Campus Success: A New Approach to Residence Life at University of Cincinnati

· by Ben Michalak

Coming out of the pandemic, Housing Operations at the University of Cincinnati (UC) faced a few significant challenges. Although their service centers (front desks in residence halls staffed by student employees) offered a range of rental equipment to students, they struggled with ways to handle accountability. They tried having desk assistants log each rental, but ran into tracking issues. When that didn’t work, they tried not logging any rentals, but their rental accountability problems remained. Both methods put a strain on student employees, and lead to staffing issues. 

However, when UC learned about RecRe  at a conference, they saw a potential fix to their problems. Its automated rental platform would not only help them maintain their current inventory, but implement instant safeguards against inventory loss and take the issue of accountability out of student staff’s hands. 

Michelle Sujka, Assistant Director of Housing, Facilities Operations at UC, shares the following about their discovery of RecRe: 

“[When we discovered RecRe], we were really excited about providing inventory access 24 hours a day for our students. It’s given us the ability to think outside the box on how to manage rentals…. We are excited to expand to more of our residential facilities.” 

Michelle Sujka, Assistant Director of Housing, Facilities Operations

UC started with a pilot program, implementing RecRe in two of their residential facilities. They offered a range of cleaning supplies, entertainment systems, and fitness equipment for student residents to rent. Rather than go in search of inventory hidden behind a desk, students in these residential facilities are able to seek out and rent without any interaction with student employees, such as resident assistants (RAs). Unexpected mess in their room? RecRe is nearby with cleaning supplies just seconds away. Looking for a game night in? Check the RecRe box.

“Students are really excited about it. They like the ease of checking out items without having to interact with other humans, if they don’t want to.” 

Michelle Sujka, Assistant Director of Housing, Facilities Operations

As a Residence Life professional, there are many advantages to providing students with access to free equipment, such as: 

> Saving students money on equipment or tools they may spend hundreds on annually, just to throw away at year’s end. 

> Saving students time between needing to clean and cleaning a mess, or wanting to play games with friends and doing it. 

Additionally, by year’s end, you may see a few extra benefits, as well. 

“I love offering cleaning supplies at move-out time and look forward to cross analyzing cleanliness of rooms at checkout!”

Michelle Sujka, Assistant Director of Housing, Facilities Operations

University of Cincinnati sets a strong example of how Residence Life can see flourishing success with RecRe’s automated platform. To learn more about their implementation and view RecRe-enabled data insights, download the full case study.