Cultivating Belonging at North Dakota State University
Residence Life at North Dakota State University (NDSU) makes it easy to get involved in university activities. By living on campus, you’ll find a host of ways to fit into a welcoming, inclusive community.
Graduate student Sri Teja Garapati is a great example. Last year, she was vice president of Mathew Living Learning Center Hall Government and a member of the Residence Life Student Social Media Committee and National Residence Hall Honorary. This academic year, she is a resident assistant in Burgum Hall.
“Living on campus has opened so many doors for me,” said Garapati, who earned her bachelor’s degree in her native India and her master’s degree at California State University, Northridge. She is now in her second year at NDSU, seeking her doctorate in industrial and manufacturing engineering. “When I initially moved to my residence hall, I had the opportunity to join Hall Government, which has given me a chance to know more about all the amazing people and fun-filled activities around campus.”
Garapati helped to plan and organize events like Forever Alone Together, March Madness, Winging It with Finals, Campus Cleanup, Grocery Bag Bingo, and The Grass is Greener on the Other Side of Finals.
“Getting involved in the NDSU community made me feel like I was building a home away from home, and that has made me more peaceful and happy in my daily life,” said Garapati, who is also a teaching assistant in her department. “I have grown as an individual everyday by engaging in campus life — I want every student to have that opportunity.”
That’s the message Residence Life staff have for all students: Grow as a person by being involved.
“The sense of belonging is critical for students to remain engaged in their university and ultimately graduate,” said Rian Nostrum, Residence Life director, “We know helping our students get connected to a variety of campus activities creates a sense of belonging.”
Here’s list of organizations that Residence Life encourages students to participate in:
- Hall Government
- Residence Hall Association
- National Residence Hall Honorary
- Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD) program
- Welcome Week Team
- Summer Leadership Institute
“The classroom teaches the technical skills needed for the workplace, but campus involvement teaches students how to best interact with each other, provide leadership in the work environment, and be adaptive to changes around them,” Nostrum said. “Students like Sri remind us of the importance of our work.”
North Dakota State University graduate student Sri Teja Garapati was vice president of Mathew Living Learning Center Hall Government and a member of the Residence Life Student Social Media Committee and National Residence Hall Honorary.
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