In early June five students involved with the Greener Organization (GO), Evergreen’s residence hall association, and I attended a national conference for leaders in residence life in Boulder, CO. The National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) conference, is a celebration of a year’s worth of innovative programming and a sharing of residence hall association (RHA) and National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) best methods from over 2000 students.
NACURH is considered to be the largest student-run organization in the world, bringing together over 400 schools from more than five countries. NACURH promotes living on campus as an integral part of the college experience, and strives to provide resources to help member schools create the ultimate residence hall environment and experience.
Evergreen delegates Alexis Rushing, outgoing NRHH President; Brian Pizzi, outgoing GO/ RHA NCC; Carmen Villahermosa, Floor Representative; Lauren Wong, incoming NRHH President; and Max David, outgoing GO/ RHA President; had an amazing experience preparing for and attending the conference, from creating t-shirts to sell, to making hundreds of fuzzy felt geoduck pins to share with conference goers along with the awesome flag you see pictured. NACURH conferences are all about showing spirit, and our delegates showed theirs in true Evergreen fashion, singing the fight song and cheering “geoduck” at every available moment.
Delegates attended board meetings where they voted on national legislation for the NACURH organization, as well as workshops and programs focused on improving RHA’s/ NRHH’s. Programs offered included “Condom Mania”, focused on showing student leaders how to make programs on sexual health fun as well as informative, and “Are You In or Out”, focused on helping students recognize their privilege and become allies.
As a first time advisor, I had the pleasure of escorting this wonderful, quirky group to University of Colorado Boulder for the conference. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience, and I greatly look forward to advising the Greener Organization (GO) next year, as well as future opportunities for student conferences. Over the course of the conference, I was able to attend Advisor track programs, part of a series called “Advisor Recognition Training”, focused on helping Advisors learn and excel in their role.
The theme of this year’s NACURH conference was “Pass the Leadership Torch”, a take-off on the Olympics. In addition, many groups came up with additional slogans. One such group took the tagline “YOLO”, which usually is slang for “you only live once” and changed it to “you only lead once”. The Greeners adopted this slogan as their own with a little bit of humor- they were adamant that they will lead more than once!
Reflections from Students
Alexis Rushing, outgoing NRHH President
I feel that NACURH provides student leaders with tools they can use to help themselves, and skills they can bring back to share with others. During NACURH 2012 I saw this transformation within all members of our delegation. Personally I am taking away skills on how to communicate better with various group members. This was a common problem in board room where there were several people saying the same thing, but they were unable to see that until it was pointed out. When you are a leader you need to listen and communicate clearly with others.
Brian Pizzi, outgoing GO/ RHA NCC
NACURH 2012 was an amazing experience for me. I have now been to 4 conferences, 2 regionally and 2 nationally, but I have only been a delegate in the past. With being NCC, I got to experience the other side to these conferences which was boardroom. I was so excited to be able to sit in with other campus representatives and vote on items that would affect all schools affiliated within the organization. From regional breakout till 1am to corporate business at 7am the next morning. I was busy representing our school and casting my vote on such issues as international inclusion and financial amendments.
NACURH, and more simply PACURH, are extremely helpful and beneficial to the college/university campus. They provide resources and collaboration with student leaders from all around the world. I plan to make TESC more known and involved on the regional and national levels in my last year working for housing. I plan to help with bids for recognition and a bid for the host of a regional conference. I am sad to see this experience pass as I pass on the task of NCC to someone else but I am excited to see someone else enjoy the position as much as I did. Next year I will be taking on the roll as Co-Director for the TESC chapter of NRHH. This is something I am really excited about and I cannot wait to take on this group and make the organization grow. NACURH is my home and my family. The things I have learned and experienced at this conference have changed my life and influenced me in the most positive ways.
Carmen Villahermosa, GO Floor Representative
I think that it was a great experience. I’m glad that I was able to go, the programs that I went to I think were great programs. One, called a day in my shoes really made the whole group connect. And I think that that would be a great program to hold on our campus, to bring whoever you are with together and realize the ways that they relate to each other. That’s what happened in my group.