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FUN Community Builders


For RAs, Senates and other Purveyors of Fun on Campus at UNI
Compiler/Editor: Erica West

Food & Drinks

Black and White Party
What Happened: A semi-formal catered dinner and dance with 4 houses in which UNI catering provided a meal in the commons ballroom. Everyone wears black and white and bring one canned food item.
Materials Needed: Center pieces, UNI catering, home-made invites, soundtrack
Costs: Roughly $100                                       
RA: Holland Eggert
Chili Supper
What Happened: I had a chili supper for my residents in my apartment.  It’s pretty simple because they chili can be thrown together the morning of and cook all day.  About an hour before I made two batches of cornbread muffins.  I also provided saltine crackers and cheese for the chili and some beverages.  It’s not all that time consuming or expensive and residents love home cooked meals.
Materials Needed: Chili ingredients (however you make it) crock pot, cornbread mix and ingredients, cheese, saltines, beverages, bowls, spoons, napkins,, cups
Costs: All materials for food need purchased, utensils if not on-hand (total about $30)           
Special Note: Maybe provide for some activities during or after if residents want.  Also, I made it a come-and-go for 2 hours so residents were able to come after class/work and more could come. 
RA: Sonia Pruess
Chili Night
What Happened: Had a night with chili 
Materials Needed: D.O.R. dining center
Costs: $20/gallon                                            
RA: Brad Behen
Chuckles N’ Chocolate
What Happened: I had chocolate fondue and a funny movie showing.  The girls came down to the Rec room and made chocolate covered strawberries, etc.  Then we sat down to watch Month Python and the Holy Grail.   
Materials Needed: Chocolate for melting, crock pot, bamboo sticks, strawberries, pineapple, potato chips, cookies, DVD
Costs: Around $30                                          
Special Note: A very messy, but fun program!
RA: Katie Malm
Coffee Week
What Happened: We picked give places in the Cedar Falls community that served coffee and went to one place each day of the week.  We bought coffee and talked.  Usually a car full of people went to campus while the rest stayed and studied or worked on homework.
Materials Needed: People to drive every day
Costs: Some bought coffee—some just came to study with other residents     
Special Note: This worked well during a stressful time in the semester because residents had to study and do homework.
RA: Whitney Elkins
Cupcake Making
What Happened: My girls and I went to Hy-Vee and bought supplies to make and decorate cupcakes.  We took turns helping with the baking.  We brought them to the lounge and watched a movie and decorated and at them.
Materials Needed: Cupcake holders, frosting, sprinkles, cake mix, and utensils
Costs: Around $20
Special Note: They loved it!
RA: Lyndsay Boock

Floor Meal
What Happened: Put up a sign-up sheet a week in advance to let the floor know you will be making a meal for them. Ask them to sign up so you know how much food to buy.  About half an hour before the meal start preparing the food. Spaghetti and tacos work very well.  As residents come you can put them to work. This is a great bonding time and a free homemade meal.
Materials Needed: Noodles, sauce, meat, lettuce, dressing, croutons, garlic break, cheese, pots, pans, long spoons, bowls and a knife.  Optional: plates, silverware and beverages.
Costs: Approximately $35 (depends on the # of residents)
Special Note: Smaller noodles work better than spaghetti when cooking for large quantities.  It is great for floors that don’t necessarily have much success going to the dining centers for floor meals.            
RA: Jessie Hellmann

Get to Know You with Skittles
What Happened: At the beginning of the semester, at the first house meeting, I had all the residents take a handful of Skittles.  For each color, there was a corresponding question they had to answer about themselves.  For example—Red—what is one thing that makes you angry?  Green—who is your greatest role model?  We went around the room and everyone got a chance to share.
Materials Needed: BIG bag of Skittles, prepared questions for each color.
Costs: $5                                                         
RA: Kristin Nervig
House dinner
What Happened: Our house decided to cook dinner together.  We had appetizer, main course, side dish and dessert groups and everyone had a great time and bonded as a house.
Materials Needed: Food supplies of your choice, stove, etc.
Costs: Depends on what you want to eat and how many people.        
RA: Megan Ballagher

