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SMC to confer with Indiana colleges

Megan Loney | Friday, February 6, 2009

About 115 students from 10 Indiana schools will come to Saint Mary’s this weekend to share ideas about what works and what doesn’t on college campuses.

Saint Mary’s last hosted the annual Indiana Residence Hall Organization Conference (IRHO) in 1995.

Senior Maura Clougherty, president of Saint Mary’s Residence Hall Association (RHA), said the timing is perfect for Saint Mary’s to host the conference.

“We have been wanting to get more involved in IRHO the past few years, and it is a great chance to show off our beautiful campus,” Clougherty said. “With the addition of Spes Unica Hall and the Hilton Garden Inn here on campus, it is a perfect place to have a conference. “

The conference, entitled, “Will You Be My Leader?,” includes an opening ceremony on Friday night with the keynote speaker, Patrick Daniel, the Director of Student Involvement, and a roll call in which the schools introduce themselves through a skit, song or dance. Later that night, there will be a performance by Bell-acapella, a movie showing and an opportunity to play Nintendo Wii, Clougherty said.

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the delegates will attend several programs that are meant for schools to share ideas about improving life on campus. Some of the programs that Saint Mary’s will be presenting are “How to Manage Time as a Student Leader,” “How to run an Effective Meeting” and “How to bring Dance Marathon to your campus.” Saturday will end with a banquet dinner, where awards will be distributed, and a dance, she said.

This year, the conference will be slightly different than previous years, as more schools are involved.

“This year’s conference is one of the largest of the past five years,” RHA secretary Katie McInerney said. “We believe this may have to do with location because typically the conferences are held in central or southern Indiana, so the new location has drawn at least two new schools to the conference.”

The housing situation will also be different due to the fact that Saint Mary’s is a women’s college.

“This is also the first time the conference has housed delegates in a hotel,” McInerney said. “Typically, the students sleep on a floor somewhere on campus, but due to the number of students attending the conference and the fact that Saint Mary’s College is an all-women’s college, we will be housing them in the Hilton Garden Inn.”

McInerney said this conference presents an opportunity for the delegates to interact with those from other schools.

“I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new people,” McInerney said. “These conferences only happen so often, and you meet such fun great people at them and then you have to wait a year to see them again.”