Residential Commons 101


Davis Wells, one of our Orientation Leaders from Paris, Tennessee, is sophomore finance major in the Cox School of Business. Davis has put together some helpful information for you on the Residential Commons system at SMU!

Residential Commons 101

One of the most exciting parts about beginning your college experience is residence life! Whether you picked your roommate, have one assigned to you, or live the single room life, you’re going to be surrounded by your fellow commons residents. The Residential Commons (RC) system is a great way to allow personal growth, as each commons is a diverse mix of SMU students from every type of background. Here are some things to remember about your new residence:

  1. You will have a Residence Assistant (RA) who is there to encourage you to make good decisions and will be there to advise you throughout your first year and beyond.
  2. Take advantage of all the opportunities your commons offers you. They are constantly hosting fun events during stressful times to help you relax and feel as comfortable as possible. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but don’t be surprised if you walk in your lobby one day and are offered a free massage or maybe a puppy to play with!
  3. There are eleven different residences, each working together throughout the year to host conjoined events, and even a little friendly competition to win the Commons Cup during your first semester!
  4. Here are some Residential Commons terms you should know:
    • Commons Council – the body of student leaders from each commons that work to develop commons-specific programming and traditions throughout the school year.
    • Peer Academic Leader (PAL) – student leaders in the commons who are available for tutoring, help with study skills and class scheduling.
    • Peer Health Advisor – student leaders who host health related programming to promote a balanced and healthy college lifestyle.
    • Faculty in Residence (FiR) – a member of the SMU Faculty who lives with his/her family alongside the residents in each of the commons.
    • Residential Community Director (RCD) – staff member of SMU who lives in the commons and works with the FiR and Council to develop programming and run the commons

I hope each of you feel at home within your RC, as it will grant you ample opportunities to build lasting relationships to ensure your SMU experience is as amazing as mine is!