House dinner
What Happened: Our house decided to cook dinner together.  We had appetizer, main course, side dish and dessert groups and everyone had a great time and bonded as a house.
Materials Needed: Food supplies of your choice, stove, etc.
Costs: Depends on what you want to eat and how many people.      
RA: Megan Gallagher
Meatball Mania
What Happened: I made meatball subs for my residents.  I bought frozen pre-made meatballs and warmed them up. Once I warmed them up,  I put the meatballs in a crock pot and added grape jelly and chili sauce.  Then, I served the meatballs on hotdog buns.
Materials Needed: One crock pot, two bags of frozen pre-made meatballs, five or six packages of hot dog buns, one medium size jar of grape jelly and 4 or 5 jars of chili sauce.
Costs: $40                                                      
RA: Keith Stiffler
Microwave Masterpiece
What Happened: Residents signed up in pairs, got a bag of mystery ingredients and had 30 minutes to “cook.”  At 15 minutes they were given another ingredient to add.  Before they saw the ingredient, they had to pick 2 condiments (ketchup, ranch, salsa, chocolate syrup) to use.  The food was judged on taste and presentation.  Used house money on prizes and got local restaurants to donate gift certificates for the winners.
Materials Needed: Food, microwave, cookware and judges
Costs: House money for food and prizes (ask restaurants to support your program)  
Special Note: FUN!
RA: Lori Meinberg
Perkins in your PJ’s
What Happened: One Wednesday night at 9pm after posting signs with information, we car pooled and took along $5.  A group of girls went and shared some laughs.
Materials Needed: Signs, car.
Costs: $7 (with gas)                                        
Special Note: Just have a good time. Introduce earlier in the semester and then try again later.
RA: Alese Messer

Picnic in the Courtyard
What Happened: Around dinner time, instead of having a house dinner in the Piazza, the girls went to get Café on the Way and we sat around in the courtyard to talk and enjoy our dinner.
Materials Needed: UNI ID and blankets
Costs: one meal
Special Note: Try to do this on a warm day
RA: Megan Striffler
Pizza Party!
What Happened: My entire house came to a pizza party held at the beginning of 2nd semester so that the new girls and those returning could interact.
Materials Needed: Pizza, plates, and napkins
Costs: At least $50                                          
Special Note: On Tuesdays you can buy 2 larges and get 2 free at DaVinci’s
RA: Lauren Page
PJs at Perkins
What Happened: My house went to Perkins in our PJs.  More girls attended this program than any other program.  It was a way for the girls to hang out off campus.  Many of the girls only see their house mates on the floor.
Materials Needed: Cars and money
Costs: Around $10 per person (used their own money)
RA: RaeLynn Walker-Woods
Progressive Snack Night
What Happened: Each room makes their favorite snack and the residents progress from room to room to have each room’s snack.  Great way to get to see residents’ rooms, have fun and be creative.
Materials Needed: Paper plates and napkins
Costs: As much as snacks cost                        
Special Note: If you use house funds to buy food, limit monetary amount to certain amount so you don’t use all of your house funds.
RA: Terri Rupp
Root Beer Float Cart
What Happened: I was having a root beer float night in the house lounge and no one showed up for it. I then took a cart around with the floats to everybody’s room.  They thought it was the coolest thing ever! It was also a good chance to talk to my residents, especially those who I don’t see very often.
Materials Needed: Root beer, ice cream, cups, spoons, napkins and a cart.
Costs: $15 (for about 50 people)
RA: Megan Ballagher

What Happened: I made s’mores over the stove top (it can be done in the microwave too) in the house lounge.
Materials Needed: Golden grahams, Hershey’s chocolate bars, marshmallows, skewers (for oven-top roasting)
RA: Bobbi Movick
Steak dinner
What Happened: Talk to Carol Fletcher and set up a steak dinner.  Change coleslaw to baked potatoes you can do this through e-mail or go over to the Department of Residence and talk to her.
Materials Needed: Table and chairs
Costs: It’s free                                                 
Special Note: Residents love it!
RA: Scott Cochran

