Residence halls choose leaders

Residence Hall Association elections were held Monday and Tuesday to hall councils.

Residence hall councils include a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and two RHA representatives. Thurston Hall has three RHA representatives, and residence halls on the Mount Vernon campus have one RHA representative each.

A run-off election was needed to decide The Schenley’s president.

Me and Suzanne (Daly) received 23 votes each and the other candidate received 12, said sophomore Schenley resident Achal Singh, who was elected hall president after the run-off.

Singh said her role as president of The Schenley’s hall council is important because the building is new to GW students.

It feels good to win the election, he said. This is the first year The Schenley is a dorm, so there’s a lot of stuff that needs to be done like writing the hall constitution.

Vania Smith, a community director at the Community Living and Learning Center, said RHA representatives and the president of each residence hall attend weekly RHA meetings Monday nights at 9 p.m.

The guidance of CLLC and the Hall Council Training Committee (combined) with the RHA executive board helps to plan the process of the elections, the voting process and campaigning rules, said Tara Woolfson, chair of the Hall Council Committee and a community director living in Strong Hall

Woolfson said students have different reasons for running for hall council.

Freshmen are usually the most motivated because running for hall council is a grass-roots way for freshmen to become active in college, she said. More students run for hall council in Thurston Hall and HOVA, she said.

Woolfson said upperclassmen run for a position to see how things work and keep the positive things and suggest changes. There was a larger turnout for positions this year than recent years, she said.

I decided to run (for Fulbright Hall’s vice president position) because I was on hall council last year in Thurston and it got me more involved, sophomore Shannon Nanzer said. It takes a lot more of an effort in college than in high school to get involved because in high school, things are just handed out.

Smith said presidents and RHA representatives discuss housing, campus events, funding for hall council, campus security and other issues during their meetings. Student organizations and programming may request funding during the RHA meetings and the elected students vote on the funding requests.

The hall council meets twice a week to address issues in the various residence halls. Discussions at the meetings range from environmental issues to paint repairs. Smith said meetings are important because they serve as the voice of students on policy issues and (GW’s) overall quality of life.

Nanzer agreed.

I don’t know much Fulbright’s activities and programs, she said. It gets harder as students get older because they become more concerned with schoolwork and their personal lives.

-Kate Stepan contributed to this report.

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