Res Life - Letter to Parents

An Open Letter to Parents from the Director of Residential Life

I have high hopes that living in our residence halls will be a positive experience for your son or daughter.  At the University of New

Picture of Scott Chesney

Hampshire we place a high priority on offering individual contact with our professional staff.  Each of our halls has a full time Residence Hall Director (RHD) who lives in the building.  The RHD typically has already earned their Master’s degree in a field which prepares them to specialize in dealing with the growth and development of college aged students.  The Hall Director and the Resident Assistant (RA) staff in the building will reach out to your son or daughter in an effort to enhance their experience at UNH.  They will offer a wide variety of social and educational opportunities right in the residence hall.

CHOICES. . . A word that we believe best symbolizes college life.  Our students will be bombarded with CHOICES that only they can make. . . CHOICES will determine the extent of their happiness and success at the University of New Hampshire.  These are exciting, but sometimes very scary and complex choices, some of which your son or daughter may have never had to make on their own.  Among those:  Am I going to take classes which are easy or that make me work harder than I ever have before?  How much am I going to study each night or week and how will I structure that?  What sexual choices might I make?  Am I going to use alcohol illegally or perhaps illegal drugs?  How much am I going to share with my parent (s)?

Many of you are used to being intimately involved in observing, discussing, and even guiding your child’s choices.  It may be a temptation of both you and your child to continue in the exact same relationship as related to CHOICES.  Some involvement is certainly healthy and important.  I hope that you will join with us in helping your son or daughter gain the decision making independence that should be occurring at this stage of his/her life.  Crafting a meaningful but perhaps different type of communication pattern will serve as an exciting though sometimes difficult challenge.

As a staff, we also face our own set of challenges.  Misbehavior of students, though committed by a relative few, can cause great havoc for the majority of our community.  We make it our mission to create an environment that supports the academic mission of the university.  We view living in a residence hall here as a privilege, not a right.  Since we do not force any student to live on campus, we have no hesitation about expecting those who do choose to live here to follow our community expectations.  We are particularly strict when it comes to using or selling illegal drugs or hosting a situation in a room where illegal alcohol activity occurs.  Hearing Officers in the Judicial Office often evict such violators on their first offense.  My hope is that you will reinforce our expectations. We will certainly do that when your son or daughter arrives, both by letter and verbally.

As I said at the beginning, it is all about CHOICES.  Choices Matter.  Fortunately, the overwhelming number of choices made by most students serve them well.  I pledge to you that my staff and I will do all we can to guide and educate your son or daughter in a positive and growth producing manner.  Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss any matter pertaining to your son or daughter.  I can be reached by email at  My daytime office phone is 603-862-1870.  My home telephone is 603-868-1251.


Scott Chesney
Director of Residential Life