RHA community awards ceremony ensures hard work doesn't go unnoticed

Melissa Bloem/ Staff Photographer Residence Hall Association E-board president Alyson Cole, a senior from Grand Rapids, presents next year's E-board president Eric Ostrowski, a junior from Northville, before passing the gavel down to him at the Bovee University Center Rotunda on Wednesday night.

The Residence Hall Assembly celebrated what many inside the organization consider one of the most successful years in its history.

The RHA held the RHA Stars of the Community awards ceremony at the Bovee University Center Rotunda on Wednesday night to recognize outstanding individuals throughout the organization.

Bo Parker, Sweeney Hall adviser, was recognized as Hall Adviser of the Year. Grand Rapids freshman Susan McManus won Resident of the Year. Hudsonville junior Taylor Guss won Residential Assistant of the year, Union City sophomore Molly Slocum won Desk Associate of the Year, Bellaire sophomore Tayler Watrous won Hall Council President of the Year and Livonia freshman Lauren Pennington won Hall Executive Board Member of the Year.

Watrous said the accomplishments recognized at the banquet reflect the new attitude instilled within the RHA this year by President Alyson Cole.

"She's instilled so much passion and energy within this organization, which hasn't always been there," Watrous said. "It's a more organized and efficient organization, and people have carried that passion throughout the year. She's the face of this organization, and that's what the president needs to be."

Watrous said the RHA contains some of the most important individuals on CMU's campus.

"These people change students' lives and make this campus a better place," Watrous said. "We're here to recognize that."

Guss said the banquet recognizes work that the RHA performs throughout the year that would often go unrecognized.

"There is so much hard work that goes on that normally isn't seen or highlighted," Guss said. "Nobody sees it, and this allows it to be seen."

Guss, who will be the president of RHA's sister organization on campus, the National Residence Hall Honorary, said the awards mean a lot, but the words that go with them mean much more.

"It's the words and the recognition that mean something," Guss said. "That's what I'll carry with me."

Cole said this year's individuals within the RHA are a distinguished group.

"Our team this year worked incredibly hard and were passionate about the student body," Cole said. "... They all bring so many different talents and projects; it's hard to describe how important they've been"


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