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Mission & Values

Student pointing to a collage of photos on her wall

The Office of Residence Life collaborates with students in the creation of inclusive residential communities that foster learning, personal growth and a sense of social responsibility.

Core Values

Communities Through Connections

Creating communities by fostering connections encourages students to reflect, explore and engage with the self and others to develop strong and meaningful relationships in and outside the houses through common interests, shared identities and learning experiences.

Students will be able to create and maintain connections, with:

  • self, through meaningful reflection and risk taking
  • housemates, by seeking to understand and appreciate the complexity of each individual 
  • housemates, by seeing conflict as a necessary part of authentic relationships and an opportunity for further personal growth 
  • housemates, by engaging in house programs and opportunities offered by Residence Life staff and the House Council
  • the greater Smith College community by identifying organizations and programs outside of the house community that reflect your interests, identities and affiliations


Total wellness takes a multidimensional approach to living that focuses on self-care and supporting the self-care efforts of others. We challenge students to develop positive habits through mindful reflection that encourages and supports physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social and sexual health.

Students will be able to:

  • recognize and use support networks, seeking out assistance when needed
  • identify and set personal boundaries
  • develop and maintain healthy habits in regards to diet, exercise, sleep, alcohol and other drugs, and sexual activities
  • manage existing physical and mental health needs
  • identify and practice stress management techniques
  • balance academic, extracurricular, personal and social commitments
  • support improvements in the quality of life for the self and others


Learning is a continuous, active process of discovery that engages people in intentional inquiry and problem solving while seeking to understand in a collaborative context.

Students will be able to:

  • ask questions
  • participate in authentic conversations with others
  • acknowledge and recognize different learning styles
  • reflect on their experiences
  • integrate in-class learning with out-of-class experiences
  • understand that risk taking and failure/mistakes are essential for growth and development

Social Justice

We are all multifaceted individuals with various and intersecting social identities. Healthy communities celebrate and honor differences and strive to be just and inclusive. Authentic inclusion requires us to challenge the systems of power and domination that keep us apart. We must learn to work across our differences to envision and create a better way of being in community together.

To this end, students will be able to:

  • build awareness, seeking to understand the self and others within various structures of power and domination
  • apply critical analysis to help envision more equitable solutions in our communities
  • work in solidarity for social change, understanding that we have a shared stake in liberation
  • hold themselves and others accountable for living up to shared values, learning from mistakes and taking responsibility for repairing relationships
  • take individual and collective action to educate; speak out against injustice; and challenge oppressive behaviors, practices or traditions in our communities

Adapted from “Developing a Liberatory Consciousness” by Dr. Barbara J. Love.