Sunday, November 22, 2009
I am very glad that after last Tuesday's Senate meeting, the issue of the Rising Third Year Housing Lottery has received attention. As a supporter who voted for the Lottery System at its conception as is, I must say that this year's RHA Senate did a very good job analyzing and unpacking the intended and unintended consequences of the resolution presented. After voting, many RHA members expressed interest in looking into the issue much deeper.
The statement by the Diamondback staff editorial that there is "ambivalence and lack of initiative" on the RHA's part is simply untrue. This editorial probably would not be published without the RHA taking initiative in discussing the matter first. No RHA Senator has drafted an alternative resolution because the first was presented just five days ago! They have yet to have the opportunity to meet within their respective committees and garner as much student input as possible.
Students have just begun contacting their RHA representatives about the Housing Lottery, sharing their opinions and proposing what they would like to see done e-mail, facebook, and hall council meetings.
The RHA prides itself on being the voice of resident students. The conversation pertaining to the Housing Lottery has just begun to get interesting and resident students and their RHA representatives are heavily engaged and using time wisely in order to address the issue with the utmost care.
Our next Senate Meeting is December 8, 2009 in the Benjamin Banneker Room of the Stamp Student Union.
E-mail us at email@example.com
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Picking up the Diamondback every morning, there is always something going on and always something that the RHA can help you voice your concerns about.
Today in the Diamondback I read articles about two things:
Transportation and the gating of the Mowatt Garage from the Guilford Drive location (http://www.diamondbackonline.com/news/police-dots-install-gate-at-mowatt-garage-entrance-1.892603)
The trash accumulating after Late Night (http://www.diamondbackonline.com/news/unappetizing-leftovers-1.890999)
I'll start with the garage. I don't speak for the entire RHA when I say this (though if you want the RHA to take a specific stance, you should let us know) but I think having the security back is great. This way we don't get random people coming onto our campus from the outside and unmarked but it is a bit inconvenient coming back after ten and having to drive the whole campus to park. What do YOU think?
Now for the issue of trash accumulating outside the dining halls. The beauty of late night and why the RHA advocated for it so many years ago was that students were still hungry after dinner time and because they called campus home, a (pre-)midnight snack should be available. At Late-Nite trays are not available, but what if more students ate in more? That way we all could dispose of trash in the containers that the dining staff controls. However, there have been many times where I want to run in and run out of late night just to get something to keep me satiated while studying.
So what's your take? What do you think? The RHA Meetings have standing meetings with Department of Transportation and Dining Services. What would you want US to say to THEM for YOU?! What stance on these issues would you want us to take?
Not comfortable sharing your name? Use our Honesty Box on FACEBOOK!! (www.facebook.com/MarylandRHA)
VOICE your opinion. BE INVOLVED!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A resolution Opposing Board of Regents Policy that would Discontinue the Right for the Residence Hall Association and Area Councils to Screen Any or All Films
Upon the approval of this resolution by the RHA Senate, the RHA will be added to the signatories of the Free Speech Letter drafted by the SGA.
Can you clarify what is meant in the final ‘therefore be it resolved’
That when choosing to show a movie at an RHA event, the host will take someone’s opinions into consideration if they think the movie shouldn’t be shown.
Where would the films in question be shown?
Anywhere: this would apply to films shown in Hoff or at events in Residence Halls.
Would these films be advertised?
If the person hosting the event wants to advertise, they must do it within the normal perimeters of Resident Life.
Do you think there will be a definition on “obscene”?
So far, there isn’t one, so we’re trying to be proactive in the event that there is a definition of obscene.
Keeping this decision to choose to show these movies in student power is important. It shouldn’t be deferred to the Board of Regents.
This is giving students the choice to see or not see a movie, no one is choosing for us what we can’t see.
This takes away a large part of our programming; residents should be able to get together and have a good time without having to find the educational component in the Office or a horror movie on Halloween.
This will take away from the establishment of community.
This resolution isn’t condoning the showing of pornography.
We are all adults. We can choose for ourselves.
