How and why do students feel a sense of belonging to their residential community? What factors play a role in contributing to sense of belonging? These are some of the questions that guided members of the Residence Life and Student Housing Research Team to embark on a five-study research project that is ultimately yielding great insights for how the SMU Residential Commons Model can help shape this key student-level outcome. Utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods, these studies collectively sought to define belonging to a residential community, track changes in sense of belonging over the two-year live-on requirement, and understand sense of belonging across each of the 11 Commons and the Upper Division Housing system. One component study entitled, “A Content Analysis of College Student-Proposed Definitions of Sense of Belonging to a Residential Community” was published in the Journal of College of and University Student Housing in October 2021.