Steak Dinner
What Happened: Grilled outside on the Bender lawn. I contacted Carol Fletcher at the Department of Residence and set up a date.  I provided her with the names and ID #’s of those who wanted to participate.
Materials Needed: The dinning center provides everything except for the grill.
Costs: None
Special Note: Games are great to play while you’re grilling.       
RA: Evan Schulte
Steak Grill Out
What Happened: Dining center provided all the food, cups, drinks, plates and grilling utensils. All I had to do was get them to sign up, show up and then help in the grilling process. Do it when you have nice weather so you can play outside games while grilling. It is more fun to have the floor grill them than the dining center.
Materials Needed: A free night to do it.
Costs: Free.
Special Note: Everyone enjoys it. Reserve the Rec room so you can have a place to sit. Remind the residents when it is.                                                                          
RA: Adam Schulte
Sundae Room Tours
What Happened: I had ice cream in the lounge where we all started out at.  Then all the toppings were in different rooms of those who participated.  So in order to build their sundaes, the girls went around to each room.  It was a fun activity for the beginning of the year and helped people feel more comfortable visiting other peoples’ rooms.  I also stapled construction paper outside each participant’s door and as the girls toured, they wrote what they liked about the room.  A lot of people come to this program!
Materials Needed: Ice cream, lots of toppings, bowls, spoons, construction paper
Costs: At least $25-30                                     
RA: Kelli Kruckenberg

Valentine’s Day Surprise Party
What Happened: About a month prior to Valentine’s Day, I had typed a letter to parents asking that they send a letter/small package for their daughter.  I explained that these were to show their feelings and appreciation for their daughter.  I also explained that we would be having a pizza party in our lounge where the mail would be distributed so it would need to be kept a secret.  I also went out and bought plastic cups and filled them with treats using house funds.  These were for the women who were not sent anything.  In the letter I sent I also made sure parents knew they could forward the message to other friends/family.  
Materials Needed: letter, envelopes, addresses and labels from the D.O.R., any surprise gifts for those who don’t get anything, pizza and room for packages.
Costs: $40-50—depending on house size it could be more      
Special Note: This was really fun and the girls really enjoyed it!  Make sure the letter says that the gifts are a surprise for the party, otherwise parents spill the beans
RA: Melinda Cober


