Residence Life is one of four functional units within University Residences. Other units consist of Business and Information Systems, Facilities, and Occupancy, Communication and Administrative Services.
Supervising Resident Director
As a Supervising Resident Director, you will have the opportunity to create a unique residential experience for students and staff members in a residential community of 550-700 students. In this role, you will have a higher level of decision-making authority, which translates to having the opportunity to supervise 1 full-time professional staff member (assistant resident director), chair committees within the unit, serve in the senior staff on call rotation, as well as representing the unit on departmental committees and campus initiatives. You will serve as a leader and educator who promotes equity and inclusion in the community, helping students develop consciousness regarding principles of equality, respect, and individual and collective responsibility. You’ll be able to elevate your skills in providing academic support, crisis response and management, student conduct, and student development. Additionally, you will mentor student staff and student leaders in building their capacity as leaders that will directly support them in their future careers. This position is a great professional development opportunity that will help you move towards achieve your professional career goals. We hope you’ll come join our team and embark on the experience of being a Supervising Resident Director for up to four years.
As a Resident Director, you will have the opportunity to create a unique residential experience for students and staff members in a residential community of 300-600 students. You will serve as a leader and educator who promotes equity and inclusion in the community, helping students develop consciousness regarding principles of equality, respect, and individual and collective responsibility. You’ll be able to build and refine your skills in providing academic support, crisis response and management, student conduct, and student development. In this role, you will mentor student staff and student leaders in building their capacity as leaders that will directly support them in their future careers. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to engage in professional development such as chairing departmental committees, working on innovative initiatives, and attending conferences that will help you achieve your professional career goals. We hope you’ll come join our team and embark on the experience of being a Resident Director for up to four years.
Assistant Resident Director
As an Assistant Resident Director, you will have the opportunity to grow your skillset in Residence Life and gain valuable experience through assisting in providing educational and administrative leadership in developing diverse and inclusive communities enhancing student learning and development in a residential community of 550-700 students. You will work closely with the Supervising Resident Director to promote equity and inclusion within the community while helping students develop consciousness regarding principles of equality, respect, and individual and collective responsibility. In this role, you will also have the opportunity to enhance student learning through serving as a conduct officer and advising our hall or community councils in their leadership journey. We hope you’ll come join our team and embark on the experience of being an Assistant Resident Director for up to three years.
Welcome to Residence Life
"We have created a strong team of dedicated professionals who truly value working with students. In addition, our commitment to pursue justice and equity can be seen through our processes, policies, and the positive impact we have the potential to create for each on campus resident. If you are seeking intentional student engagement both on an individual level with the autonomy to build a strong hall community where students feel welcomed and included, Western may be in your future. If this is you, we hope you can see yourself as a potential new member of our team!"Vicki VanderwerfAssociate Director of Residence Life
Reasons to Work With Us
We’ve been using a curricular approach for over 12 years and recently launched our new program, University Residences Initiative for Student Engagement (URISE).
Location of Bellingham
Located off the shores on Bellingham Bay, we are about 50 miles to Vancouver, BC and about 90 miles to Seattle.
As a member of our team, you will grow professionally through your work on committees inside and outside of our department by attending a conference through the support of office funding, in addition to engagement and lead training opportunities.
We have fun
We often say, “we take our work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Commitment to Equity and Inclusion
We use critical race theory as one of our frameworks for our curriculum. We constantly work to ensure that equity and inclusion is in the forefront of our decisions and practices.
Vibrant Campus Partnerships
Residence Life strives to maintain strong partnerships with offices on campus to foster stronger program development and policy decisions.
High Student Contact
With just over, 4,000 students in housing, we have a focus on high student contact while also gaining skills as a member of a large housing operation.
Meet the Staff
Assistant Resident Director
Supervising Resident Director
Apartment Community Director
Assistant Resident Director
University Residences Initiative for Student Engagement (URISE)
Students living on campus learn to embrace multiple perspectives. Our residents engage as members of a diverse and inclusive community, through a vision of a just and equitable local, national, and global society. As a result of living at Western, students develop skills for personal wellness and professional readiness, as they prepare for their careers.
Building inclusive communities
Residence Life will promote inclusive community-building by intentionally engaging with staff and students
Residence Life will have a deliberate focus on students’ career preparedness through a variety of co-curricular activities and conversations.
Residence Life will provide students with opportunities to aid in personal wellness behaviors focused on three main areas: healthy relationships, stress management, and conflict resolution.
Community Based Learning
Community-based learning is a teaching and learning strategy integrating meaningful community engagement with instruction and reflection. This strategy enriches the learning experience with a greater emphasis on reciprocal learning and reflection.
Strengths Based Approach (SBA)
Grounded in complex positive psychology research, the strength-based approach (SBA) boils down to a simple rule: focus on what students do well. It feels natural to do the opposite because working on areas of weakness may seem like the best way to help students grow. Research shows people respond infinitely better when approached with positivity, both in terms of their continued engagement, motivation and ultimately their behavior change. This is especially the case with students coming from backgrounds seen as deficit driven.
This approach is not used to ignore weaknesses or necessary areas of improvement but to start with a positive lens when viewing oneself or others. In all conversations and interactions with staff and students, we strive to model an approach focusing on individual self-determination and strength. The SBA is student-led and student-centered on outcomes to allow students to see themselves at their best. This approach identifies any barriers that may hold back a student's growth. Barriers can occur when dealing with social, personal and/or cultural issues that are not equitable.
Community Cultural Wealth
Residence Life utilizes Dr. Tara Yosso’s conceptualization of Community Cultural Wealth as a critical race theory (CRT) challenge to traditional interpretations of cultural capital. CRT shifts the research lens away from a deficit view of Communities of Color as places full of cultural poverty disadvantages. Instead, we focus on and learn from the array of cultural knowledge, skills, abilities and contacts possessed by socially marginalized groups that often go unrecognized and unacknowledged. Various forms of capital nurtured through cultural wealth include aspirational, navigational, social, linguistic, familial and resistant capital.