Residence halls create new organization

Residence Hall Council members listen to an introduction, while enjoying pizza. Mattielou Hall and Olive Hall will each have an RHC, an organization that programs fun events for students.

News Editor Kaitlyn Davis

Mattielou Hall and Olive Hall are offering a new way for students to connect with one another this semester.

Both halls have a Residence Hall Council, an organization that develops fun activities for students and listens to their ideas and concerns, said RHC Advisor and Department of University Residences Graduate Assistant Katie Kelsoe.

“(The Department of University Residences) is really trying to push for more community building within the residence halls led by residences,” Kelsoe said.

The department expects each council to organize three large programs a semester, Kelsoe said.

“But they can increase that if they want to, if they feel ambitious enough,” she said. “We’re hoping that they will kind of run with it.”

Programs that are geared toward community service or social interaction will be the main focus. But the RHCs will also implement educational and academic programs, she said.

These councils are not new, but due to a lack of participation, the councils died out in 2012, she said.

Kelsoe said she hopes interest builds amongst students so the department develops a Residence Hall Association, an organization the councils would fall under.

“Typically, Residence Hall Councils are housed under an RHA,” Kelsoe said. “That’s what we’re hoping to work toward, but we’re kind of starting from the bottom up. We’re trying to build the council and then build the overall (RHA).”

Both RHCs have four positions: president, vice president, secretary and public relations chair, as well as floor representatives, she said.

But the councils do not exclude other residents in the halls, said Residence Advisor and RHC Mentor Caleb Lewis.

“If you didn’t put an application in to be a floor representative or be an officer, you’re still part of RHC,” Lewis said. “Every resident is a part of RHC in Mattielou and Olive, (but) they’re nonvoting members.”

The Residence Hall RAs act as mentors to the RHCs. RHCs can use them as a resource to help with programming, Lewis said.

Freshman Caroline Barlow is the vice president for the Olive Hall RHC and said she is excited to begin her new position.

“I ran for vice president because I wanted to get involved with my hall, along with my school,” Barlow said. “I hope (students) see their ideas being heard, and I hope that we just form more of a community between the two halls along with in our own halls.”

The Department of University Residences tried to garner interest for an RHC in Rivers Hall, but was unable. For now, the program is geared toward freshmen students, Kelsoe said.

“We’re hoping to start in the freshmen halls this year,” she said. “That way we can build interest in upperclassmen halls next year. Hopefully, (it will be successful) with students still living on campus already kind of knowing about it.”