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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

RHA bids to host conference

Texas A&M University’s Residence Hall Association is working to place a bid to host the 2015 Southwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls conference.
The conference is an annual event for RHAs across the southwest and includes universities from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mexico.
Kasey Kram, senior agribusiness major and RHA president, said the three-day conference brings together about 600 students from universities in the region, allowing them to participate in activities as well as attend a number of workshops that educate them on programs to implement on their respective campuses.
“It’s a good way to gain leadership experience and gain boardroom experience with parliamentary procedure,” Kram said. “It’s a great time to learn programs to bring back to your hall as well as give recognition to the residence halls that are performing in those areas. It’s a culmination of different things and it’s just a great time.”
Kram said through these programs, he and the Texas A&M RHA have learned methods for improving communication – all while in an upbeat environment where “rivalries cease to exist.”
“Being able to hear [from other schools] allows for diversity of ideas and inputs, which even allows for more of the ideas to be implemented here,” Kram said. “[The conference] really gives a whole bank of knowledge and ideas, goals that Texas A&M can accomplish.”
Tim Broderick, RHA executive vice president and RHA president-elect for 2014-2015, said the idea to place a bid to host the event for fall 2015 came after attending the fall 2013 conference at Texas Tech University.
“Our experience [at the Texas Tech conference] started making us think, ‘Why can’t we host this conference?'” Broderick said. “We thought about it and there really isn’t a reason, so we looked at it and said, ‘Hey, go ahead.'”
Chase Shelton, freshman agricultural communications and journalism major and RHA’s conference coordinator, said he began drafting the bid and organizing plans for all of its components in December. He considered it an honor to have all of his work validated with the acceptance by ResLife.
“I found out I got my RHA position before Christmas and I took up my whole break to put together the bid,” Shelton said. “To uphold the traditions of A&M and show others would just be great.”
Kram said RHA will refine the bid before sending it to the regional committee in October and will find out in November if their bid is accepted for the 2015 conference. Kram said he believes talking to other schools that will vote on the bids in October, and the fact that the University has never hosted the conference before, will aid in increasing the likelihood that hosting the conference will become a reality.
“[We have to] continue to talk with other universities and kind of lobby, ‘This is what our conference is,’ to the students who will be voting on it so that they can kind of get the overall image of what we’re really trying to do,” Kram said. “We really want to establish those connections now and make sure our relationships with other schools in the region are solid.”
Shelton said the conference timing gives members of RHA the ability to showcase a changing campus that will have projects such as Kyle Field completed by the time the conference comes around.
“Being one of the largest schools in Texas means we’ll be one of the largest delegations,” Shelton said. “Being such a great school, it’s kind of weird for us not to host. With [all of the changes on campus], it just shows we’re always moving forward and blazing that new trail.”
Broderick said that in all RHA does and whether or not the bid is accepted in the fall, their focus is on the students they serve.
“RHA is something very student-driven and that’s one of my favorite things about it,” Broderick said. “We give a lot of students the opportunity to take those leadership positions and see what it’s like to go and put on events and create camaraderie within the halls. People you meet in halls, you won’t meet anywhere else because there is so much diversity with students from a large variety of majors and backgrounds.”

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