8 Steps to Effective Dorm Management

From the Author:
“Greetings! This book is the story of how I put together an awesome Dorm, being the Dorm Leader of Ravenclaw Dorm #15,991 : “The League of 42″, officially the COOLEST DORM in Hogwarts. You are welcome to follow from my experience, and give us a run to the title. We like to have a little competition. The fun continues, so I will keep adding stuff, as & when I feel like there is stuff to share. Stay awesome. Cheers, I’m Batman.”


STEP ONE
INTRODUCTION

Decide on a limit to the Dorm, very early on. And try not to exceed it. Close the Dorm to further entries, and have a strict policy of “Yes” or “No”, but politely. If you’re the Leader, then you need to act like one sometimes, towards friends & strangers alike. Try to get a Prefect or two to be a member of your Dorm, it’s not absolutely necessary, but an added bonus. They have direct access to Professors. Sometimes, it helps clarify stuff faster. Trust me. Also, come up with a cool attractive name, logo and motto for the Dorm.

My Dorm has 42 members (including two awesome Prefects- Cristina Trail & Bronze Feather) and is called “The League of 42”. It was called “The Bat League” before, but I changed it because I didn’t want to force my name on the rest of them. 😛

Our Dorm motto is: “amicitiam conuingit omnes” which is Latin for “Friendship conquers all“. My current profile picture is our Dorm Logo.logo


STEP TWO
WELCOME MAIL

Next, have a neatly typed out “Welcome mail” ready. Keep it casual & pleasant. We all like to be welcomed into something new, it makes us feel belonged.

My welcome mail used to read:

Greetings, my dear fellow Ravenclaws!

I’m your Dorm leader, Novellus, and welcome to Dorm #15,991. I’ll be the chief moderator for this term. I am a first year just like you. I am looking to put together an awesome team of Ravenclaw first years. By the time we all finish seventh term, we would not only be proud wizards and witches from all corners of the world, but also great friends. So start getting to know your dorm mates!

I’m messaging you all in private because our dorm chat room is currently down. So if it seems a little quiet, just be patient and give it some time. Once it’s up, we will look to keep the discussions lively and interactive, the competition healthy, give our suggestions, and help each other in quizzes, essays and assignments to score maximum points. The student with the most number of points in the dorm at the end of each week gets to wear the star badge against his/her name.

While our ultimate goal is to help Ravenclaw House win the House Cup at the end of the term, I would also like our dorm to be the biggest contributor in the process. So take your courses as seriously as you do your muggle ones, do your assignments and write your essays with equal enthusiasm.

You will all be allotted study partners soon (unless you wish to pick your own, in which case you are most welcome!), and I will also introduce some in-dorm fun games for better interaction. More of that coming soon!

Meanwhile, if you come across any of the other newer Ravenclaws looking for a dorm, or the older first years looking to switch, make sure you invite them to Dorm #15,991: The League of 42. Because we’re awesome.

Lastly, our Dorm Motto is “carpe diem” #SeizeTheDay. So go forth and seize the day, Ravenclaws! Let’s make it the best dorm in Ravenclaw and all of Hogwarts! #CawCawRavenClaw #Ravenclawesome

~Novellus

P.S.: If any of you need any assistance and/or wish to keep in touch in the touch in the muggle world too, inbox me. We shall exchange Facebook and/or Twitter ids.


STEP THREE
GOOGLE DOCS

Make a Google Spreadsheet, and list all the Dorm-mates. Note down their time zones. If your Dorm has a lot of members, split them up in groups of 2 or 3 “study buddies”, on basis of time zones. It will encourage a sense of purpose towards completing coursework.  Also, urge them all to keep updating their points on a regular basis into the spreadsheet.

Here’s how my Dorm Google document appears.

I request you NOT to edit or make any changes. It is the original document. Notice how we even have subject-wise spreadsheets, at the bottom, to help Dorm-mates keep a track of their progress as well as compare them to others to motivate themselves, or in case someone wants to consult a Dorm-mate who has already finished a chapter they’re currently struggling with. Every time you finish a chapter of a subject, and submit the assignment/essay for grading, you can mark a “Y” against the said chapter in the subject spreadsheet. Filling the subject spreadsheets is NOT compulsory in our Dorm, although I usually personally recommend them to make the best use of the provision.

