What do an unconventional video competition called, “The Aimees,” and a thoughtful weeklong event called, “No Critique Week,” have to do with Residence Life at LPC? Everything.
By: Rod Light
Campus life at LPC includes more than going to class and doing homework. Residence Life Director George Bostanic and his assistant Kristen Zimmermann see to that. Assisted by four professional staff, 50 student leaders, and a host of students who live in our four resident halls, life at LPC is anything but boring.
Take for instance the Christmas video competition, affectionately called, “The Aimees” (think, the Oscars), in honor of our founder Aimee Semple McPherson, who reached millions of people for Christ through her affinity for all things Hollywood in the 1920s and 30s.
“The Aimees” bring together residents by floor, some of whom begin strategizing their Christmas video when they first arrive on campus in August. This year’s winner was Canning Hall, first floor, for their video mashup called, “Ghost Busters: A Christmas Carol.”
Perhaps the biggest part of the competition is the “premier” of the videos complete with limo, red carpet, and statuettes for the winners. The entire Hollywood experience taps into those creative juices and helps students build memories in community that will last a lifetime.
Some 20 ResLife events each school year focus on one of five learning objectives that are paramount to program leaders on campus. They are: 1) academic success, 2) social connection, 3) personal development, 4) global awareness, and 5) spiritual growth.
While most events have some degree of fun associated with them, some of the events also have a deeper, more serious component as well. This fall, female students, staff, and faculty were encouraged to participate in a ResLife event called, “No Critique Week,” that focused on experiences and themes of identity and image.
The impetus for No Critique Week is an identified need among female college students to “combat an unhealthy bombardment of messages about what beauty is for young women,” according to Assistant Director of Residence Life Kristen Zimmermann. She points to a growing trend among young women to snap hundreds of selfies, and then significantly edit the best images before posting them on social media.
“We encourage the women of our community to avoid ‘photoshopped perfection’ and instead come against the selfie culture,” Kristen says. The goal is to combat shame and to overcome the pressure of perfection that is incompatible with being a Christ-follower.
Most important to the ResLife team is that the women of LPC know who they are in Christ and find their personal validation in Him alone. Although part of the weeklong event includes dressing down and avoiding the use of make-up, students are also encouraged on the final day of No Critique Week to dress up for the LPC ASB Social. Kristen says its a great way for students to dress nice without hiding behind things like make-up or fashion, to enjoy who they are in Christ, just as they are.
LPC ResLife is all about building community and becoming a family for students who live on campus. Learning to integrate within the community can be a strategic benefit for students and their success while in college. It doesn’t hurt to have a bit of fun within a wholesome family environment along the way.
By: Rod Light, M.A., an ordained Foursquare minister, LPC adjunct professor, and Communications Coordinator for Foursquare Missions International.