A group of diverse students with arms around their shoulders, laughing and smiling.

Life in Our Halls

The residence halls are our Blue Hens' home at UD. We provide students with different opportunities to help them make connections with others and support their personal growth and development. Students can learn through workshops, programs, and even by meeting with their RA individually or as a group.

Student Leadership & Service Awards (SLSA)

The Student Leadership & Service Awards (SLSA) are an opportunity for Residence Life and Housing to recognize accomplishments and contributions that our students make within their residence hall communities. Student Leadership and Service Awards also celebrates all the exciting programs and work our students complete throughout the year. All students and staff are welcome to submit nominations!


Students can be nominated for their residence hall contributions for nine different award categories! Nominations are due on Monday, April 17, 2023.


SLSA Awards Categories: 

This award recognizes the efforts of an individual, group, or initiative that has advocated to positively impact change within the residence halls. The change efforts and/or initiative was one that reinforced and represented the needs and voices of the community. This award highlights actions carried out through implementation of awareness campaigns, programming, and/or community initiatives that impact students within the residence hall community. An individual or initiative nominated for this award should have identified community needs and contributed in a positive manner to the resolution of that need.

  • Nominations may range anywhere from 200 to 600 words.

This award recognizes programs and events that are student initiated and implemented in the halls with community building in mind. The nomination should demonstrate how the program has had an impact on a residence hall community, as well as how the program was planned and implemented by students.

  • The nomination statement should summarize the scope and impact of the program on the residential community and how the program was planned and implemented (see above description for more information).
  • Nominations may range anywhere from 350 to 800 words in length

This award recognizes an individual who has served in a leadership capacity in their current Neighborhood Empowerment Team and has demonstrated leadership towards the NET goals and missions above and beyond what is expected. The nomination should include detailed examples of his/her contribution to the floor; how the individual has worked towards creating a sense of community on their floor; how the individual has motivated others in the floor community to participate in NET; and involvement in NET Challenges. Student and staff testimonials are encouraged in nomination letters. Multiple leaders may be recognized for this award.

  • This nomination should include a summary of the scope and impact of the leader on their residential community and leadership in fostering a strong NET community (see above description for more information). Nominations may range anywhere from 350 to 800 words in length.

This recognition highlights individuals who have had a positive impact on the residence hall experience of another student or students. This award should recognize a resident who has helped make living on campus an experience characterized by kindness, friendship, personal growth, and/or learning. This award is not for a staff member or a student who holds a formal leadership role in the complex (NET Captain, Community Chair etc.). Multiple students may be recognized for this initiative.

  • Nominations should include support detailing this resident’s contribution(s) to individuals or the community. 

This award recognizes the efforts and contributions of a student in advancing the UD commitment to embrace, enhance and celebrate diversity in their floor, building, and/or area. The nominee should have a) demonstrated respectful and inclusive ways of being when interacting with others in their floor, building, and/or area; b) promoted, enhanced, and implemented an event that promoted perspective building amongst residents c) advocated for inclusion of underrepresented groups where students feel a sense of belonging in the floor, building, and/or area.

  • The nomination statement should summarize the scope and impact of the individual’s contributions to the community. Nominations may range anywhere from 350 to 800 words in length.

This award recognizes any community: floor, multiple floors, building, complex, Special Interest Housing or Living Learning communities whose individual members have been significantly involved in the growth and development of the community. The nominated communities also may have made contributions to the larger complex and/or University community. The nomination should include detailed examples of resident involvement in the community (this may include information about NET activities); benefits to individuals in the community; and contributions to complex and University communities. Up to two awards may be given.

  • The nomination statement should summarize the involvement of community members and any significant contribution to the larger complex or University community. This nomination should capture why this community is unique to other communities throughout campus. Nominations may range anywhere from 350 to 800 words in length.
  • At least one statement of support from a faculty or staff member focusing on personal knowledge of the nominated community and the community’s contributions to the residence halls. Multiple statements of support will be accepted and each statement can range from at least one paragraph to one page (350 words maximum).

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to their community above and beyond what is typically expected of residential students. This award should recognize a resident who is a great role model, and has positively impacted the residential experience of those around him/her. This award is not for a staff member or a student who holds a formal leadership role in the complex (NET Captain). Nominations should include support detailing this resident’s involvement in complex activities; change they have initiated in self, peers, or the community; and/or other contributions this student has made to his or her community. Up to two awards will be given (one for First-Year area and one for Upper Division).

