Myles Clendenin’s office has inspirational messages, a superhero cut-out poster and
a general sense of high volume activity. He’s in charge of the residential experience for the more than 200 students who live
in Scales Hall.
Clendenin took the helm as Scales Hall director in Fall 2015, and was immediately immersed in a supportive environment of colleagues and students, he said. Clendenin oversees seven resident assistants, daily operations and a variety of programming for his building. His goal, he said, is to “make people feel comfortable here,
like they are at home.
“I truly care about how they are doing, both academically and socially,” Clendenin said. “We have the opportunity to make an impact on students and help them grow into the strong leaders of tomorrow.”
Residence hall activities are both social and educational. In his first semester, Clendenin held socials that included interactive aspects, such as wearing masks to facilitate conversation on microaggressions—a term used to capture commonplace insults or slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostility and negative perceptions. With his help, his resident assistants have integrated diversity discussions and social support services into their programming plans. For the spring semester and future programming plans, he wants to help his resident assistants bring more opportunities for academic and career support into their programming.
“We have good turnouts,” he said of building programs. “It’s important to offer a safe, supportive environment. We have a tight-knit community here.”
In fact, residence halls throughout campus offer a wide range of programs to instill community and aid students—about 400 programs annually, plus opportunities to engage in hall council leadership roles, civic opportunities and other learning moments, according to Richard Kolenda, assistant vice president for residence life and housing at SUNY Oswego.
Programs range from floor dinners and socials, to off-campus trips, volunteerism and much more. Residential community councils serve as the governing body for each hall; students elect representatives to provide campus-wide input for that residential community.
Unique experiences related to a student’s interests are also available. Living and Learning Communities offer first-year students the opportunity to live with other students with similar career interests: Comm-Unity is for communication, public relations and broadcasting majors in Seneca Hall; a program for first-year Business majors is located in Funnelle Hall. Johnson Hall remains the residence hall of choice for 250 coed first-year students.
Hart Hall Global Living & Learning Center is a residential community focusing on academics and social responsibility within a global context. Because Hart is home to many international students, Hart residents have the opportunity to live and learn side by side with people from all over the world.