Air Soft Wars
What happened: Go to an open area and create teams to shoot each other.
Materials Needed:  All participants provide their own gear
Costs:  $0
Special Note:  It’s a lot of fun and not difficult to do.
RA: Matt Sieren
Battle of the Sexes
What happened: A female and a male house pair up and have a competition. 
Materials Needed: Battle of the Sexes board game questions, supplies for other ideas. (Nail into wood, put on and take off bra, unwrap starburst)
Costs: Depends on how many activities wanted
Special Note:  Great way for residents to meet residents from other houses/floors.
RA: Laura Zeino
Bella Bucks
What Happened: Throughout the semester I handed out Bella Bucks at programs, meetings, for open doors and good grades.  Then, at the end of the semester I bought prizes and people were able to buy them in an auction.
Materials Needed: Paper bucks
Costs: $40.00
Special Notes: This was a big hit with my girls, especially because they’re upper classmen. The prize night is fun and exciting.
RA: Megan Allen
Bigger and Better
What HappenedOn a Sunday night I gave all my residents one penny each.  I gave these instructions: “You may trade this penny as many times as you want. By the end of the week, show me what you got. The person with the biggest, bestest item wins a prize”
Materials Needed:  Pennies
Costs: Pennies and a prize
Special Note: Have fun!
RA: Sara Van Hemert
Game Night
What Happened: I put up signs around the floor a couple days before the event.  It took place in our lounge- I had everyone bring games but we all ended up playing Apples to Apples.  The game guarantees fun and laughter.
Materials Needed: Games (Cranium and Apples to Apples are really good).  Food never hurts either.
Costs: Nothing, unless you want to buy food or drinks.
Special Note: Easy to do, really not a lot of work. It can be a great time!          
RA: Rachel Dengler
Hydro Games
What Happened: Educational and also fun residents gathered in the house lounge to play fun “drinking” games (half hour limit, couldn’t go to the bathroom) and also at the end talked about how the residents felt.  At the beginning I had all the residents bring pictures of their best friends and I took them.  During the ending discussion we talked about the picture of the best friends.
Materials Needed: Cups, water, playing cards, etc.
Costs: None, borrowed cards and cups
Special Note: Take time and be serious at the end.
RA: Kaitlin Korbitz
What happened: Guys on my floor frequently played nutball in the lounge
Materials Needed: Foam Nerf basketball
Costs: 0
RA: Brad Hillebrand
Photo Scavenger Hunt
What happened:  Get resident to take crazy photos at different places around campus and Cedar Falls. 
Materials Needed: Camera & people
Costs: Prizes & disposal cameras
RA: Bryan VanVeldhuizan
Run to Rome
What happened: As a house we kept track of workout times and then we converted them to miles.  5 minutes = 1 mile closer to Rome.  Once we made it we went to Olive Garden together.
Materials Needed: I made a bulletin board to track the miles.
Costs: Nothing (unless you wanted to treat your house to dinner)
Special Note:  Variations to Rome. Run to New York, China, Mexico
RA: Tara Peska
Semester Attendance Raffle
What happened: I gave out tickets at house and hall events to the residents in my house.  At the end of the year I used house funds to buy small ($1-$2) gifts.  I asked residents to bring their tickets to our last house meeting and raffled off the prizes I had bought.
Materials Needed: Raffle tickets (I just used pieces of colored paper)
Costs: Whatever amounts of house funds you choose to use.
RA: Christine Giorgio
Survival Fish
What happened: I provided a Beta fish for each set of roommates. They had to supply the bowl, food and marbles.  I made a bulletin board and had each set of roommates decorate a cut out fish with its name.  I then made a huge fish bowl on the bulletin board and put all the fish on it.  If their fish died, I had them color an ‘R.I.P.’ tombstone to staple over the fish. Since this was a semester long program, I provided prizes to those whose fish were still alive.
Materials Needed: 1 fish per set of roommates (if they are interested)  Bulletin board materials.
Costs: $3 per fish (could also do goldfish)
RA: Ashley Fisher
Survivor Goldfish
What happened: Give all the residents that want to participate, a goldfish and tell them it has to be taken care of for a contest. Name all of the fish and put pictures and names on a bulletin board.  Cross pictures off when the fish dies. The last fish alive wins.  Start this program at the very beginning of the semester.
Materials needed: Goldfish and food. Bulletin board
Cost: $10
RA: Nicholas Effenheim
Tank Ball
What Happened: People are paired off, one person is blind folded and the other person is the instructor. They play dodge ball.
Materials Needed: Dodge balls, blind folds
Costs: Materials
RA: Steven Schilling
What happened: At the WRC we used a volleyball net up in a racquetball court.  13 people shoed up.  We just played regular volleyball, but used the walls to hit the ball off of.
Materials Needed: Nothing
Costs: 0
RA: Matt Rokes
Watching Football
What Happened: We sat around and watched football. We ate pizza, drank pop and had fun.
Materials Needed: Pop, pizza and foam fingers.
Costs: $60                                                        
RA: Nick Thorson


Homecoming tie-dye
What happened: Tie-dye night before homecoming. Residents tie-dyed white shirts or the shirts they got at convocation.
Materials needed: Tie dye, water, tubs, rubber bands
Costs: $5-10
Special Note: If purple dye and yellow dye mix, they make brown.  Use blue also.
RA: Jeanna Sheedy

Fiesta Flops
What Happened: We made pretty flip flops in the floor lounge. We had residents sign up for size of flip flop they wore. I let them cut their own ribbon.  They tied each ribbon around the flip flop (double knot)
Materials Needed: Flip flops, ribbon, and scissors
Costs: Old Navy flip flops = 2 for $5. Ribbon = 1.50 a roll. (You need a lot)        
Special Note: Great for spring activity!
RA: Bobbi Movick
Passive Program Bulletin Boards
What Happened:  Any bulletin board that was interactive was a huge success.  Asking a question such as information about Spring Break plans or different ways to “love” your body and then placing chalk with the bulletin board.  The ladies in my house really enjoyed these types of bulletin boards the best.
Materials Needed:  Black paper (to cover bulletin board) chalk and really great questions.
Cost:  $2.00 - $5.00
RA:  Kendra Wolver
Picture Frame Making
What Happened:  Made magnetic picture frames.  I told everyone to bring a picture frame. Used foam board for backing.  Let them decorate however they wanted.  Then they attached magnets to the back of the foam board.
Materials Needed:  Foam board in assorted colors, assortment of decorating crafts, magnetic stripping (~ 1 foot), hot glue gun and permanent markers.
Costs:  $15
RA:  Melissa Klinkhammer
Random Acts of Kindness
What Happened: In the lounge we made cards for faculty around campus thanking them for all they do and we also watched the movie “Pay It Forward” to tie into the theme.
Materials Needed: construction paper, markers, movies
Costs: $10 max
RA:  Alissa Jewell
Secret Board
What Happened: I printed off secret post cards from   I made a bulletin board about it and include information about the counseling center.  Post the secret posts around the hall so that residents are encouraged to walk around more and visit each other.
Materials Needed: Paper, computer, printer
Costs: Printing costs                                         
RA: Jessica Droogsma

