How to get residents to programs

It is not ground breaking, it’s hard to get residents to programs. Sometimes you have a better turn out with doing things just with your floor, but even that can be a struggle. In return this can be very frustrating on our side of the job. My first tip to you is to not worry, this is normal and this does NOT make you a bad RA. Below are just a few tips to get residents to my programs.

Always keep in mind the location of your program. Where I work, we use complexes, so there are two buildings per complex. One of the issues we have come across is getting people from one building to the other. The buildings I work in are a little far apart. In general if a building is hosting one program, we are most likely going to get residents from that perspective building. This is just something that we have come to terms with as an RA staff.

One tip and trick that we use is calling, especially diversity programs where we usually have a low turn out, programs by very interesting names. I did a program just a few days ago and called it “Let’s talk about the D”. It definitely caught residents attention and when they asked what it was, we told them come to find out. We had a fairly good turn out for the program being Thursday at 8:00pm but we definitely got people there for the name alone. In general be creative with titles of programs, one of the most creative program titles was for an alcohol awareness program, and we called it “Facts on Tap”.

The other trick is food. I know that many of us buy food anyway, but be creative with your choices. A popular choice for my staff is pizza rolls, there cheap and you get a lot of them, and they do not take long to bake in the oven or microwave. Ice cream, root beer floats, are another popular choice.

One thing to always keep in mind is dietary restrictions. If someone is allergic to dairy it really sucks coming to a program that only serves ice cream. I always try to pick a variety, such as fruit trays and vegetable trays.  I have never had a problem with extras, which is surprising but it is healthy food that people don’t get a lot of.