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Community Development


The Office of Housing and Residence Life is deeply committed to the development of our students living on our campus. Research shows that the following activities, among many others, are vital when building a sense of community:

  • Dining with other residents
  • Spontaneous conversations in the hallway
  • Playing on intramural teams
  • Studying together
  • Watching movies together

"The fundamental nature of our approach is to make residents feel they belong to a community and are in a place they can call home.”

Our student Resident Assistants, Suite Advisors, Apartment Managers and others focus on building connections, listening to concerns, assisting with conflict management, and being available to their residents as much as possible in many ways including:

  • Dining together
  • Attending campus events together
  • Hosting in-hall programs
  • Conducting informal one-on-one conversations
  • Connecting residents to on-campus offices.


Our programming model focuses on the 4 Bulldogs.  These bulldogs represent the areas that the Department of Housing & Residence Life and Ferris State University value the most in the education of our students.

The Academic Bulldog

Students attending these programs will gain knowledge about succeeding as a student and as a young professional.

Ideas for program topics can include: developing study skills and habits; choosing majors or minors; using Ferris360, Canvas, and other technological systems; transferring student skills into the workforce; creating and maintaining a positive social media presence; seeking internships, jobs, and/or scholarships; building resumes and cover letters; developing interview skills; note taking; etc.

The Healthy Bulldog

Students attending these programs will gain knowledge for making safe and informed choices, along with the critical thinking necessary for independent living.

Ideas for program topics can include: nutrition; cleaning; laundry; money and budget management; time management; defining personal values; goal setting; building and displaying a positive self-image and self-identify; drug or alcohol education; avoiding common illnesses; safe sex; personal health and hygiene; stress management; mental health; etc.

The Respectful Bulldog

Students attending these programs will gain knowledge of respect, compromise, and diversity and the impact that the individual has upon the community at large.

Ideas for program topics can include: community standards; roommate and suitemate relations; conflict and confrontation; bullying; compromising; cultural awareness; stereotyping; offensive/non-inclusive language; group dynamics; house, floor, and building community; helping others; global awareness; bystander effect; effective communication; healthy interpersonal relationships; role modeling; etc.

The Social Bulldog

Students attending these programs will gain knowledge and skills to have positive and balanced social connections.  

Ideas for program topics in this area can include: balancing academics and social involvement; building new relationships; becoming involved in the Ferris community; RSO involvement; volunteer opportunities; leadership; prioritizing; raising awareness of student services on campus; Ferris Pride; etc.