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The Residential College

NYU's Residential College system, implemented in the Fall of 2007, is the most distinctive feature of the residential living options at New York University.  The residential college allows students to experience the cohesiveness and intimacy of a small community while still enjoying the exciting cultural and scholarly resources of a large university and global city; the result is a striking level of spirit, allegiance, and powerful sense of community at NYU.

Before freshman year, any incoming undergraduates can apply to join the Residential College and live in Goddard Hall for their first year. Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors in the Residential College live at Broome Street.  The Residential College is comprised of two buildings but is unified as one community.  Once Goddard residents finish their first year in the Residential College, they may elect to join a group moving to Broome, where they have the option of remaining affiliated with the Residential College for all four years (and beyond, as alumni). If space is available, motivated upperclass students who are not yet part of the Residential College are encouraged to join the program by applying for a limited number of open spots in Broome.

Small & Connected Community

The Residential College at Goddard Hall is the smallest of the First-year residence halls (approx 200 students), and Broome is also a small community (approx 300 students).  Partly because of these smaller building sizes, the Residential College system offers students a familiar, comfortable living environment, personal interaction with faculty members and administrators, exciting social opportunities and occasions for academic & extracurricular exploration.  Everyone who lives in the Res College has expressed interest in being an active contributor to the community by applying; combine this with the buildings’ smaller size, and it’s no surprise that Goddard and Broome have emerged as two of the strongest and most connected communities on campus!   

Socially & Intellectually Engaging

The Residential College also is the most prolific programming community on campus.  The range of activities and events that take place in Broome & Goddard are as varied and as fascinating as the students who inhabit the community.  The Faculty of the Residential College sponsor captivating programs each week that relate to the topic of their particular stream; often these activities involve going out into New York City and experiencing learning “hands-on.”  A few examples include a private tour of the United Nations guided by expert faculty, an off-Broadway show followed by a talk-back with the cast about relevant social themes, touring both Ellis Island and the Rockefeller Estate and then discussing differences in life experiences, and visiting the Queens Museum to learn about and discuss the “NYC Panorama” model.

While all of the programs in the Residential College could be considered “fun,” not all are academic.  We also just like getting our community together to socialize.  Staff, faculty and Hall Council all sponsor events like: neighborhood walking tours, scavenger hunts, picnics in the park, trips to Six Flags, talent showcases, kayaking on the Hudson, intramural sports teams, ice skating in Bryant Park, museum visits, Capture the Flag, and movie screenings…just to name a few! From discussions about the relevance of Shakespeare over pizza following a showing of “The Tempest” to jamming one’s way to victory in a hall-wide “Guitar Hero” competition, the Residential College is a community that does it all!

Residential College events are nearly always free of charge and often include food.

Leadership Development

A Hallmark of the Residential College is the opportunity for its residents to actively help guide and shape the community they inhabit.  Formal leadership positions abound within the different student organizations:  Goddard Hall Council, Broome Hall Council, Broome Goddard Community Group,  as well as ad-hoc groups are all student-run organizations whose leaders work collaboratively to enhance the community experience.  There are also numerous informal opportunities to become a leader in the Residential College; deliberate reliance on student input makes leadership development a natural part of Residential College living. Goddard and Broome students who make the most of their experience wind up being some of the strongest candidates for various NYU student-leadership positions (Resident Assistants, Inter-Residence Hall Council, Admissions Ambassadors, Peer Educators, etc.).  Of course, every student must determine the extent of his or her involvement with Residential College life. All students enjoy friendships, activities, and associations outside of their residential community as well.

Pride & Allegiance

The Residential Colleges foster spirit, connection, and allegiance, evident from our opening Convocation each fall to our closing ‘Commencement’ event at each academic year’s end.  Reviews of our first two years overwhelmingly affirm that students enjoy intimacy and cohesiveness of a small community within the vital and resource-rich context of a world-class university.  Therefore, this opportunity has been highly sought after among NYU students.  Because association with the Residential College is by successful application and sustained active participation only (“Good Standing”), students who live and thrive in the Residential College recognize, and are very proud of, the prestige that inherently comes with being a part of this advanced community.  This pride and allegiance is also evident in residents’ active investment in making good decisions that affect their fellow community members in positive ways (resulting in few conduct issues).


