Symplicity Helps Caldwell Facilitate Residential Life and Conduct

Caldwell University is a small, private liberal arts college, located in Northern New Jersey with an undergraduate student population of 1,600. At Caldwell Crystal Lopez, Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Conduct, and her team have been utilizing Symplicity Advocate and Residence since 2016 to enhance their campus communications, overhaul their student conduct procedures, and streamline housing selection and procedures. This saves time for Lopez and her team so they can focus more on supporting their students.


In a typical year, Caldwell University houses around 630 students on campus. Prior to using Symplicity, Caldwell was using a different system that didn’t fully meet the needs of the university. The old systems were not user-friendly or mobile-friendly, involved various clicks just to get reporting, lacked customization, and lacked basic functions to get the full picture of what was going on with a student. Lopez first heard about the benefits of Advocate and Residence at the annual Mid Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Officers conference and in 2016, Caldwell simultaneously implemented Advocate and Residence.

"I wanted a streamlined process for conduct, specifically one that met our size and was easy to load templates. With Advocate, our conduct process turned into a few clicks versus creating individual letters for students."

– Crystal Lopez,
Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Conduct, Caldwell University


When COVID-19 impacted everyday operations around the world, Caldwell University was not excluded. Its on-campus population went down by 50% as students returned home to learn virtually. With Residence, Lopez and her team were able to effectively track which on-campus students were in which buildings, update policies as CDC guidelines changed, and swiftly communicate with students within the platform to communicate campus health and safety guidelines. This included tracking which students needed to quarantine before returning fully to campus and communicate with students the COVID-19 campus protocols, helping Caldwell proactively handle COVID-19 situations.

With ready to use, customizable templates, Lopez and her team have been able to keep their residential community informed by quickly distributing emails to all students at any given time. This has given Caldwell the ability to effectively reach all students, even as campus services shifted to virtual, hours were reduced, or in-person services ended. In addition, the mobile-friendly capability has always been critical to supporting Caldwell’s campus communication, giving the team the flexibility to handle anything, even if they aren’t in the office. 


Since using Symplicity Advocate and Residence, it has empowered Lopez to get a full view of what she does on campus and how much work she does daily. With the reporting mechanisms that tracked how much work Lopez was doing, she was able utilize the data to successfully write a proposal for an assistant director of housing operations. Not only has Symplicity enabled Lopez to request hiring a new staff member, but it has also given her back valuable time to focus on long-term strategic planning projects at Caldwell. The time efficient workflows and processes have reduced the time Lopez used to spend on daily tasks such as conduct hearing letters, campus communication, and other student conduct operations. Caldwell University will continue using Symplicity to improve residential life and student conduct on and off campus.

“Residence has been instrumental with COVID… It’s amazing to be able to send batch emails to students from my phone. Even during an emergency, if a template isn’t set up, I can still get it out efficiently... If someone's thinking about purchasing this system, the ease of being able to do that alone is crucial.”

– Crystal Lopez,
Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Conduct, Caldwell University

Residence Life, Student Conduct, Advocate, residence, residential assistants, housing code, residential life

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