Three members of Suffolk University’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) will travel to Boulder, Colo., this June for the Nation Conference of College and University Residence Halls. Suffolk’s RHA has about 30 students who are all dedicated to making campus life fun through excellent programming.
Suffolk will be joining over 100 other schools from the United States, Canada, and Australia, according to RHA President, sophomore Jackie Bresnahan.
The opportunity to attend the National Conference appeared at the annual “Mini-No-Frills” spring conference at Rhode Island College. After attending the conference, which focused on the business aspects of running residence halls, Bresnahan saw the application for a grant to attend the Colorado Conference, and took a chance by filling out the form. To her surprise, Suffolk received the grant and RHA will send Bresnahan, 150 Tremont Resident Director Keith Waak, Senior Dan Newell, and freshman Kelly Flores to the conference.
“[Attending the conference] was in our wildest dreams,” said Bresnahan. “We will bring our all.”
The conference is four days long and Suffolk’s representatives will be busy the whole time. There will be many events throughout the week, as members plan to discuss and learn skills to improve Suffolk’s RHA. A majority of the trip will be spent in seminars designed to learn about programming, where members will come up with new ideas for events. There will also be workshops focused on student leadership. Although Suffolk has a small RHA staff, they hope that with their strong enthusiasm they can stand out at the conference, meeting and inspiring other schools.
“It’s a great way to brainstorm ideas,” said Bresnahan, who hopes interacting with members of other residence hall associations will bring fresh ideas to Suffolk. With 200 students from New England attending, Bresnahan is hoping to start to build a community with other schools and their residence halls.
“I would say what makes our Residence Hall Association different is our size,” said Keith Waak. “We are so small that if a student wants to have a significant impact on Suffolk and the region, he or she really has the ability to do so.”
Starting this Fall, the members hope to instill new plans starting with Welcome Week events and leading to new programs throughout the fall and spring semesters. After recruiting new members of RHA in the fall, the experience at nationals will be on display for Resident Life directors. At the end of September, they will present the information to RHA and from there Suffolk will be able to see what they learned through programming and through the leadership development of the Resident Advisors.
While there, Bresnahan will act as the National Communication Coordinator, Newell as the National Resident Hall Honorary and Flores will focus on the program presentations. Attending conferences is a perk for dedicated members of the RHA program, especially those who are senior members. RHA hopes to continue attending the conferences in the years to come.