Establishing and maintaining a community experience over multiple years is very difficult to do at NYU.  Each year in residence, students forge bonds that may subsequently fray when students end up in different places as the result of the Housing Lottery process.  Students who can strongly connect with a community and remain members for as long as possible typically perform better in schoolwork and are more engaged in outside activities.   

Residential College members are the only students on campus who have the ability to maintain their same community for four years at NYU.  While other students have to participate in a lottery to determine which Residence Hall they will live in each year, students in the Residential College are exempt from this process and given priority to return to Res College every year until graduation.* For current Broome residents, this means remaining in this SoHo residence throughout your upperclass NYU experience.  First-year students in Goddard are granted priority to transition to the Residential College at Broome Street for the sophomore year, and then remain in Broome thereafter.

*Returning to the Residential College is dependent upon being in “Good Standing” with the College and fulfilling all requirements of the College as set forth each year.

In addition to the unique community-based advantages described here, students in the Residential College also get academic credit for their active and successful participation in the life of the community.  The Residential College experience will be reflected on the student’s official academic transcript as a zero or one credit, pass/fail “Leadership Course”. This credit gives each participant tangible, recorded proof of their engagement in the community and of their personal development as a leader/scholar through the program (all highly preferred accomplishments of future applicants for graduate schools and prestigious awards and scholarships). Requirements for one credit will vary slightly from the requirements for the zero credit option. While there are many perks to being in the Residential College, receiving academic credit for successfully committing to this experience is one of the most important rewards for this unique type of commitment.

Both Goddard and Broome have “Faculty-Fellows-in-Residence” (FFIRs).  These NYU Faculty members, and their families, live in the Residential College and lead a variety of programs and activities for the students.  They lend an intellectual tone to the community, but their presence is far from intimidating.  To the contrary, the Residential College FFIRs gladly interact with students on a regular basis and often provide a sense of “family/home,” as well as mentorship for students.  In addition, Faculty Affiliates work in the Residential College to further augment the exciting learning opportunities in the community.  Faculty Affiliates don’t live in the building but, similar to Fellows-in-Residence, they have a strong desire to engage with students outside of the classroom.  They bring their passion and expertise into the lives of the students by leading cool, interesting programs that get students out into New York City. This version of fun, experiential learning helps build meaningful connections that transcend the otherwise typical (and often daunting) professor/student relationship.

The program is run by a full-time, masters level Residence Hall Director (RHD) and two Residence Hall Assistant Directors (RHADs) who oversee all aspects of the program and student life in Goddard and Broome. The professional staff are responsible for the physical wellbeing and safety of students in the Residential College, as well as for fostering and shaping the social, cultural, and educational life and character of the College. 

Each floor in the Residential College features a “Resident Assistant” (RA),  an NYU junior, senior or graduate student who lives on his or her floor and serves as a peer counselor, resource and referral person, advocate, policy enforcer, programmer, and role model. Being an RA in the Residential College is a coveted leadership opportunity – they are chosen through a highly selective process because their influence in the daily life of the College is so great.   Some of these RAs are students who started out as participants in the Residential College and have returned to contribute to the community; others are graduate students who’ve already completed a bachelors and are now pursuing an advanced degree.  Their knowledge of NYU, expertise in a specialized area, and strong mentorship & community-building skills make them an integral part of the daily social/intellectual life of the Residential College.

Residential College participants will have an opportunity to connect with each other through their passions and interests.  Goddard and Broome both have several topical “streams” associated with their building, uniting groups of students sharing interest in a particular theme.  Examples include “Writing New York,” “Social Action & Activism,” “All the World’s A Stage,” and several others. 

Each stream is led by one of the Faculty Affiliates and Resident Assistants mentioned above (both of whom have expertise in the topic of their stream). They are dedicated to helping you explore these content areas in engaging, meaningful ways through exciting trips, speakers, discussions and other exciting ways.  While students will be officially aligned with a primary stream, they are welcome to participate in other streams’ events (called ‘stream hopping’) whenever possible.  Stream members will not be placed on any particular floor, but rather will be dispersed throughout the building – allowing residents to get to know a lot more people in the community than just those on their floor.  Students will also be able to build a strong relationship with the Faculty Affiliate who leads their stream by participating in the stream activities throughout the year.

