RHA gives students at Mount Vernon a say

Students living on the Mount Vernon campus will have five votes this year on RHA matters, RHA President Alan Elias said Tuesday.

Gearing up for another year of programming and advocating on behalf of on-campus GW students, Elias said he is excited about having Mount Vernon as part of RHA.

“They can be a part of RHA, and I definitely want them to be,” he said.

Elias said there is a great emphasis on hall councils this year, and he hopes there will be more programming in individual residence halls.

“It’s a good way to get involved,” he said.

RHA’s role on campus is to advocate on behalf of GW students to the administration for housing issues, he said. Last year, the RHA lobbied for the completion of Ethernet wiring in residence halls, Elias said. RHA takes on housing issues by working with the Community Living and Learning Center, he said.

“We work together very well,” he said. “There’s very good open communication this year.”

Elias said RHA acts as a liaison between students and administrators. He said he hopes to see the group expanded this year.

“I like to say we’re the student government for the residence halls,” he said.

Elias said he is especially excited about the Hall on Virginia Avenue. Last year, Elias said he ran for a seat on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and saw both sides of the Foggy Bottom community. He said HOVA allows the GW community to show that GW students are, in fact, responsible.

“This is a chance for us to forge good ties with the community,” he said.

The best way for freshmen to get involved with RHA is through their own residence halls, Elias said. GW students can help their residence hall and assist in the planning of programming. When Elias was president of New Hall last year, he went pumpkin picking and to a Washington Capitals game with his hall, he said.

Another way freshmen can get involved in RHA is by coming to the weekly Monday 9 p.m. meetings, which begin Sept. 13, Elias said.

He said in terms of general RHA programming, he hopes to see the annual Suitcase Party expanded. He also said he wants to see the RHA sponsor a plant sale, which it had done a couple of years ago.

In addition, Elias said, RHA is getting involved in Family Weekend.

“All the hall councils will have a breakfast or a brunch,” he said.

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