After the demise of Residence Council, the residents of Missouri Western were left without proper representation, until now.
Resident students at Western will soon have the opportunity to have their voices heard through a new organization, Residence Hall Association. On-campus students are thrilled to see the differences the new organization will offer in comparison to the old.
Many residents and students on campus are concerned about where the budget for RHA will come from. A certain percentage of the budget will come from the Department of Residential life and housing, which RHA President Bridget Janssen says will go directly to the students and organization.
Janssen said the budget for this new organization will be $20,000, which will be divided between the residence halls and their Hall Councils.
According to Mark Stier, director of residential life, the money for the new organization will come from an auxiliary budget in the Residential Living and Housing operational budget, which they use to pay bills.
Stier says that RHA will be free to utilize the money with only limited direction from Western.
“RHA will have total control over their budget,” Stier said. “They will have to discuss charges with their advisors to ensure they are keeping in line with the budgetary process set forth by the University. Other than that, they are to use the funds for the betterment of the residential community and student professional growth.”
Janssen went a little further in describing the break-down of where the money will go and how it will be used.
“The Hall Councils will be given $500 and be able to determine where that money will go,” Janssen said. “$2,000 to $3,000 will be given to each dorm and will be run directly by RHA and will be used for dorm improvements.”
National Residence Hall Honorary will be given $2,000 and have full jurisdiction on how to use the money. This will leave approximately $8,000 to $10,000 for the RHA, which they plan to use directly for programming, updates and improvements for the dorms.
As RHA aspires to increase the number of residents involved, students wonder how this organization will differ from Residence Council. Jansen has high hopes for the association and believes residents will flock toward the new group after learning of the new opportunities it will present.
“The main goal for this year is building up the new organization,” said Janssen. “In the past, we had a very active Residence Council, but I want to show what changes we have in store for the residents.”
Since RHA is not a part of Student Government Association, they have the freedom to make changes. Janssen believes this is a great way for SGA to work with the new organization.
Griffon Hall resident Jessica Liess says she is interested in the types of activities this new organization will be able to create for the students.
“Some things that I would like to see happen would be more group activities that anyone can come along and participate in,” Liess said. “It makes me feel that our school is going in a new direction by trying to make the students feel at ease while away from home.”
Residents of Western will just have to wait and see what changes will be done through the new organization. Janssen said she wants to build the Association for future residents, so they will have a governing body that works just for them.
“We must get our name known around campus, which is the only way we will recruit and get students involved in our organization,” said Janssen. “I am also confident that we will have a strong foundation for future Residential Hall Associations to build upon.”