Resources for ResLife and Student Leaders

Archive for the ‘Social Programs’ Category

Ice Breaker: The Human Knot

In In-Services, Social Programs on February 13, 2014 at 6:36 PM


  •  Humans


  •  none


Have the group stand in a large circle. Reach across the circle to grab hands with others in the group and form a “knot”. You may not hold both hands of the same person. You may not hold hands with the people on either side of you. The object of the activity is to untangle yourself as fast as possible without breaking hands. You may briefly unclasp your hands to change grip if you’ve found yourself in a position where your wrist or shoulder is being pulled, but you cannot use this as a chance to “help” solve the puzzle.

Hints & Variations:

  •  This is a fairly physical game. Make sure that your group is going to be ok touching each other and standing in close proximity to each other.
  • You can also increase the difficulty by taking away people’s permission to speak or only letting 1 or 2 people speak.
  • This game gets much harder (and becomes much more of a trust exercise if you ask people to do it with their eyes closed or with blind folds on.
  • You can also divide the group into several smaller groups and make this game a race.

Ice Breaker: Blanket Showdown (Name Game)

In In-Services, Social Programs on February 12, 2014 at 3:50 PM


  • Large Blanket


  • None


Divide your group in  half with two people holding a blanket up so that neither side can see the other. One member from each group walks up to the blanket (on different sides). On the count of three,  the blanket is dropped. The two players then race to see who can shout out the other’s name the fastest! The person who correctly calls out their name first is the wins and the loser then joins the team that won that round. Repeat until everyone has gone or until one team has all of the players.

Hints & Variation:

  • This is a good game to play after people have known each other for a little while or halfway through a training day.
  • You can also play with questions instead of names (ie. What building do they work in? What is their major? etc)

Social Program: Game Night!

In Social Programs on June 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Game nights are one of the oldest social programs known to ResLife. They are also one of the most simple to plan with the greatest return if you do a little ground work first.


  • Ask your residents about what type of games they enjoy playing. Apples to Apples, Euchre, Poker, Candyland, and Pretty, Pretty, Princess have all gotten a great response in the past.
  • Add snacks.
  • Choose a time that you have noticed many people are in the halls socially.

Social Program: Rainbow Cupcakes

In Social Programs on May 31, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Rainbow Cupcake
(Christine Albain)

A twist on the classic cupcake program. This program also “requires” your residents to stay at least 20 minutes for the cupcakes to bake.


Any light colored cupcake mix

Food Coloring

White Cupcake Liners (you can use any color, but white will show your rainbow from the outside too!)


Make cupcake mix as the box directs, add an additional 1/4-1/2 cup water. This makes the layers spread out more easily. Separate into 6 different bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl.  There is no right or wrong number of drops of food coloring, add it slowly (stir in between drops) until you like the color. It will get slightly darker when baked.

Using spoons, layer your colors into the cupcake liners, bake as directed and enjoy!


  • Swirl colors slightly to get a more tie-dyed look.
  • Consider making it with different shades of the same color.
  • Alternate white and colors.

Source: Christine Albain, Valparaiso University

Educational Program: The Missing Ingredient

In Educational Progams, Social Programs on May 31, 2012 at 6:48 PM

This is an educational program cleverly disguised as free food! It spreads awareness of gluten free or of vegan lifestyles.


Vegan Recipes

Gluten Free Recipes

Vegan F.A.Q. Handout

Gluten Free F.A.Q. Handout


Choose a gluten-free or vegan dessert recipe and make it for your residents. Publicize your event just as you would if it was a typical cupcake/cookie/brownie event.  At the event, dare your residents to guess what ingredient is missing in their favorite snack. Share what you have learned about gluten-free or vegan lifestyles and give your residents your handout with their treat!


  • Don’t feel limited to just gluten-free or vegan lifestyles, this program can work with any atypical eating style.
  • Make sure you have the ingredients to make your desserts BEFORE you bake. 😛

Source: Christine Albain, Valparaiso University

Social Program: Destress with Yoga

In Educational Progams, Social Programs on May 31, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Yoga calms the mind, body, and relieves stress! Look to your school’s fitness center or dance department for advice on teachers or use an instructional video!


Large open(ish) space

Teacher or Video


Source: Christine Albain, Valparaiso University

Social Progam: Coloring Contest!

In Door Decs, In-Services, Social Programs on May 31, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Preschoolers only barely beat out college kids as the number one consumer of coloring books. Harness the obsession with crayons and childhood characters for a coloring contest!


Coloring Pages

Back of Coloring Contest Page


Print coloring pages with the due date and a place for the contestants name on the back. Judge them yourself (but don’t play favorites!), ask your staff to help you judge, or pair it with another social program and have your residents vote for the winner. Hang the winning picture in a place of honor in your hallway!


  • Consider adding a physical prize as an award to the winner.
  • Use the finished pictures to brighten your hallway.


Source: Christine Albain, Valparaiso University

Social Program: Pancake Breakfast

In Social Programs on May 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Pancake breakfasts are cheap and can be a lot of fun!  Also, since pancakes can really only be made a couple at a time your residents can stay and talk.


Pancake Flyer


Pancake Mix


Frying Pan



Plates/Forks (or ask your residents to bring their own!)


  • Make sure to start cooking earlier than your start time so that there are a pile of pancakes ready. 🙂
  • Consider adding chocolate chips, blueberries or sprinkles to your pancakes!
  • This program works great as a brunch, late night study break, or as an actual breakfast.
  • Don’t limit yourself to pancakes, try with muffins!

Source: Christine Albain, Valparaiso University

Ice Breaker Questions

In In-Services, Social Programs on February 8, 2012 at 1:15 PM

What is Your Favorite…

  • …color?
  • …dinosaur?
  • …ice cream flavor?
  • …Disney character?
  • …sandwich?
  • …band?
  • …food?
  • …musical instrument?
  • …fish?
  • …childhood memory?


  • Tea or Coffee?
  • Dogs or Cats?
  • Chocolate or Vanilla?
  • Buffy or Edward?
  • Apples or Oranges?

Would You Rather

  • …stay up late or get up early?
  • …write a paper or take a test?
  • …sing or dance in front of a large group of people?


  • Who is your favorite person in the whole wide world?
  • What was the first concert you attended? If given a chance, would you attend the same band’s concert today?
  •  List 20 random facts about yourself.
  •  Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
  •  Describe your relationship with your parents.
  •  List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
  •  What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
  •  What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
  •  What is your dream job, and why?
  •  What are 5 passions you have?
  •  List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
  •  Describe your most embarrassing moment.
  •  Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
  •  Describe a typical day in your current life.
  •  Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
  •  Describe 5 strengths you have.
  •  If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
  •  What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
  •  What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
  •  What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
  •  If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
  •  Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
  •  If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
  •  Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
  •  List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
  •  Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
  •  If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
  •   What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
  •   What is your favorite part of your body and why?
  •   What is your love language?
  •   What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
  •   List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.