14 RA Event Ideas To Host For Your Residents

This is yet another guest post by my sister, Cynthia, for her RA college series. She was an RA at her university this past year, and won the Community Builder of the Year Award. She has put together a list of 14 RA event ideas that you can host for your residents. It’s a great way to get to know your residents and break the ice going into the new school year.

Related: 9 Tips To Being A Great RA

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I’ll get a small commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

14 RA bonding event ideas

Here are 14 RA event ideas to host for your residents:

1. Self-Care Night

This is a great event to have before midterms, finals, or even a few weeks into school!

This is a very popular event, especially amongst boys, who get excited to try something new! For a lot of students, it was their first time using a face mask and everyone loved feeling a bit pampered.

You can buy a set of facial masks on Amazon and pass them out to your residents while putting up a movie in the dorm lobby. It’s a great way to socialize and relax for a little bit after all the studying.

These are the exact ones from Amazon that I used for my event:

Dermal 24 Pack Facial Masks (Amazon)

2. Collaborating With Restaurants

A fun way to bring yummy food to the table is collaborating with a restaurant. Whether it’s pairing up with a small business, Chipotle, or a nearby all-time favorite food chain, residents are bound to come to your event for free food!

3. Sip’n Paint

This event doesn’t have to include alcohol. If your residents are under drinking age, feel free to buy juice instead and have a fun painting session with your fellow residents. You can go off Bob Ross paintings or whatever you like!

Hint: An easier and cheaper alternative to oil paints is acrylic, which you can use with water instead of mediums.

Cheap Options You Can Get On Amazon:

4. Sex Education

This event can be fun, and a great educational experience. Have a donation box for expired condoms and make water balloons out of them for your residents to toss around for fun outside. If a balloon pops, spit out a random fact about what it means to have safe sex. It’s an interactive way for your residents to learn about consent. 

You can also have a sit down conversation with your residents about the importance of consent and safe sex.

5. Movie Night

Take this opportunity to show an underrated or international movie for your dorm residents. For example, not everybody may have heard about Studio Ghibli’s films, so put up Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle or Jong Boon Ho’s SnowPiercer.

It’s a great way to start conversations about tolerance and micro-aggressions in your hall.

6. Nerf Gun Battle

What’s more fun than having a nerf gun war in the hall with your residents? You can make up teams like red versus blue, or team ‘pee-can’ pie versus team ‘pe-kawn’ pie. 

Safety is also very important, so remind everybody to wear protective eye gear and to keep their aim away from sensitive areas!

Copy this idea:

7. Video Game Tournament

Whether it’s a Super Smash or league of legends tournament, find a fun video game for your residents to team up and participate in. You can possibly livestream it on Twitch for people interested in watching!

8. Weekly Study Sessions

Not necessarily a one-time-event! Weekly study sessions with your residents in the lobby or some other place on campus are another method to get to know your residents. It’s a fun weekly social bonding event to have, and it’s also a great way to help each other if anyone has questions with classwork.

9. Finger Painting

Finger painting is a messy and creative way to interact with residents and get your creativity flowing! Anybody can join, and it’s a fun way to get the entire dorm hall hanging out in the lobby. You’ll get some laughs seeing what your residents can come up with.

10. Tie-dye Party

Tie-dye parties are an easy way to get residents out of their dorms and have some fun with T-shirt designing. It can also be an easy way to get supplies, since your campus’s Student Affairs may already have the ink colors needed.

11. Ping Pong/Pool Tournament

This is a fun event to get competitive with each other! The winner can receive a gift card of their own choice, or another prize of their desire at a budget (if you have one).

12. Pie Your RA

What’s more fun than eating pie? Pie your RA! It’s a fun activity to do in warmer weather with your residents and other fellow RAs. Residents usually get VERY excited over this one.

13. Open Mic Night

Open mic nights can be a great way to let residents share their comedic side. You get to know one another more, and appreciate the flow in creativity.

14. Bonfire Bondings

Also not a one-time-event, weekly bonfire bondings are a great way to relax from school. With food on the side, it’s fun to chat with residents at the fireplace of your dorm hall. You can also bring supplies for s’mores! You’ll never go wrong with free food.

I hope you’ve found this list of 14 RA event ideas helpful! Good luck with creating a wonderful hall environment for your residents.

Related: 7 Dorm Name Tag Ideas for RAs

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