The Pillars: RHA

A Staff Report Series

If at any point in your college career you have lived in one of the residence halls on campus, you have joined the ranks of approximately 1,200 fellow resident students. Undoubtedly, you would have seen the name “RHA” or the Residence Hall Association gracing a poster by the elevator in your freshman dorm, or on fliers posted in the tunnels.

RHA strives to provide a sense of community for resident students and is responsible for hosting some of the largest events on campus. Some of these events include the Midnight Breakfast, Grilled Cheese and Nacho Night, the Thanksgiving Sit Down Dinner, and Canisius Royals, a beauty pageant where contestants represent various clubs on campus.

In these ways, RHA acts as the “glue” that holds the campus together, as resident student life is such a large part of the culture.

 This year, president Ryan Boorum ‘20, has been looking to incorporate new events into their classic lineup.

“From what I noticed last year, RHA has historically done the same programming year after year like a routine,” Boorum said. “That was something we wanted to change a little bit.”

Boorum explained that the new Super Bowl party that RHA hosted for this year has potentially been their most successful event of the spring semester. “We had over 150 people attend when we were only expecting about 125 students,” he said.

“Both residents and commuters came, which was a good reminder that RHA is not just specifically for residents,” Lauren Semo ‘19, co-vice president, said in regards to the event. “Commuters are more than welcome to come to events and be a part of RHA.”

Boorum explained that a problem that RHA has had to deal with yearly is consistency within the Executive Board (E-Board) as students move off campus.

“Historically, freshmen serve on the general body and then as sophomores, make an impact on the E-Board,” Boorum said. “But once junior year rolls around, they move off campus and can no longer serve on the E-Board of RHA.”

Boorum explained that they have been working on changing items in their constitution so that any student can join the E-Board of RHA with the precondition that they must have lived in a residence hall before. “If a student has a passion for programming and serving this campus, they should have that right to do so,” he stated. “We are hoping that these constitutional changes will bring more students to wanting to get involved in RHA.”

He continued, “This year’s E-Board is more stable as a functioning body because we haven’t had to replace any members like last year. This been very beneficial to us as everyone has been working hard and consistently. The people on this year’s E-Board are all go-getters and want nothing but the best for our programming.”

“With a full E-Board this year, I believe it gives RHA a better opportunity to fully plan events to their greatest potential, with each E-board member having their own responsibilities or focus,” Semo added.

Boorum went on to explain a new program RHA is implementing they call their “Mini Program Series.” For this program, two members of the E-Board will work together to create a new and original program for a specific building on campus. The first of these events will have taken place this past Wednesday, on Valentine’s Day, in which RHA is sponsoring a program for Frisch Hall where E-Board members will be handing out donuts and flowers in honor of the holiday.

“We are hoping that these mini-programs will build a sense of community in the residence hall,” Boorum said. “We want a group of friends to take a break from studying and come to these programs and get to hangout with their friends and even make new friends.”

Besides adding new events, Boorum and the rest of the RHA E-Board have been looking also been looking to improve existing events, such as Canisius Royals. Boorum stated that this year’s Canisius Royals will be incorporating much more audience and student involvement than in previous years.

Boorum also said that one of his goals is to get 1,000 students to attend the Midnight Breakfast this year. “We had over 800 students attend Midnight Breakfast last semester, and that was almost 100 more students than last year,” he said. He explained that the intention of this event is for people to enjoy the last few days of school with their friends before having to leave for break.

As evidenced by the numerous events held throughout the school year and important position it holds as a pillar of Canisius, RHA helps to complete not only the resident students’ college experience, but also that of the entire campus.

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