This resolution supports that none of the current policy or practices will change.
It broadcasts the university in a bad light, especially if there is obscene signage.
We are opening ourselves to be criticized about every movie we show.
Even if this doesn’t mean we condone obscene movies, people still could get that impression.
This resolution passed 39:0:0
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Title: A Resolution to Move the Mixed Gendered Housing Program out of the Pilot Phase and into a Full Program under the Department of Resident Life
The RHA expresses its support of the Mixed Gendered Housing Program to the DRL through ReLATe and express its interest in being further involved in any decision needing to be made as the transition takes place.
Will moving this to permanent status allow this to expand to other residence halls?
Will moving it to a permanent status allow the program to expand within Commons and Courtyards?
Can you expand upon “data from participants that supports the success of the pilot program”
The Department of Resident Life has conducted surveys, mixers, and questionnaires in order to collect feedback from participants, all of which was positive
What were the goals of the program?
The purpose of this program was to allow friends of different genders to live together in one apartment
What is the application like?
The application includes your name and the names of the people you want to live with and why you want to live with them
The application is almost the same as the regular application to live in Commons/Courtyards
Have they had anyone try to move out halfway during the year because of unsatisfactory circumstances?
No, the only issues they have had so far was with one person choosing to study abroad for a semester
Why 64 spots?
DRL had to limit the number of apartments pulled out of open leasing
It is hard to find open apartments in Commons/Courtyards
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
We on the RHA Exec Board was wondering if YOU knew who your hall council was.
Did you know we’ve already had our FIRST Senate Meeting and YOU could’ve been there? [Read up on it here: www.diamondbackonline.com search RHA]
If you don’t know who we are or what we do, we can’t best advocate for you!
Your hall council is comprised of a president, a couple of vice-presidents, and two or more senators that work to put together programs for your hall or area and vote on your behalf in the RHA Senate.
Your hall/area council president is your hall/area visionary and makes sure your hall council functions efficiently and is doing what it can for you.
Your Vice Presidents are charged with a certain area of concentration, like the Vice President of Communication should be making sure you know what’s going on as far as events and important votes; your Vice President of Community Development may take the lead on putting together the event; and your Vice President of Sustainability is in charge of looking for new ways to keep the RHA and your hall/area sustainable. Some councils have other Vice Presidents like the Vice Presidents of Finance position.
Your Senators are at a Senate meeting every other Tuesday night, voting on whether to support or oppose campus policy that more than likely will affect you! Last Tuesday it was Mixed Gendered Housing in the Commons and Courtyards apartment, next meeting it could be (and SHOULD BE) something that YOU care about.
Some halls or areas might have floor reps which make it easier to get information to you and FROM you which is a very important aspect of what we do!
So you don’t know your council? It’s time you did! Here are your representatives to the RHA for the 2009 – 2010 school year.
To contact anyone, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!
RHA Overall Executive Board
Josef Mensah, President
Travis Durepo, Vice President
Julie Hudnet, Administrative Officer
Richard Solaski, Finance Officer
Uneeb Qureshi, Chief Information Officer
Ellen Farr, Student Groups Liaison
Samantha Lengyel, Public Relations and Outreach Officer
Mitchell Amoros, National Communications and Special Events Chairperson
Senator At-Large Sean Collins
Senator At-Large Stanton Hudja
Senator At-Large James Galatola
Senator At-Large Justin Hudnet