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Pulses of the City
Exclusively for ResCollege seniors, this stream explores and celebrates the multiply varied cultures and industries that have helped found the great urban milieu of New York City. From literary, architectural, museum, zoological and theatre cultures to restaurant, fashion, media, and transportation industries, these sub-spheres include some of the many (re) discoveries available to members of this group. At the beginning of the academic year, in conjunction with the faculty affiliate and resident assistant, participating seniors will select four major sub-spheres (two per semester) as a collective. Each selection will involve at least two active programs and two discussions throughout the term. Excursions around the town will enable engagement with and celebration of each culture or industry; discussions prior to and following each program will consider the significant historical, cultural, and sociological conditions pertaining to that sub-sphere’s unique contributions to our metropole’s lifespan.

Eating is only a tiny part of this scrumptious stream. From obesity to malnutrition; from haute cuisine to farmers’ markets, we will explore the many roles food plays in societies and cultures everywhere. Stream members and faculty will delve into the local, sustainable food movement - reaching out to schools, nonprofits, elected officials and health organizations, and work with them to create events, talks, meals or film screenings pertaining to Food/Nutrition.  Stream events can include volunteering at East Farms New York, a sustainable community garden in Brooklyn; participating in the national day of awareness and advocacy around the various food movements on “Food Day” (October 24); as well as lessons in sushi-making and cookie decorating; or exploring New York City's numerous fruit and fish markets, etc.
The Urban Adventure
New York City holds within it borders many great (and many hidden) treasures: foods from every corner of the globe; museums of every memorable thing imaginable; hilltops and blacktops; productions off-Broadway and off-off Broadway and even off-off-off Broadway. For various reasons, most of us take very little advantage of this plenitude; and, yet, the city’s boroughs have much to teach us about other people, places, cultures and lifestyles. Students in this stream are signing up for a year of urban adventuring. Most of our adventures will take us into the outer boroughs and into neighborhoods that NYU students rarely explore to find experiences that may very well take us outside of our comfort zones, but will definitely expose participants to the diversity of our urban home. Past adventures have included a wide range of enlightening experiences: eating shashlik in Brighton Beach; learning to make tortillas in Queens; meeting playwrights and actors post-show; attending trapeze school; and much more.
Sounds of New York
What does NYC sound like? Let's push the boundaries of what the concept of "sound" actually means. In a city like New York, we are barraged by a sonic landscape everywhere we go. Together-- through mediums of theatre, dance, installation art, film, and music-- we will redefine all conventional wisdom about sound by creating our own audio-urban experience. Listen up!
Urban Archaeology
Unlike many major urban areas, New York City does not have a dedicated historic district.  Yet, it is unique in the way that it seeks to place the traces of its past and its present in some sort of vibrant dialogue.  From the Highline Park to Governors Island, lost and seemingly abandoned parts of the city are repurposed, reclaimed, and made new again.  But what is the result of these rediscoveries? How do local residents respond to and engage with them?  In this stream, we will explore those parts of the city where “then” and “now” intersect. This can include field trips to recently rediscovered parks spaces, podcast walking tours of established neighborhoods, films and art exhibitions that examine the romance of the city’s past, visits to “lost” streets, and panel discussions on gentrification. As the city continues to grapple with its past, we will seek to find our own place in this ever-evolving history.
This stream, as a continuation of Goddard's wildly popular "All the World's a Stage," will engage students with the many forms of performance available around New York City. Stream events can include trips to the Bowery Poetry Club, audition workshops, and attending live performances both on and off the NYU campus.
Living Globally
The world we live in today is more connected and interdependent than ever before as globalization has brought humanity together financially, culturally, politically, and even romantically.  No where in the world is this epitomized more than in New York City.  The next decade will not only require greater global awareness, but most of us will be living and working in globally diverse environments.  To prepare ourselves, we will take advantage of the wide variety of international events, experiences, occasions, and resources around the city in order to both broaden and deepen our personal and shared perspectives of our individual and collective roles in the modern world. 

