Massachusetts Daily Collegian

RHA celebrates the year

By Sam Hayes

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Courtesy UMass.edu

To end their first semester as the Residence Hall Association (RHA), the former Residence Leader Association (RLA) held a celebration with desserts, refreshments, cluster presidents, Student Government Association (SGA) senators and a slideshow Tuesday night in the Campus Center.

“It’s been a huge transition for us,” said RHA Recruitment and Retention Chair Brittney Smith about the RHA taking control over House Council from the SGA. “But we think it’s been successful.”

“We’re excited to see what happens in the future,” said the 19-year-old sophomore, addressing the RHA. “I hope you guys can see the difference you make.”

Smith explained that House Council working with programming as did the former RLA. At the end of the spring 2010 semester the SGA amended the constitution to create the RHA which would take over House Council responsibilities such as funds appropriation that the SGA was in charge of.

“It’s been a change, but I think it’s really positive,” said Smith about the two parties “joining forces.”

Smith says for the future she wants to increase attendance at meetings where only the cluster vice president is required to go to and “see more involvement for each cluster.”

“We want to better the residential halls the best we can,” Smith said. “We really like what we do.” Smith also wants a get the RHA’s “name out there more” and to have a better relationship with the SGA.

McNamara House president and sophomore astronomy major Inaam Khoury explained the event simply as “going over what we have done this year.”

Khoury decided to run for McNamara president on a whim and won an uncontested election, after deliberation he decided to keep his position.

“I didn’t even know what House Council was until this year,” he said.

Khoury pointed to success he has had in his building with events but said “outside of the building, we haven’t done much.”

Currently Khoury is trying to build a “smoking shack” in Sylvan Residential Area that will give smokers somewhere to smoke without smoking outside of the building after recent complaints.

RHA representative Billy Guadino spoke about the SGA motion that was tabled last week relating to the creation of a SGA vice president and his proposed power over the RHA.

“We’re going to see what happens and that’s where it stands now,” said Gaudino, who authored a counter-legislation against the SGA. SGA senators Ben Johnson and Zach Broughton were in attendance as well as RHA liaison and Chief of Staff Rachel Dutton.

The Dwight, Hamlin Leach cluster and Baker, Chadbourne, Greenough cluster tied for the “Cluster of the Semester” competition. The competition is based on points and attendance to add incentive to RHA members. “It is important to get recognized,” said Smith about why they have the award. Dwight, Hamlin, Leach won a tie breaker to win the plaque.

The night’s celebrations concluded with a video slideshow of team building and RHA events.

Sam Hayes can be reached at [email protected]

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