Decked Out

First impressions matter, and that’s why college door decorations (hence forth shortened to “door decs”) are so important for new students moving into their living areas.  Though door dec designs vary from RA to RA, the idea to greet new students by name is the case for them all. The attached image is of  my own door dec designs, which are white envelopes colored with crayons and outlined differently with a coordinated grey boarded that varies from color to color. The three bullets below outline the main three uses for door decs with my own serving as examples for the outlines.


The first role door decs serve  is a greeting tool–an advanced name tag of sorts.  Most door decs have the names of the students to welcome them in by name and to confirm they are in their correct living area.  Many RAs use printed, computerized name labels to save time, though I chose to hand write my names to personalize them to their fullest extent.


Most door decs inform students indirectly, such as gauging the “creativity” of the RA or the “theme” of the floor. Messages can also be written on them to further convey information such as greeting messages or important dates. My door decs are envelopes specifically because they allowed for a nice area of designing and gives the door decs an added mailbox option. Handwritten notes are in all my door decs and allows the option to putting notes/messages in their door dec instead of sliding them under doors.


Straight up, the kooler your door decs look, the kooler your floor is. Resident Assistants are tasked with building community and door decs add a make-or-break effect to that atmosphere. The aim for my door decs was to have an aesthetic symmetry–and the early arrival students seem to like them very much!

Mario Adkins is a senior at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). When not drawing or playing his favorite video games, he can be found on campus facilitating programs and events as both a resident assistant and vice president of membership for GVSU’s OΔK Circle–a national leadership honor society. Follow him on Twitter @zerolocked.


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