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
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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]
Other Contacts:
Area Coordinator Elliot Zenilman: [email protected]
Dean of Residential Living, Dr. Celia Easton: [email protected]
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