Student Life

Kris Winter
Director, New Student Programs and Family Outreach


Experiential Learning and the FYE: This task force was convened in fall 2013 to examine opportunities to connect first-year students to co-curricular learning experiences that positively impact student success. The Student Affairs Strategic Initiative 2 workgroup will follow up on the initial recommendations of this task force, which include:

  • Using an FYE lens, examine the developmental pathways to determine what exists that is relevant to FYE
  • In each pathway, develop two to three first-year learning outcomes
  • Identify how to encourage students to engage in the pathways
  • Regularly communicate with task force to stay informed of all member’s work in their respective areas as related to co-curricular involvement and FYE

UHDS: A top priority of University Housing and Dining Services as it works with campus partners to implement the first-year experience initiative is to create safe, healthy and inclusive communities. Because of their integral role in the first-year experience of new students, UHDS has developed several new initiatives rooted in high-impact residential practices that connect students to both the residential and larger university community. Partnering with UHDS in these community-building initiatives include:




  • CONNECT Crew pilot program implemented in three residence halls
  • Homecoming programming to take place in all residence halls
  • Experiential Learning and the FYE task force convened


  • Residential Curriculum implemented in all residence halls
  • Resident assistant-facilitated one-on-one conversations with first-year students occur each term in residence halls
  • UHDS Moonlight Breakfast and related events organized each term
  • UHDS Hall Identity and Floor/Wing traditions implemented and facilitated through each term
  • Inter-Hall Challenge implemented in all residence halls
  • Student Health Services’ Social Norming Campaign implemented in all residence halls
  • Oregon State Police Trooper Liaison program implemented in all residence halls
  • UHDS staff to work with faculty and staff from across campus to develop an assessment plan to determine the success of FYE initiatives



  • Two full-fledged living-learning communities to be made available to students



  • Additional living-learning communities expected to be made available to students