Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 50

Architect Thomas CarlsonReddig used mental
modeling to think outside
the traditional lines of
a residence hall when
it came to redesigning
The College of Wooster's
Gault Schoolhouse in
Ohio. Due to its unique
shape, he didn't have
a central hallway with
rooms extending from
it to work with. "Each
building has life and
speaks to us," he says.
"Our goal is to capture
and work within that
spirit."
PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMES A.
BAUMANN

C

ampus housing professionals can also make use of triggers - activities indicating
that a student may need assistance or another issue needs to be addressed - as
mental models. Triggers are essentially any tripwire put in place to draw attention to
a student or situation, which may prompt a review of a student's record, a meeting
with the student, or some other form of outreach. Common triggers include students having a
financial hold from not paying a room and board bill, not signing a residence hall contract by
the end of the semester, having a conduct report filed, having a midterm deficiency, or missing
a meeting with a hall director.
The primary advantage of using a trigger as
a mental model is that it is tangible. Because
triggers are based on a specific rule or data
point, they are incredibly concrete. When
people see it, they know exactly what has
prompted it and thus know where to start the
conversation. In addition, workloads can be
prioritized based on the trigger itself; those
related to residence hall contracts could wait
until the next semester, but the student with a
conduct report may need immediate outreach.
The limitation of this model, though, is
that it relies on the quality and quantity of the
triggers. What happens when triggers are not

50

TALKING STICK

drawing attention to the students who need
help the most? What happens if triggers aren't
being seen and are thus failing to indicate
students most in need of assistance? What
happens if there are simply too many triggers?
A department using the trigger approach
frequently ends up with a field of landmines,
where students are constantly hitting triggers.
The central challenge boils down to validity and
volume. If a housing department sets up triggers
that do not catch the right students or if the
triggers catch so many students that it creates an
unrealistic workload for staff, this can defeat the
purpose of putting them in place.



Talking Stick - July/August 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - July/August 2016

Talking Stick - July/August 2016
Contents
Vision
Just In
Calendar
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Res Life
Special Focus
Regroup
ACUHO-I Awards
Thinking Ahead
Working Overtime
Conversations
First Takes
Around Student Affairs
New Members
Snapshot
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Intro
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - BB1
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - BB2
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Talking Stick - July/August 2016
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Cover2
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 1
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 2
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Contents
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 4
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 5
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 6
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 7
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Vision
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 9
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Just In
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 11
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 12
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 12a
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 12b
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 13
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 14
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 15
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 16
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 17
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Calendar
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 19
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 21
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Transitions
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 23
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Res Life
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 25
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 26
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 27
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Special Focus
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 29
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 30
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 31
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Regroup
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 33
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 34
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - ACUHO-I Awards
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 36
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 37
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 38
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 39
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 40
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 41
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 42
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 43
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Thinking Ahead
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 45
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 46
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 47
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 48
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 49
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 50
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 51
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Working Overtime
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 53
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 54
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 55
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 56
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 57
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 58
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 59
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Conversations
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 61
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 62
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 63
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - First Takes
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Around Student Affairs
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - 66
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - New Members
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Cover3
Talking Stick - July/August 2016 - Cover4
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