An unorthodox approach to getting your residents to read bulletin boards
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An Unorthodox Approach to Getting your Residents to Read Bulletin Boards. Bulletin Board: A Great Way to Inform. So why do some residents find them so soul-crushingly boring?. What do bulletin boards give residents? Helpful tips and advice on college or the local community

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An Unorthodox Approach to Getting your Residents to Read Bulletin Boards

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An unorthodox approach to getting your residents to read bulletin boards

An Unorthodox Approach to Getting your Residents to Read Bulletin Boards


Bulletin board a great way to inform

Bulletin Board: A Great Way to Inform

So why do some residents find them so soul-crushingly boring?

  • What do bulletin boards give residents?

    • Helpful tips and advice on college or the local community

    • Information on various resources (academic, recreational, gastrointestinal)

    • Expose residents to new things (hobbies, areas of study, history, other residents)

    • Information on housing policies

    • Promoting community values and school spirit

    • Other things that would take way too long to list


You can only say the same thing so many ways

You Can Only Say the Same Thing So Many Ways…

  • What did I learn from being a RA and a resident?

    • Many residents usually stop paying much attention after the first two months

    • You start to get bored making them after the first three months

    • Upperclassmen residents wise up to the fact that the boards start to repeat themselves after a while

So what is the solution?

  • Many RA’s use the same ideas for bulletin boards (Look at the bulletin boards on any RA website - a lot of them deal with the same topic, just in a different manner of presentation)

  • Your challenge is to find something novel to catch residents’ attention

  • The first way is make it so absurd it’s interesting

  • The second way is to use news and publications and use novelty stories to your advantage


Bulletin boards i ve done

Bulletin Boards I’ve Done

  • PURPOSEFUL

  • Black History Month

  • Local Charitable Organizations

  • Resident Art Display

  • Bike Safety

  • Spring Break Safety

  • Finals Study Tips

  • Battery Technology

  • Where to Go on Campus

  • Absolutely_Pointless...

  • Surviving an Animal Attack

  • Squirrel Lore

  • Defeating Supernatural Monsters

  • State Highlight: Idaho – The Land of Land and Also Dirt

  • The Unelectable Founders of the USA


Why does it work

Why Does It Work?

  • People like to see new things, or at least be curious about it

  • These boards are intended solely to entertain instead of inform

  • Use this technique on one bulletin board, and move it to another one every month to get your residents to look at all your bulletin boards

Use Other Resources!

  • It’s difficult to come up with new material every month

  • I’ve used different books such as “The Areas of My Expertise” by John Hodgman and “America” by Jon Stewart to take passages from


An unorthodox approach to getting your residents to read bulletin boards

Example from “Surviving an Animal Attack” Board


An unorthodox approach to getting your residents to read bulletin boards

Example from “Squirrel Lore” Board


Novelty and information together

  • Con: Not all residents will understand the humor, some could be offended by it. Choose your brand of funny carefully

Novelty And Information Together

  • Look through newspapers, trade magazines, and other publications for interesting news, discoveries, and developments

  • Couple the news presented with the hobbies and interests of your residents

  • Try to avoid news involving politics, religion, etc. Try topics like car shows, annual awards ceremonies, new entertainment venues, technological advances, scientific discoveries, and so on.

  • Con: Information in bulletin board becomes old news, and isn’t reasonable to use after a few months


Excerpt from portable battery technology board

Excerpt from “Portable Battery Technology” Board


An unorthodox approach to getting your residents to read bulletin boards

Ideas I Admittedly Haven’t Tried Yet

  • Water coolers placed strategically at bulletin board locations

  • Contests on bulletin board knowledge

  • Not putting bulletin boards up to see if residents say anything

  • I don’t really recommend any of these options, though.

Bad idea.


Remember

Remember!

  • Bulletin boards serve a lot of purposes, so don’t limit yourself to the same formulas or ideas

  • Get new ideas from residents, other hall staff, professors, your pet fish, use all your resources

  • Some residents don’t even take time to interact with anything between the front door and their room, but don’t let it discourage you from making cool boards for the ones who are actually interested in it

  • Ask for input even after you put a board up, even if residents don’t have any ideas, it will get them interested in reading it, because they know that you take an interest in making it


Submitted by justin wells resident assistant university of louisville

Submitted by Justin Wells, Resident Assistant, University of Louisville


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