  • The nomination statement should highlight the impact and contributions to his or her community outside of formal or elected leadership roles (see above description for more information). Nominations may range anywhere from 350 to 800 words in length.
  • At least one statement of support from a student, faculty, or staff member focusing on personal interactions and observations of the nominee. Multiple statements of support will be accepted and each statement can range from at least one paragraph to one page (350 words maximum).

This award recognizes a student who embodies the Residence Life & Housing Values of Excellence, Stewardship, Inclusion, Community, Students and Partnership and has partnered with other students or staff to make positive contributions to their residential community. (udel.edu/students/reslife/contact-us/)

  • The nomination statement should include support detailing this individual’s ability to connect to the Residence Life & Housing mission statement, “live” the mission statement through their actions towards others and within their floor or building communities. Please articulate how the student demonstrates group connection and/or achievement of the mission statement. 

This award recognizes an individual, organization, or department whose work and efforts to collaborate have contributed to enhance the residence hall experience through day to day interactions with students in the residence halls.

  • The nomination statement should address how the nominee has made an impact through their work with students and what outstanding contributions they have made to the floor or building community.
Students pose in front of a UD backdrop

Tips for writing a successful nomination:

  • Describe why the nominee is deserving-  connects to the awards criteria.

  • Provide a rich narrative of your thoughts and opinions of the candidate

  • Supplement additional perspectives from others that have been impacted 

  • Describe the nominee’s impact on their community using specific examples, highlighting any that are particularly unique.

  • Mention specific community need(s) that were addressed by the nominee.

  • Submission is coherent, grammatically correct, and spell-checked.

Blue Hen Support

We're devoted to supporting Blue Hens in their academic, personal and professional success, and these in-hall programs help us do just that. 

Have a one-on-one conversation with your Resident Assistant about your overall UD experience, and the goals you have for both now and beyond UD! Trained RAs help our residents work through setting goals and getting connected to resources for supporting their achievements.

The RA will first reach out during Move-in, and continue throughout the semester. Students will be able to meet in-person or online with their RA. Email your RA or RHC for more info.

Roommate Goals (hosted on Roompact) is a helpful tool to reflect on how roommates will respect each other’s safety, living needs, and perspectives to make the living experience enjoyable this year. The roommate agreement covers how you will utilize shared spaces, develop expectations, and proactively discuss how you will repair the relationship if a conflict occurs. 

Contact your RA or hall coordinator for more info, or log into Roompact to get started.

Get Involved: RA Catch Ups: youtube.com/watch?v=O4YnBo1fPaM

Learn more about RA Catch Ups! As a sophomore, junior or senior, and a staff member who is highly knowledgeable about campus, your RA is a great asset for you during your time at UD. These conversations help them support you.

Cultural Celebration Series

Each month, a new culture is featured and celebrated in the residence halls. During community meetings, residents will have the opportunity to learn and reflect about various cultures. Students also have the opportunity to share their experiences with their own culture via our Student Contribution Form which will then be shared in our bi-weekly Cultural Celebration section of the RHC Newsletter.

Each year, members of our community observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain,Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, and South America.

Although this month is nationally referred to as "Hispanic Heritage Month" we recognize that there is indeed a historical difference between the identities "Hispanic" (a person of Spanish-speaking descent) and "Latino/a/x" (a person from Latin America or descended from Latin Americans).

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

This month we want to recognize and celebrate the history and contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx communities, and how their presence makes UD a better place to live.

A collection of flags from Hispanic and LatinX countries

October is dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. LGBTQ+ history month has been celebrated in the United States since 1994.

The "+" is added to LGBTQ to more fully encompass everyone on the spectrums of gender and sexuality. This includes those who may identify as intersex, asexual, aromantic, gender fluid, pansexual, etc.

For this community, pride is a large aspect of their culture. June is Pride month and every year, the LGBTQ+ community celebrates in a number of ways. Across the globe, various events are held during this special month as a way of recognizing the influence LGBTQ+ individuals have had around the world. June was chosen because of the Stonewall Riots in June 1969.


National Coming Out Day

October 11 is celebrated as National Coming Out Day in the US. “Coming out” refers to the voluntary self-disclosure of one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This day was selected to commemorate the March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights in 1987. This event works to continue to create a safe atmosphere for members of the community to live their authentic lives.

