By: Tom Foley
Choosing to live in a residence hall on campus comes with many perks. Among them, a short commute, numerous Living-Learning-Communities (LLCs), the opportunity to make friends out of neighbors, and the Residence Hall Association (RHA). RHA serves as the democratic forum for resident students on campus, where residents can allocate for new equipment in their buildings (like pool cues and cookware), compete in competitions for prizes, and participate in events organized by the E-Board, which is led by President Jackie Lake.
RHA routinely sees high attendance at the events they put on, which President Lake says is a result, in part, to the social opportunity it provides. “A big pull I think is that it’s already included in their student fees, so they’re already paying for them,” explained President Lake. President Lake goes on to say that, “another factor, I think, is giving them the opportunity to participate in something out of the ordinary.”
For many first-year resident students, it is most likely their first time living away from home. This can be a period of both great opportunity and anxiety for a resident in this position. RHA serves as a great environment to meet new people, make new friends, and to step outside of comfort zones. President Lake encourages first-year residents to attend programs the organization puts on exclusively for them, like the hypnotist, held at the beginning of every school year.
However, there are people besides just first-year residents who can enjoy the programs RHA hosts. So far this year, residents have had a slew of exciting events to participate in, like the annual hit “Haunted Halls,” where local kids can trick or treat in a residence hall on campus that is staffed by student volunteers. Earlier this semester, RHA also organized a trip to Six Flags. Upcoming events to look forward to include numerous sports games, the popular end of the semester “Late Night Breakfast,” and what President Lake refers to as other “fun shaboodles.”
Another excellent opportunity for residents who choose to get involved with RHA is the potential to travel to several conferences centered around college resident organizations, like the North East Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (NEACURH) and the National Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH). Any member of the general population of resident students can apply to attend one of the conferences; which, in the past, have been hosted by schools in destinations such as our home city of Boston and down in New Orleans. The conferences strive to teach how to put together programs, get residents involved in campus life, and to share ideas that can make living on campus more exciting.
RHA meets each Wednesday at 5PM in RCC 201 and can be followed on Twitter @BSU_RHA