August 2020


  BGR Move In

Students help unload cars during Boiler Gold Rush move in. Photo courtesy John Underwood/Purdue University. 

News Profile

Changes Designed to Facilitate Safe University Residences Experience

University Residences has kicked off a 2020-21 year that will be different from any that has been experienced. The year began with a successful and staggered move-in of 12,450 residents. Included among the total were more than 6,200 incoming students who participated in the Boiler Gold Rush International (BGRi) and Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) programs.

New measures implemented in accordance with the Protect Purdue plan were a part of the move-in process this year. Upon arriving to campus, students and families were directed to check in, undergo a temperature check and receive their Purdue IDs and room key at a designated parking lot prior to moving into their hall. From there, students and two guests proceeded to their residence halls for move-in. The process can be seen in the video below.

One of the major changes to the residential experience this year involves the de-densification of spaces in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. This meant converting room configurations to allow each resident to have an ample amount of space. In some cases, this meant rooms were converted to a lower occupancy. For example, some double rooms became singles.

De-densification has also meant changes to common areas within the residence halls. Lounges, study areas and more have been converted to have chairs placed six feet apart to allow for social distancing.

These measures have been adopted in addition to maintaining and increasing the high standards of cleaning in the residence halls. Increased disinfecting procedures in shared bathrooms, scheduled evening and weekend shifts to enhance building care and increased cleaning of high touch and public surfaces are part of the cleaning measures.  

All dining hall operations have additionally been converted to carryout service only. Students order their meals in advance and proceed through a socially-distanced line to receive their food. Due to statewide limits on indoor seating, students have the option to dine in open-air tents near dining courts or take their meals elsewhere. Readers can see how the new dining process works in the video below.

Dining & Culinary is also working to improve sustainability in the food service measures adopted to ensure a safe dining environment by offering recyclable packaging and cutlery, as well as collaborating with Purdue Student Government on a recycling education campaign.

University Residences will continue to adjust processes and work to provide the safest campus home possible for residents in accordance with the Protect Purdue plan.

      Christa Pazera

Staff Profile

Pazera Leads as Residential Life Faces Unique Challenges

The changing landscape across all aspects of the Purdue experience as the University works to Protect Purdue has brought about challenges, but Residential Life is tackling them with gusto under the direction of Christa Pazera.

At the forefront of Residential Life’s efforts, Pazera says, is the desire to ensure the continued opportunities to build relationships – something that has been a core part of her work.

“We do this because of the relationships and the connections,” says Pazera, director of Residential Life. “That hasn’t changed. It’s just the way we go about it that has.”

Pazera is no stranger to the University Residences student experience at Purdue, having been deeply involved in Residential Life as a student. She served as a resident assistant, staff resident and graduate intern, and was Governess of Meredith Hall. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 1994 and earned a Master of Science in Education with a specialization in college student affairs in 1996.

In the spring, Pazera was awarded the Outstanding Staff Award during University Residences’ virtual awards program. She was also recognized by the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Life with the Student Life Award for Outstanding Leadership in recognition of her years of dedicated service to students within University Residences. The award is given to alumni who have exceptional careers and shown long-term leadership within their chosen profession, as well as noteworthy professional accomplishments that reflect favorably on their profession, Purdue University and society.

Pazera’s efforts this fall are focused on continuing ways to foster the relationships, leadership opportunities and more that Residential Life is known for. This includes finding creative ways to have in-person and virtual options for students to connect, incorporating technology into processes and connections, and helping resident assistants and student leaders prepare for the year.

“We’re going to have to be creative,” says Pazera. “We’re going to get some great ideas from students and we’ll implement those. We’re learning things from other colleagues at other institutions and we’ll try to implement those as we go, too.”

Prior to being named director of Residential Life, Pazera held various management and leadership positions within University Residences. She has been a champion for inclusion during her time at the University, earning the LGBTQ Center Advocate Award in 2015 and serving as a co-chair on the Student Life Inclusion Task Force. She has also represented the university in positions with regional campus housing organizations and was recognized with the First Year Experience Advocate Award after co-chairing the First Year Experience program for University Residences.

Looking ahead to the fall, Pazera says changes offer a unique challenge and will be met head-on.

“We’re looking forward to it,” says Pazera. “We’re just trying to make sure everyone is comfortable with where we’re at and how we’re approaching the situation.

“One of the core values of the institution is innovation and we’re going to do it.”



Purdue Day of Giving 2020 

Event Profile

Day of Giving an Opportunity to Impact Next Giant Leaps

For generations, University Residences has provided residents with innumerable opportunities in their persistent pursuit of leadership experiences beyond the classroom. Supporting our students’ pursuit of these foundational experiences becomes even more critical as we work to Protect Purdue during the COVID-19 pandemic and innovate to continue to provide the residential experiences Boilermakers have come to expect. No matter what challenges arise, we remain committed to providing a safe campus home with opportunities for engagement for all of our residents.

You can help us continue to transform the lives of current students and generations of Purdue students yet to come by supporting University Residences and Dining & Culinary on Purdue Day of Giving, scheduled for September 9. By supporting University Residences and Dining & Culinary, you will help ensure that the relationships, leadership experiences and professional development Boilermakers pursue again and again outside the classroom continue no matter what challenges may arise.

Our goal during this 24-hour social media blitz is to raise funds for the many programs that provide leadership, professional development and career growth opportunities for our residents when they aren’t in class. Gifts can be directed to funds such as:

  • Sarah Johnson Outstanding Student Employee of the Year Fund. By endowing this fund, we can ensure the continued legacy of Sarah Johnson’s dedicated service to the university by rewarding an exemplary Dining & Culinary student employee.
  • Men’s and Women’s Leadership Series, both of which are elite leadership experiences for students living within University Residences.
  • RAISE Awards, which provide financial assistance for resident assistants.
  • Hall clubs, which create a sense of community and create leadership opportunities for students.
  • The Executive-in-Residence program, which provides opportunities for students to make one-on-one connections with successful alumni.
  • Any other area a donor wishes.

Participating in hourly challenges on social media can also help University Residences and Dining & Culinary and even earn you bragging rights if your post is tabbed the winning the submission by the University. These challenges are opportunities to show your Purdue Pride while potentially rewarding the unit of your choice with bonus funds. We invite you to participate in the following challenges on September 9: 

  • 10 a.m. – 50 th original Tweet.
  • 11 a.m. – Most unique photo with the Purdue Day of Giving logo.
  • 12 p.m. – Most creative Purdue selfie.
  • 3 p.m. – Post an Instagram video of yourself or of you and your friends singing “Hail Purdue!”
  • 7 p.m. – Most creative picture of your kids in Purdue gear on Twitter or Instagram
  • 8 p.m. – Most creative photo of your pet in Purdue gear on Twitter or Instagram.

None of the above challenges require a donation to participate. Just include the hashtags #purduedayofgiving and either #purdueur (for University Residences) or #purduedining (for Dining & Culinary) with your post to enter.

If you can support University Residences or Dining & Culinary with a donation, making a gift during the following times can also help further the impact of your donation.

  • 7 a.m., 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Donate during these hours to help win bonus funds by accumulating the most gifs.
  • 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Alumni donors can help win bonus funds through an alumni donor challenge.
  • 9 p.m. – Did you graduate in the last 10 years? Donate during this hour to help win the young alumni challenge.

Set a reminder for September 9. Please stay tuned for more information by following University Residences on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or by following Dining & Culinary on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Writer: Matt Vader | Editors: Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic, Danielle Fawbush

Editorial Board: Barb Frazee, Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic | Inquiries Contact:

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