Movies & Video Games

Easter Party
What Happened: We had an Easter Egg Hunt then we dyed Easter eggs and ate cookies.  And once the dyed eggs were dry, we ate them too.
Materials needed: Easter egg dying kits, eggs, candy, Easter eggs and cookie materials.
Costs: $15
Special Note: The girls had a fun time making eggs and decorating them together.
RA: Kesley Pommrehn
House Music Video
What happened: A few residents and I got together one late evening and made a music video. Basically we taped each other dancing from a variety of angles and then edited it together on computer software
Materials needed: Computer software (IMovie, Vegas video, Pennicle, etc.) Computer camcorder.
Costs: Software and cameras can be expensive.
Special Note: Equipment can be checked out or used on campus. (Computer labs, check out cameras, or borrow from a friend)
RA: TJ Warren
What Happened:  Did facial masks and did manicures while we watched movies as we ate candy.  It was fun as we just had girl time and laughed and chatted.  Lounge – movie – ladies.
Materials Needed:   Ladies, movies, fun attitude, manicure and facial stuff.
Cost:  $20-ish
RA:  Laura Deboer
Weekend Video Game Paloza
What Happened: Rent a projector from the SEC and play videogames and watch movies.
Materials Needed:   Projector, games system and DVD’s
Cost:  Depends on number of games and movies rented
Special Note:  May want to order pizza if funds are available.
RA:   Court Koch

Theme Parties

Back to Kindergarten Night
What happened: We got together and played with play dough, finger paints and coloring books.  We basically just sat around and socialized. We used the meal from the dining center to get snacks.
Materials needed: Snacks, play dough, paper, coloring books, crayons, bubbles.
Costs: $12.00 plus meals from dining center
Special Note: The girls really loved it!
RA: Meghann Knuth
Halloween Party
What Happened: Charlie House did lots of fun activities related to Halloween.  It was held in the Hagemann Rec Room.  We carved pumpkins, decorated cupcakes, watched “Hocus Pocus”, ate lots of food and had to change to hangout together.  My residents really enjoyed it.  They could dress up if they wished.
Materials Needed:   2 large pumpkins, food-cheese ball, sherbet punch, M&M’s, movie
Cost:  $15 - $20
Special Note:  This was one of their favorite programs.
RA:   Shannon O’Dell
Mary Kay Party
What happened:  We held it on our house lounge. The person who sells Mary Kay came and brought everything with her so we could test the products. The girls loved it and we had a lot of fun.
Materials needed: Get a hold of a Mary Kay consultant
Costs: 0
RA: Destiny Welsh
Murder Mystery
What Happened: Purchase a murder mystery kit online that allowed 21 individuals to participate.  The initial cost is great, but saved on to disk for reprinting.  Printed over 300 pages of paper.  Used Hagemann Rec Room.  Lasted 2.5 hours.  Everyone dressed in costume and had a script.
Materials Needed:   Kit, printed paper
Cost:  $50 plus free meal from dining center
Special Note:  Takes much planning.
RA:   Brittany Allbee
Wedding Shower Party
What Happened:  Many residents were engaged or in serious relationships so I thought it would be fun to talk about weddings!  I invited a speaker in to talk about how to plan a wedding and talk about their experience.  We played a game that could be used at a wedding shower and made a craft that could be used as wedding favor.  I also ordered cake from the dining center, which was a big hit!
Materials Needed: Any materials needed for a craft, any food items you want to include
Costs:  $10 - $15
Special NoteYou can take this idea and go many different directions with it to tweak it to fit the weddings of your house.
RA:   Elizabeth Wetli