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As a Resident Assistant (RA), you have the unique opportunity to create a welcoming and engaging environment for your residents. One way to leave a lasting impression is through door decorations, commonly known as “door decs.” Door decs can foster a sense of belonging and community within the residence hall. When residents see the effort you put into creating unique and personalized door decs, it signals that you care about creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. Door decs can also be conversation starters and icebreakers.
1. Get to Know Your Residents
Before creating door decs, take the time to get to know your residents personally. Engage in conversations, conduct surveys, or host community-building activities to gather information about their interests, favorite colors, hobbies, or even their majors. This knowledge will help you design door decs that resonate with them on a personal level. Although this may not be possible for your initial door decs at the beginning of the year, keep this idea in mind for the future. Remember, door decs are not about you, they are about the resident.
2. Utilize Engaging Themes or Have Residents Create Their Own
Choose themes that resonate with your residents and encourage interaction. Themes could revolve around pop culture, seasons, holidays, or shared interests. For example, you could create door decs inspired by favorite movies, TV shows, or sports teams. Engaging themes provide an opportunity for residents to connect over shared passions and initiate conversations. Better yet, let your residents pick the theme. Create an initial door dec that is a blank canvas with just the resident’s name. Have redients bring these to your first floor meeting and have them decorate them with words and images that resonate with them.
3. Incorporate Interactive Elements
Go beyond static door decs by adding interactive elements. For example, you could create door decs with writable surfaces, such as whiteboards or chalkboards, where residents can leave messages, doodle, or share announcements. Interactive door decs encourage engagement and allow residents to contribute to the overall design.