Gannon University’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) attended the Central Atlantic Affiliation of College and University Residence Halls (CAACURH) conference from Nov. 3-5 in Baltimore. The conference was hosted by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
According to Summer Young, a junior health care management major and RHA president, CAACURH is a leadership conference that allows RHA members from schools across the region to let their opinions be heard.
Alex Stauff, a sophomore physician assistant major and RHA director of awards and communications, said that the conference created a way for all RHA members from the region to get together and discuss events and ideas from other residence halls.
Stauff said that Gannon’s RHA participates in the conference in order to draw ideas and inspiration from other schools. They also use the new ideas to improve the atmosphere of residence halls on campus.
Young said that the conference allows attendees to develop personal leadership skills that can then relate back to their positions within the organization.
Hayley Woebse, a junior nursing major and national communications coordinator of RHA, said that RHA also attends the CAACURH conference to discuss any issues that may have been discovered. They also use the time to talk about future programs that will take place on their respective campuses.
Woebse has been attending the conference for three years. She has been participating in CAACURH since the first time Gannon’s RHA attended the event in 2015.
Woebse said that she liked participating in the conference because of the opportunities she had to improve her work as the national communications coordinator.
“I chose to participate because I love what my position does,” she said.
“My position is super involved with anything dealing with conferences, whether they are regional or national.”
Stauff said she enjoyed her experience at the conference.
“I personally chose to participate because I love traveling, and conferences are a fun opportunity to meet new people while also bonding with your own group,” she said.
Young said that the conference this year allowed her to appreciate CACURH more so than she did previously. The experience also showed her that RHA is capable of many larger things.
Woebse said the 2017 conference was the most enjoyable of the three she has attended. She said she was able to share her excitement with other RHA members.
Stauff said she was inspired by her experiences during the conference.
“The most memorable part of the trip was hearing Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, who marched with Dr. King and advised President Obama, deliver the opening speech,” she said.
“As president of UMBC, he has transformed the school by bringing diversity, inclusion and academic excellence to the forefront. He is an affable, engaging speaker and a truly incredible man.”
Young said that students who wish to join RHA and have the experiences that go along with the organization should go for it.
“You get to advocate for the students and create community through leadership and programming,” she said.
“It allows you to be involved and grow as a person.”
Stauff said being a member of RHA gives students the chance to be the voice for those who live in campus housing.