It’s the first day with your new floor and you’re excited to kick it off by creating a great culture among them. You google 10 Most Successful Ice Breakers to find some inspiration. Yikes – somehow, Two Truths and a Lie just doesn’t shout MEANINGFUL to you.

Luckily, you are not alone. The importance of students feeling appreciated and supported within a community is understood, but how do you accomplish that when the classic activities are starting to come off as cheesy?

The Fun Dept.’s Training answers this question by using a simple set of guidelines they coin as “The Laws of Fun” and “The Shared Experience.” These tips for creating short but effective activities will accentuate the eclectic experiences your residents are bringing to your floor community. The Fun Dept. helps remind you about the physical aspects of the activity, like its look and sound, and the consistency with which you provide these opportunities for your residence. The “Laws of Fun” will have you considering your role as the leader and how you engage with the activity. Their model is not a “cut and paste” team building activity to plop in the middle of the first floor meeting; it is strategically and uniquely customized to the interests of your floor. This will make it more meaningful and successful…and not as cheesy.

Having been a Resident Assistant myself, I want to share a personal example for you that I created for my floor not too long ago:

THE TOILET PAPER was the name of the activity we co-create for my residents, which satisfied both “The Laws of Fun” and “The Shared Experience.” THE TOILET PAPER, our bi-weekly floor newspaper, is posted in our community bathroom stalls. It had interviews of residents, riddles, pop culture news, campus programming, and fellow student involvement just to name a few articles. I could hear my residents chat over an impossible Sudoku or planning to see a friend’s dance performance through the halls with every publication. It seems so simple, but it was hugely impactful for the connectivity of a First Year floor.

An engaged floor is a successful floor. The Fun Dept. helped make getting there easier, more personal, and more fun for me and my residents!

by Sydney Lobosco, Creative Director & Certified Trainer