Belair-Cambridge-Chestertown (BCC) Area Council
President Afareen Rezvani
Vice President of Programming Sam Lewis
Vice President of Communications Jillian Buchheim
Vice President of Membership Leslie Mok
Vice President of Finance Yasmin Amiri
Vice President Sustainability Liz Blankenhorn
Senator Damien Pinkett
Senator Marcela Lima
Advisor Ashlei Tobin-Robertson
Centreville Hall Council
President Chelsea Yin
Vice President of Communications & Finance Kevin Ludwig
Vice President of Programming and Community Development Guergana Stoytcheva
Vice President of Public Relations Nick Duong
Vice President of Sustainability Christopher Mertens
Senator Li min Kuan
Senator Sasha Azar
Advisor Danielle Nied
Commons Area Council
President Anna Leary
Vice President of Communications Scott Roberts
Vice President of Finance Kristen Peterson
Senator Debbie Kobrin
Senator Casey Anis
Senator Lauren Shipton
Senator Kiara Carty
Senator Yoni Levy
[Senator Position Open]
[Senator Position Open]
Advisor Stella Okeke
Courtyards Area Council
President Bridget Gallagher
Vice President of Communication Courtney Buchanan
Senator Josh Griner
[Senator Position Open]
CA Liaison Michael Currie
Advisor Victor Lee
Cumberland Hall Council
President Catherine Williams
Vice President of Communication Carlos Walmsley
Vice President of Sustainability Drew Needham
Senator Laith Abu-Taleb
Senator April Vesely
Advisor Joshua Beeson
Denton Hall Council
President Manas Kulkarni
Vice President of Administration Emily Kleiman
Vice President of Community Development Michael Ravitch
Vice President of Finance Pratik Dixit
Vice President of Publicity and Out-reach Elizabeth McLellan
Senator Mohammad Zia
Senator Rachel Kenigsberg
Advisor Cory Hibbetts
E-mail Denton Hall Council at Advice.Denton@gmail.com
Easton Hall Council
President Michelle Ferrare
Vice President for Communication Matthew McKay
Vice President for Community Development and Programming Allison Palmadesso
Vice President of Sustainability Devun Pahwa
Senator Deep Mahapatra
[Senator Position Open]
Advisor Kevin Pitts
Elkton Hall Council
President Matthew Breitenother
Vice President of Communication Christian Gragasin
Vice President of Community Development Shakia Pennix
Senator Mike Lovaas
Senator Lance Haohan
Advisor Lisa Alexander
Ellicott Hall Council
President Crystal Wang
Vice President Communication Nikko Khuc
Vice President of Community Development Seth Backer
Vice President of Sustainability Nima Sarfaraz
Senator Justin Shugarman
Senator Jonathan Hoffman
Advisor Erin Shlegel
Hagerstown Hall Council
President Nina Rosenberg
Vice President of Communications Joan So
Vice President of Sustainability Akshay Gandhi
Senator Kayode Ogunsola
Senator Avishek Saha
Advisor Tiffany Gaines
La Plata Hall Council
President Martina Beshai
Vice President of Communications Shalesha Lake
Vice President of Finance Chul Kwon
Vice President of Sustainability Scott Cypen
Senator MacKenzie Campbell
Senator Brad Scott
Floor Representative Brendan Fennessy
Advisor Jeanni Simpson
Leanordtown Area Council
President Erika Roberge
Vice President of Communications Marc Karlinsky
Vice President of Community Development Kobena Waters
Senator Samantha Creange
Senator Amber Travis
Advisor Kelly Tavenner
North Hill Area Council (NHAC)
President Monique Robinson
Vice President for Communications Joshua Goldstein
Vice President for Community Development Janina Vaitkus
Vice President of Sustainability Eric Dai
Senator Jonathan Katz
Senator Corie Stretton
Senator Zohara Barth
Senator Nicolaus Krug
Advisor Mawine Diggs
South Hill Area Council (SHAC)
President Joshua Finifter
Vice President of Advocacy Roshan Shah
Vice President of Communication Benjamin Magno
Vice President of Finance John Ford
Vice President of Sustainability Amy Schwarzl
Senator Kathleen Hartinger
Senator Eric Harvey
Senator Matheos Yirga
Senator Laura Murphy
Senator Kerin Miller
Advisors Angie Major and O’Juan Edwards
Here’s to a great year everybody!
Josef Mensah, RHA President
*appointed by the RHA Vice President to represent entire campus.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I'm sitting here with Administrative Officer Julie Hudnet at the North Hill Check in desk (Queen Anne) and we're excited to be meeting so many of our new peers.
