Welcome to William Paterson University and the University Connections Program! The intent of the University Connections Program is to provide academic support and opportunities for engagement with Campus Life to all residential students at William Paterson University. The program consists of a number of initiatives that have been designed to provide support to all resident students as well as specific interest groups that make up the overall resident student population. University Connections consists of the following programs: Community Connections Peers And Leaders (PALs) Academic Support Community Connections Community connections are designed to help first-year students successfully transition to living on campus. The Resident Assistant Staff aims to get students connected to others in their residential communities as well as to groups and events on campus. The Department of Residence Life is committed to providing students with a rigorous out of classroom experience by developing an engaging community in the residence halls. With a focus on making and maintaining interpersonal connections, it is important to provide residents a variety of ways to interact with each other and their communities. Our staff engages with their residents through social, educational and service opportunities, individual and group interactions, while also maintaining the safety and security of the residence halls. Everything we do is in an effort to create and maintain a positive community and prepare our students for the world beyond their time at William Paterson University. Respect and understanding of self, each other, the University and the world are at the core of a community. We promote inclusivity among the members of our community by creating an inclusive, diverse and accepting environment that celebrates all races, gender identities, sexual orientations, cultures, ethnicities, religions, abilities, interests and experiences. We encourage residents to interact with each other to celebrate these differences so they can learn and grow from their interactions together. As a department, we want residents to be satisfied with their experience by participating in fun and growth opportunities. Experiences should be well rounded, and connect the classroom experience to real world experiences. We are committed to creating an environment of safety and success with intentional interactions, support and motivation while highlighting the various communities each student may be a part of. They will discover the role they play as part of these communities and how their actions and interactions affect the world they live in. Peers and Leaders (PALs) The Peers and Leaders, commonly referred to as PALs, are role models and friends to all students in the WPU Residential Community. They offer academic support, host programs and workshops and provide campus resource information to students. PALs are student leaders who seek to encourage their fellow students to become involved with Campus Life through attendance at campus events and membership in campus clubs and organizations. PALs work to create a fun and vibrant environment that encourages academic success, student involvement and civility. The PALs create a Seven Weeks to Success programming series as an effort to help students get more connected to campus during the first seven weeks of the Fall semester. This initiative has featured welcome week, transition week, leadership and involvement week, personal well-being week, pioneer pride week, expression week and ways of knowing week, which support our University Core Curriculum. Look for advertisements in your residence halls or on Pioneer Life for more specific details about events each week! Academic Support Success in academics and a connection to the university are important to a student’s growth. Our department will support an environment conducive to academic success, providing support through workshops, information and a connection to campus resources. We also promote and encourage attendance at the events, workshops and activities on campus. Partnership with the Academic Support Center has allowed for night time tutoring and academic workshops in a first year residence halls to help our students with their academic coursework.