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College named School of the Year for residences

Liz Harter | Wednesday, February 21, 2007

With the tagline “I want S’more SMC,” 10 Saint Mary’s students presented a 17-page bid to the Indiana Residence Hall Organization to win the IRHO School of the Year award this past weekend at Ball State University.

“It’s a pretty cool prize,” Residence Hall Association (RHA) president Amy Dardinger said. “It’s a [recognition] of everything we’ve done [this past year] like selling out the all school formal, creating Dance Marathon and winning a national award [for Dance Marathon].”

The IRHO is comprised of 12 Indiana colleges and helps facilitate the communication of ideas between schools around the state.

Saint Mary’s was the only school to apply for the award this year, but all 12 IRHO schools were eligible to apply.

“They only give [awards] to schools that deserve them,” Dardinger said. “If only one school applies and they don’t deserve it [or they get disqualified for not following the rules of the organization] they just won’t hand it out that year.”

The award, while given out by an organization that Saint Mary’s RHA works with, is not limited to recognizing those on RHA, Dardinger said.

“It compliments all Saint Mary’s students because it shows how well the Saint Mary’s community works together,” she said. “[RHA] is successful because students want to participate.”

She cited the success of this year’s all-school formal, which sold out all 800 tickets within a week and a half – one of the major ways students participated in campus events.

“People were almost scalping tickets,” Dardinger said jokingly.

Saint Mary’s has been involved in the IRHO for more than 10 years. The last time it won an award – also for School of the Year – was during the 2003-2004 school year.

While many students were not aware of the award on Tuesday, they were excited to hear the good news.

“That’s really cool,” sophomore Angela Siler said. “I feel that we deserved the recognition, and I’m glad that they saw fit to give it to us.”