RHA representatives are all over campus today and tomorrow. If you any questions about campus or campus-living, don't hesitate to ask us. We'll try and point you in the right direction. Other than that, if you want to get plugged in, Make Connections, Build your resume, and make a difference, ask us about how to do that within the RHA this year.
Alright, back to check in!
Friday, August 21, 2009
The RHA Executive Board has been back since last Tuesday setting specific goals for the year in order for YOU to BE INVOLVED! Add us on Facebook (Maryland Residence Hall Assoc) . It'll keep you aware of all the programs in your Hall/Area Council and the policy being considered in the RHA Senate. whether by running for an RHA Position or knowing what is happening all around campus from programs to the policy we're considering.
It's been so fun hanging with the Executive Board. We're becoming great teammates and even greater friends. Going into my fourth year in RHA, I've made connections with such a wide variety of people I would not have been able to meet or work with elsewhere. This year is no different.
I hope to meet YOU too! The RHA Execs and some students from your hall or area will be sitting at tables during move-in. Don't forget to stop by and say hi before getting your keys. Yes, this means EVERYBODY ! We want to know the people we'll be representing, and the students interested in representing others as the VOICE for on-campus students.
You and your new roommates, floormates, and friends should come bust a move at the RHA/NRO Dance on Friday night at 9:00pm in the Student Union Grand Ballroom.
Josef K. Mensah
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Thurs and Fri Aug 27 and 28
RHA representatives at all move-in locations! Stop by and say hi before/after getting your keys!
Friday August 28
Party the night away with new residents and the RHA Execs
Grand Ballroom, Stamp Student Union
Wednesday September 9
RHA Open House
Want to get involved as a resident student on campus? Come learn about RHA Elections and the open leadership positions open in your hall or area council.
Cambridge Community Center
Wednesday and Thursday September 16 and 17
Vote for the students that will be your VOICE to the RHA and campus administration
Online at: www.marylandrha.com
Tuesday September 29
RHA Senate Meeting
The first senate meeting of the academic year. let your VOICE be heard!
Benjamin Banneker Room, Stamp Student Union
Josef Mensah, President
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I hope the summer has started off nicely for all of you! I've personally been taking a summer class which ends soon and is only Mon, Tues, and Wed.
Your RHA Execs have been busy preparing for Fall. Travis, your VP, and I just met with Courtyards Community Council. We spoke about officially including Courtyards in the RHA and giving them Senate representation. I think it'll be a win-win situation for both the RHA Senate and Courtyards but more on our part since we'll be getting a perspective that has often been overlooked.
The other execs are working hard too. We'll be able to give you a full executive report after July 12! Should be fun. We'll keep you posted.
Keep enjoying the summer; it's already July!
Josef K. Mensah
Saturday, May 23, 2009
RHA just celebrated the ten year anniversary of the constitution's ratification. May 12, 2009 during the RHA/NRHH Year End Reception, every president from the past ten years returned to share experiences and word of wisdom for the future.
Standing on the firm foundation afforded to us by the RHA members of the last decade, we are ready to A.C.T.
We're ready to be Accountable to the students we represent; build the greater campus Community by forging better relationships with other student representative bodies, taking advantage of the priority influence we have over residential campus issues, and expanding our reach of influence; and we are ready with Teamwork. We'll work together, create and sustain greater appreciation of our Hall and Area Councils, become great friends and associates, and have fun all the way.
Let me introduce you to your Executive Board for the 2009 - 2010 academic year.
Vice President- Travis Durepo
Administrative Officer- Julie Hudnet
Finance Officer- Richard Solaski
Chief Information Officer - Uneeb Qureshi
Student Groups Liaison- Ellie Farr
Public Relations and Outreach- Debbie Kobrin
National Communications Chair- Mitchell Amoros
And I, Josef Mensah, will serve as your President.
If you are an incoming freshman resident or a returning student looking to flex your leadership guns, build character, gain friendships, and get INVOLVED the Residence Hall Association is the place for you. Check out our website (www.marylandrha.com) and/or e-mail us at email@example.com. We're your voice, all summer and school year long!
Enjoy the summer!
Josef K. Mensah, President