*All the World's a Stage

This stream is for students who want more than just tourist-trap, commercial musicals.  The goal of ATWAS is to turn students into theater omnivores – adventurous audience members willing to see, understand and enjoy the full variety of performances that exist in the Theater Capital of the world.  We'll see everything: Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway; new plays, revivals, adaptations, musicals; operas, modern dances, improvised comedies, filmed performances, performative restaurants, burlesques, competitive poetry slams, drag shows, hipster storytellers, avant-garde art installations; we'll even throw in some sports, probably a roller derby.  Theater, dance or film training isn't required; but a desire to expand your idea of performance – of what it can be, where it can take place, and how it can bleed into your everyday life – is.

*Global New York

New York City has long been referred to as the quintessential "melting pot," an energetic and colorful urban utopia that both celebrates and thrives on multiculturalism. Practically every borough, every neighborhood, and every street in NYC possesses some cultural significance, and Global NY stream members will regularly explore the city and its offerings through an inter-national lens. From guided tours of Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge, to indulging in authentic ethnic cuisine, to experiencing film, theater, and live music from around the globe, students will be actively engaged in ongoing cultural dialogues in order to learn more about each other, themselves, and the surrounding world NYC so richly represents.

*Poverty and Affluence

More than six billion humans live on the earth. Perhaps a tenth of this number are affluent and overfed, while nearly half live on a daily income of $2 or less. Such inequities are inextricably linked with, among other things, the societal constructions of race and gender. Through films, workshops, compelling conversations with professionals and community service projects, students will examine dimensions of and responses to inequality, with a special focus on the manifestation of these issues in New York City. The stream will offer a reflective space for students to consider poverty as more than just a problem "out there," as well as an empowering environment for taking action.

*Writing New York

E.B. White claimed in his seminal essay “Here is New York” that there are several ways to know this city. The first is the experience of those who have been born here. The second is the tidal familiarity of the commuter. The third is New York as it is for those who have come from somewhere else looking for something. “Of these three trembling cities,” he writes, “the greatest is the last, the city of final destination, the city that is a goal.” Is there a more exciting, more inspiring place to begin a writing life than New York City?  WNY stream members will travel through and write about this extraordinary location that has inspired hundreds of writers, past and present—as well as meet a sampling of the city’s most interesting writers today. 

(Social) Justice League Stream

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

In an effort to avoid that silence, the (Social) Justice League Stream exists to explore issues of diversity and social justice that lie within the exploration of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, spirituality, socioeconomic class, ethnicity, national origin, and their intersections. (Social) Justice League Stream Members will engage in conversations about various social issues through a series of panels, speakers, and group dialogues. We will also travel through New York City, exploring social identity issues at various theatrical, musical, and artistic exhibitions. To do that, we will partner with various offices around campus including the Center for Multicultural Education and Program, the Center for Spiritual Life, the LGBTQ Student Center, the Office of International Students and Scholars, and the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities. Because a huge part of social justice is equal participation, stream members will also have the opportunity to design and propose programs about issues salient to them throughout the school year.

***Artistic New York: Past, Present, Future

There is no single path through the dynamic world of the arts in New York City. The arts scene of New York is at once historical and contemporary; it is both local and global. This city houses some of the most significant works of art produced across the globe throughout time, while at the same time it has given birth to artistic movements of intensely local origin. This stream will explore the artistic world of New York from all of these dimensions. We will venture into iconic museums – such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Rubin Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art – through the side door to speak with curators about how, and why, they bring arts from around the world to the city, and we will attend contemporary reformulations of historical theatre. We will also explore rich local artistic resources, even just around the corner from Goddard with a visit to the Fales Library “Downtown Collection,” which documents the downtown arts scene that evolved in SoHo and the Lower East Side during the 1970s through the early 1990s. We will attend events that continue to define New York as a center for the arts, including the Brooklyn Book Fair and the Whitney Biennial Show, and we will hear from writers who choose this city as the only home for their craft.

*** Note that this course is attached to the Liberal Studies course “Cultural Foundations” I and II. You do NOT have to be in LS to be a part of this stream, but LS students who are placed in Goddard may be administratively pre-registered for this special Goddard-specific Cultural Foundations Course 1 (Fall Semester) and 2 (Spring Semester).

**Attached to a Goddard Liberal Studies Writing Course, but you do not have to be an Liberal Studies student to be in this stream.

*These Streams are attached to a “Writing the Essay” Course but you do not necessarily have to be enrolled in the course to be a participant in the stream.


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