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RHA plays significant role in on-campus community building

| Thursday, April 23, 2020

As a residential four-year institution, Saint Mary’s places a large emphasis on building community within the on-campus community, which the Residence Hall Association (RHA), is heavily involved in.

The factor that differentiates RHA from other big boards on campus is it’s focus on on-campus residents, junior club president LeeAnn Beaty said. 

Incoming vice president Mackenzie Kersten believes Saint Mary’s students should care about RHA because the club’s main purpose is about creating community within the residence halls.

“I am a part of RHA because I enjoy having the opportunity to make SMC a better place,” Kersten said in an email. “It’s really rewarding to see girls having fun at the events we host.”

RHA is comprised of five subcommittees including formal, events, Lil’ Sibs, fundraising and hall improvements. Each subcommittee is facilitated by two executives and a few committee members to gain input from students in all class years and put on staple Saint Mary’s events, Beaty said. 

Sophomore and incoming secretary Zoe Shepherd has been involved with RHA since her first-year at Saint Mary’s and said she has loved every minute of it. 

“ I hope to give the SMC students the best experience possible through these events that RHA puts on,” Shepherd said in an email. “Additionally, I love working with other Belles who are on RHA to achieve our goals for the year.”

In addition to the events that RHA hosts for Belles, they are also responsible for providing resources to make life within the residence halls easier. Shepherd believes this is one of the most important roles of RHA, as living in the residence halls is such a important part of the Saint Mary’s experience.  

“A lot of people may not know that RHA provided the bins for move in, kitchen supplies, as well as the new vacuums,” Kersten said. “This year, we are in the process of purchasing more water filling stations for LeMans Hall.” 

The funds for these improvements are raised through annual t-shirt and sweatshirt fundraising sales, she said. 

RHA also plays a large role in first-year orientation every year in August. Their black light social event is often one of the first events first years attend during welcome weekend. 

 “This is where many of them make their first friend on campus which is really fun and special to watch,” Kersten said. 

For Shepherd, her favorite part of the year is the annual Spirit Week designed to foster community among the entire campus after summer vacation. 

“We have some really fun and exciting events planned for the week,” Shepherd said. “I am also super excited to see what all the Belles on campus think of it when it finally all comes together in the fall.”

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About Mia Marroquin

Mia Marroquin is a rising senior Communication Studies major at Saint Mary’s. Currently serving as Saint Mary’s News Editor, she hails from Holland, Michigan and is an 80’s movie fanatic. Follow Mia on Twitter @_miamarroquin

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