About CHAS


College House Student Leadership Structure

The College Houses are subdivided into three types, providing three different experiences for students, based in student development theory.  These experiences are the First-Year experience, the Second-Year experience, and the Upper-Class experience.  Beginning in fall 2021, the College Houses leadership model was re-designed so that CHAS could better support Penn students through these developmental stages.

The House leadership model centers on the presence of faculty in the College Houses, providing the opportunity for students to interact with Penn's world-class faculty on an interpersonal level.  Each House is led by a Faculty Director with assistance from two to four College House Fellows drawn from the standing faculty at the University.

Each House has a live-in master's level professional staff (House Director) who works closely with the House Faculty to ensure that the House provides a secure and engaged community. Each House also has a House Coordinator who serves as the administrative assistant to the House during business hours.

The RA student leadership model in the Houses underwent modest updates starting Fall 2021, starting with title change and a change in a team structure.

  • The title of the student leadership positions, which for the first twenty years of the College Houses were called "Resident Advisor (RA)" and "Graduate Associate (GA)" positions, was changed to better reflect the position as it exists today. Undergraduate student leaders continue to be called "Resident Advisor (RA)", while graduate student leaders are called "Graduate Resident Advisor (GRA)". As these positions are entirely the same regardless of academic status, this terminology change provided more transparency and consistency and is used for internal purposes.
  • To better support the three types of student experiences in the College Houses, the First-Year Houses will primarily have undergraduate Resident Advisors as student leaders on the RA team. Some graduate RAs might be selected as needed. The Four-Year Houses will have teams with a combination of RAs and Graduate RAs, and the Upper-Class Houses will have a majority of Graduate RAs with a smaller number of undergraduate RAs. 

With the Quad renovation starting summer '23 for the next 3 years, House populations might change. As such, the RA team leadership design will be a guide for Houses throughout the RA selection process. The aim is to provide more opportunities for Penn undergraduate students to step into the RA role and contribute back to the College Houses. The following chart outlines this leadership model based on these student experience and development themes (note changes starting in Fall'23 due to Quad renovation project that will occur over 3 years): 

Experience Themes Living Types Student Leadership

Sense of Belonging
Engaging with Philadelphia

Traditional style with
shared or semi-private

RAs only (110):
Quad: Fisher Hassenfeld - 22 RA
Quad: Riepe - 22 RA
Quad: Ware - 23 RA
Hill - 17 RA

Lauder - 10 RAs (starting Fall '23 through spring'26)

Second-Year Academics
Apartment or suite-style
with private bathrooms

RAs & GRAs (31):
Du Bois - 4 GRA, 3 RA
Gregory Van Pelt - 3 GRA, 3 RA; 6 GRA (starting Fall '23 through spring '26)
Gregory C'25 - 4 GRA, 2 RA (prior to Fall '23); 6 RA (starting Fall '23 through spring '26)
Stouffer Stouffer - 6 RA
Stouffer Mayer - 6 GRA

Lauder - 6 GRA, 4 RA (prior to Fall '23)

Upper-Class Reflection
Decision Making
Apartment or suite-style
with private bathrooms

RAs & GRAs (84):
Gutmann - 6 GRA, 6 RA
Harnwell - 16 GRA, 8 RA
Harrison - 16 GRA, 8 RA
Rodin - 16 GRA, 8 RA

Radian - 20 returning RA/GRAs (for '23-'26)