New RHA president seek to increase on campus efforts
The Residence Hall Assembly, one of the largest Registered Student Organizations officially recognized by Central Michigan University, is trying to have a stronger presence on campus with new leadership.
RHA elections were held in April. Freshman Mike DeGregory was elected president for the 2015-2016 fall semester. The previous two semesters he held the position of RHA treasurer. DeGregory said he wants to reach out to more students on campus and raise awareness of their services.
"Everything is at a minimal and that’s what RHA is trying to change,” DeGregory said. “People don’t know we give out funding for certain programs that can happen in residence halls, or that we have banquets every semester. They also don’t know we go to regional and international conferences to represent CMU.”
Every semester $3 of a residence hall student’s room and board payment goes directly to the RHA programming fund, as well as an additional $2 from the programming fund, DeGregory said. Hall councils come to the RHA and present program ideas. Voting members either accept or refute them, and if they are accepted, the RHA will reimburse the hall council upon proper spending procedures.
“Because the RHA helps fund a certain program, all marketing materials must have their logo on it. Then they have to do an Of the Month evaluation through National Association of College and University Residence Halls,” said Kim Voisin, RHA adviser. “They have to evaluate it and submit it online. Money must also be spent out of the hall council fund first, and then the RHA will reimburse them if everything is approved.”
One of the problems with the programming fund is having limited funds during the first 2 months of the fall semester because the budget has not been approved yet. Individuals cannot come to the RHA to allocate money, so they have no sources of income or funding from no place other than their own residence hall.
“Of the 21 programs we submitted, 15 were approved to get exactly $5,000 which is our limit for that budget right now,” DeGregory said. “With it being the first year for this fund to be available to residence halls, we’ve already surpassed expectations.”
DeGregory said the recently-created Weeks of Welcome program promotes engaging and enriching programs for students in residence halls for next year with money allocated from this year’s budget. The money is already set aside from this year but it’s used for next year’s budget so they do not have to go through the process of waiting for a budget to be approved.
“The RHA has groups of people from all of the halls that work together and generate ideas that will have a positive impact on campus,” Voisin said. “RHA ends up being a voice for the residence halls and students, and all of their concerns.
Every year RHA attends the Great Lakes Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls regional conference and the National Association of College and University Residence Halls international conference. At these conferences, one of their main focuses is improving programs for residence halls.