The Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1 - 52

Jordan P. Fullam * Andrew J. Hughes

outcomes for students in the context of the
FIR program. The following sections detail the
themes with supporting data.

FIR programming enhances the

FIR Programming as " Interest Groups "

door for FIRs to build community in

Participants described formal interactions
by recounting their experiences interacting
with FIRs in the context of programs developed by the FIRs. The activities the students
described included a Chai and Crafts series,
a Queer Space discussion and support group,
programs in which FIRs shared their love of
pets with students, and a jam session group
for musicians. Some participants described the
programs developed by FIRs as interest groups
that " cater to a specific demographic " or groups
that allowed students to " meet people who are
in the same interest field of yours like music. "
Participants also shared that programs developed by the FIRs were unique because they
were more inclusive of the whole residential
community. The inclusiveness of the FIR programs, in the participants' view, was a benefit:
These programs helped one student, for
example, " expand my social group to a group I
would not have run into on my own " and " grow
my web of people I connect with. "

the residence halls and contribute

Some FIR activities were implemented
through consistent weekly, bi-weekly, or
monthly meetings that provided the opportunity for sustained interactions and relationship-building among FIRs and students.
One participant shared that the FIRs " make a
program out of something fun, something you
like that you want to be able to commit [to] a
couple hours out of your week or every other
week. " The regular meetings of some FIR activities facilitated sustained and ongoing interactions among faculty and students.

52

student experience by opening the

to the holistic learning environment
that student affairs professionals
have already established-and this is
work primarily conducted through
relationships.

FIRs as " First Connection Point "
Many of the formal and informal interactions
that participants described were social interactions that helped students gain social confidence within the campus community. One
participant, for example, reported that she
" came out of her shell " as a result of interacting with FIRs: " Some of my friends said that
compared to when they first met me last year,
I have completely changed and I seem to be
more open, more willing to talk to people, especially people I do not know. " The same student
reported that because of participating in FIR
activities, she felt confident enough to perform
with the university dance company. Another
suggested that having social interactions with
an FIR at jam sessions encouraged her to join
another music group and take theater classes.
This student suggested that " because of this
group I felt more comfortable to try myself out
in different group settings. "

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

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