There are 42 people in my Dorm, divided into 21 study pairs, almost each of them is assigned a study buddy in the same time zone, so they can work out a study schedule together.


STEP FOUR
FACEBOOK & TWITTER

Make a closed Facebook Group with ONLY Dorm-mates as members. Request everybody to join it. It is easy to ask questions, clarify queries & hold discussions on the Facebook group, than on the HiH site. Besides, important announcements & updates are easily tracked because of the notifications feature on Facebook.

For those who are NOT on Facebook, post updates in the Dorm chat, as well as send them owls. Assure them that they may also seek help at any time by sending you an owl.

I usually make a promise wherein I give my Dormies a 24-hour window to reply to any query of theirs, between the time they send me the owl to the time their query is suitably addressed. That way, you keep your accountability/responsibility quotient high and lead by example.

Twitter is a good way to build your Dorm brand. Make a twitter page for your Dorm and keep it active, tweeting and re-tweeting Hogwarts stuff regularly.

You can find us here or look for the handle @L42onHiH


STEP FIVE
CHATZY GROUP

Make a Chatzy group, again ONLY for Dorm-mates. Have a secret entry password if needed. The Chatzy room is for Dorm meetings & casual conversations.

The rule in our Chatzy is to use the HiH name & pick the color of the continent we live in. We are spread across 4 continents. We try to have dorm meetings at least on alternate weekends, for an hour or two. The date & time is usually conveyed.


STEP SIX
DORM COUNCIL

Make a Dorm Council, because the Dorm Leader cannot single-handedly manage all the above, let’s face it.

Our Dorm Council is nothing more than a panel of 5 witches or wizards from within the Dorm, who have an added responsibility of ensuring the smooth running of the Dorm. We have 3 permanent members- Dorm Leader & the 2 Prefects, one position for the current highest scorer in the Dorm, and the last one is a rotating position, which changes on a weekly basis, alphabetically. Ensure that despite the formal sounding name, it gives them no added power. The council is there to serve the Dorm. We are all equal. The sole purpose of having a council was to ensure everybody has a say and we are able to make decisions after thorough discussion & consultations. Besides I, being the Dorm leader, am too old to run the show alone. 😛

Jokes apart, it is a rotating body, so everybody gets a chance to be on the council.


STEP SEVEN
RULES & REGULATIONS

Have some basic Dorm rules & regulations drawn.

We had to include this in our Dorm because of some recent events:

Let it be known that respect should be given to everyone on HiH, from Professors & Prefects to every fellow student. Derogatory language and bullying is unacceptable and acting in a way that negatively reflects on our Dorm & House is frowned upon. If any of you feel like you are being the victim to such behavior, please ignore. Ignorance is the best comeback. Ever. But if you cannot ignore it beyond a point, kindly report it to the admins. Also, do keep us all in the loop, your Dorm-mates may be able to help you out (All for One, One for All?). Let us all keep in mind that all of us are here on this website to have fun. My only wish is we have the most fun possible together while we are here.


STEP EIGHT
CONCLUSION

Lastly, try and have as much fun as possible. Make awesome friends from all corners of the Earth and across all age-groups. Get to know them all. Everybody’s a gem of a person on the inside. It’s an opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t have met in real life otherwise, and learn from them. That should be the general spirit in the Dorm. Motivate your Dorm-mates regularly by posting about who’s doing well, which is the best study pair, how many points the Dorm has contributed, etc. (At last count, our Dorm has contributed a little over 8,200 points to Ravenclaw House, and I’m still on zero. Imagine that!)

So, ladies & gentlemen, that is the story of how I put together an awesome Dorm. We are well on our way to becoming the coolest dorm in Hogwarts. You are welcome to follow from my experience, and give us a run to the title. We like to have a little competition.

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