HPC encourages participation in dorm events, bridge with administration
Alexandra Muck | Thursday, December 12, 2019
This year’s Hall Presidents Council (HPC) co-chairs, seniors John Desler and Tom Walsh, have goals to make HPC more than a way to disseminate information but instead an opportunity to make hall events better and to make HPC a bridge between the students and the administration regarding residential policy.
“Our job as HPC co-chairs [is] to be a bridge between all the hall presidents as well as between the hall presidents as a collective and the administration,” Desler said.
For the second goal, Desler and Walsh said that HPC is an opportunity for the administration to leverage student insights, and they are working to open that pathway for HPC to work with the administration.
“We have 62 people who were each elected by their hall communities to represent those communities as the leader of upward of 250 people,” Walsh said. “They represent a strong voice on campus, something that’s so central to what it means to go to Notre Dame. We should really be using those voices to make a positive change in the community.”
Regarding recent policy changes, Walsh said HPC did not feel like it had the place in the discussion it should.
“We feel like that’s kind of the place where we fit in,” he said. “We should be a necessary step for feedback in that process. That’s what we’re working toward this year.”
For their second goal — helping hall presidents connect with each other and become better presidents — Desler and Walsh mentioned several changes to HPC this year. First, they made the vice presidents a more integral part of HPC meetings.
“We wanted to find ways to encourage vice presidents to come and be involved and get their input,” Walsh said.
As a function of a different HPC meeting room, Desler said they have accomplished this goal.
“Definitely this year there’s a lot more vice president involvement and feedback,” he said.
Another change Desler and Walsh made is focusing a percentage of the Hall of the Year score to participating in dorm events.
“HPC executive board gets 5% of the Hall of the Year score to allot to a cause on campus they feel is prominent and worth of notice,” Walsh said.
Walsh said last year all 5% went to GreeNDot participation, but Walsh and Desler re-allocated part of the score. Now, 2% of the score will be for GreeNDot and 3% will go to dorm events.
“We still felt like GreenNDot was really important to us and a really important initiative on campus, but we’ve already seen so much growth that we wanted to balance that out with something personally important to our exec board,” Walsh said.
To get the 3% of the Hall of the Year score, residents of a dorm must attend a certain number of events. Additionally, a number equivalent to half of a dorm’s residents must attend events from other dorms, but one person can be counted for attending multiple events.
The events are selected by the hall presidents since each president chooses an event they want to highlight.
“We tried to push them towards not doing a very popular event already like the Keenan Revue or the Fischer Regatta,” Desler said.
Desler said these events tend to be new ones or events where halls have had trouble getting strong attendance in the past.
“We wanted to turn these events into the exciting social events they can be and really increase the social atmosphere and emphasis on signature and hall events as social events on campus, like fun things to do,” Walsh said.
Desler and Walsh said they have seen an increase in dorm events as a result of the change, and they hope the change will help dorms build their own identity.
“We don’t want them to think they have to win Hall of the Year by being this perfect stereotypical hall,” Desler said. ”We want them to win Hall of the Year for being the best type of hall they are in their own fun way.”
HPC this year has a clear vision for the student organization, and they have started to take steps to implement that vision. The changes to the Hall of the Year score especially drive to accomplishing that objective.