This year is the first year that Western is affiliated with IACURH and the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH). This gives students on campus the opportunity to attend national and regional conferences.
The annual IACURH conference occurred Nov. 3-6 at the University of New Mexico (UNM).
The conference consisted of two different parts. One focused on the development of student leadership. Delegates attend programs organized by students from different schools within the region. Delegates also met with students from other universities to share ideas and talk more about programming.
In order to present a program, delegates had to send in an application to have their anticipated program accepted by IACURH. Jacob Babineau, one of the delegates from Western, sent in a proposal and was selected to present his program at the conference.
“I was stressed out about finding a good topic,” Babineau said. “Then building a program around it. I had a lot of help from Jon [Studdlefield, one of the RDs who also attended the conference]. I was developing my program a month before the conference to all the way up until 10 minutes before my program. It was a lot of editing and polishing."
The second part of the conference was focused on considering and voting on legislation, which affects IACURH policies within the region. There are also discussions based on voting for bids on awards that schools can win for individuals or their entire program as a whole.
"I believe that IACURH was a very eye opening and beneficial conference for Western students to attend,” said Kaia Ball, the National Communications Coordinator (NCC) for Western. “It gave a number of student leaders a vision for what Hall Councils and IACURH can grow into on Western’s campus, and encouraged a number of conversations centered around student involvement, specifically in Residence Life and Hall Councils.”
In Western’s first year organizing a Hall Council, the students have plans to create a Residence Hall Association (RHA) in the future. An RHA is equivalent to a Hall Council, but for the entire campus. It will not focus on the individual halls as Hall Council does.
The NACURH National Leadership Conference will take place in May 2018, and Western’s Hall Council hopes to have the same opportunity to attend this event to further grow the Hall Council influence on campus.
Story by Taya Olson.