November is National Native American Heritage Month or, commonly referred to as, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

Native American Heritage Month celebrates the broad history of cultures, traditions, and contributions of American Indigenous Persons. American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are indigenous to the land that we now know as the United States of America.

Map of native territories in the United States

Land Acknowledgement: Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation & Nanticoke Indian Tribe

The University of Delaware occupies lands vital to the web of life for Lenni Lenape and Nanticoke, who share their ancestry, history, and future in this region. This interactive map shows that the Lewes, Georgetown, Dover, Newark and Wilmington campuses are located in these Indigenous homelands: https://native-land.ca/. UD has financially benefited from this regional occupation as well as from Indigenous territories that were expropriated through the United States land grant system since the institution was established in 1743. We acknowledge that the centuries of harm to Indigenous people and their homelands are beyond repair. Yet, we pledge a sustained commitment to accountability.

National Disability Awareness Month is typically celebrated in March, but the Residence Life and Housing community would like to show acknowledgement of International Day of Persons with Disabilities which is celebrated on December 3.

On February 26, 1987 President Ronald Reagan officially declared Proclamation 5613, marking the month of March the official celebration of National Disabilities Awareness Month. The proclamation called for people to provide understanding, encouragement and opportunities to help persons with disabilities to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

All individuals, agencies and organizations supportive of people with disabilities are encouraged to observe with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the contributions and the potential of Americans with disabilities.

Illustration of four people with different disabilities

Neighborhood Empowerment Teams (NET)

NET helps the floor community operate as a team and inspires all members to contribute to and support the community by maintaining a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment.

Each floor is led by a NET captain, there to champion the needs of the community by acting as an advocate. The captain will be present at floor meetings and community gatherings to help everyone come together and build connections with one another. 

Become a leader on campus and become a NET Captain! It's a great opportunity for students to start and gain leadership skills within a smaller community. Let your RA or RHC know about your interests! 

Get Involved: Neighborhood Empowerment Team: youtube.com/watch?v=a9MTx_HNKm0

RA Internship & Leadership Exploration Program

This leadership development program allows students to see into the life of an RA while they learn valuable leadership skills and participate in different campus opportunities. RAILE is available to off-campus students and can be done completely virtual!

There are varying levels of involvement, so students can determine how much time and energy they commit to the program. Students can complete a variety of activities and components, and will be paired an RA to serve as a guide and resource. 

If you have any questions, email the Leadership Development Committee at rlhleadership@udel.edu

Congrats to all of our RAILE participants! We awarded 39 gold, 5 silver, 16 bronze certificates to those who completed the program.
A diverse group of young students wearing blue & gold shirts


RAILE is an individualized experience where students have the opportunity to choose their journey for completion! We offer three different certifications based on the ways in which the participant engages with the program:

Bronze: completion of all core components and the final reflection

Silver: completion of all core components, 5 choose-your-own components, and the final reflection

Gold: completion of all core components, 10 choose-your-own components, and the final reflection

Student Initiated Programs

Are you looking for an opportunity to host an in-person or virtual event for your community? Check out our Student Initiated Programs (SIPs)! Hosting a Student Initiated Program is a great way for you to have a positive impact on your community and grow in your own skills. Funding (up to $40) for this program is available through an easy request process. If you’d like to plan and host your own event, talk to your RA or Residence Hall Coordinator.

Get Involved: Student Initiated Programs: youtube.com/watch?v=JZ-7XwA2haY

Want to submit a program for your community? Click on the links below!

Forms are hosted in Roompact. Make sure to use your UDel email!

Community Events & Meetings

These meetings are a time for residents to learn about what's happening in their community; discuss upcoming events in the halls or on campus, and connect with one another. Student leaders can event present here! These meetings and events will happen on a weekly basis, so students should in with their RA for more information about where their floor will meet or check their RHC newsletter for building events.

Check out your Building Instagram account to see what's going on in your community.

Exterior of University Courtyards main office
University Courtyard Apartments
Exterior of Independence residence halls
Independence East & West
Exterior of James Smith residence hall
James Smith and Thomas McKean
Exterior of George Read residence hall
George Read North & South

Residence Life & Housing is part of the Division of Student Life, which advances equity and inclusion, deepens student learning and drives holistic development through education, experiences and communities.