By Elise Coby
Student Government Association is introducing a new leadership opportunity for students to be a part of the Residential Student Council (RSC) that will launch this semester.
SGA President Sam Carr discussed the measures with hopes to further student involvement across campus.
“Student engagement is a struggle for HPU students,” Carr said. “One of our initiatives in SGA is to increase student engagement across campus, and we feel the best way to jump start that is through these councils. With COVID affecting our students’ daily lives, we hope this program will provide a sense of home, belonging and community.”
SGA Executive Vice President Emmy Beck-Aden discussed the opportunities and involvement with the council.
“The RSC offers opportunities to be creative with event planning, marketing and more,” Beck-Aden said. “Regardless of a student’s major or interest, they can collaborate with their officers to figure out what events their community members would like, whether it’s an outdoor movie night, an ice cream sundae bar or a service project for a local nonprofit. Each of the officer positions has different focuses, but everyone comes together to make their events and activities happen for their hall.”
According to Carr and Beck-Aden, the leadership opportunity is a highly rewarding leadership experience with a medium commitment requirement.
“This is a great way for students to get involved,” Carr said. “Not many people can say they served as the president of their dorm. This is also a great way to prepare any major for their future, planning events, hosting service opportunities and addressing housing issues that may arise.”
“The RSC is a way for students to be leaders right where they live,” Beck-Aden said. “The residents holding these positions will have the platform to create the change they want to see, while having a strong support system behind them, from their Resident Assistant or Assistant Resident Director, SGA leadership and fellow residents.”
Carr also commented on the leadership roles students will have and how they can use those roles to further engage the community.
“We understand that issues arise in communities, and this is the way you can improve your community,” Carr said. “We realized that in SGA our resident halls have not had representation, and now that will happen. Every community will have a representing senator to make their concerns and voices heard. Each community will have roughly $2,500 to use on events and service opportunities. Each year, the communities must come together and plan a service and social event for the whole campus which will serve as a way for all students to come closer and increase student engagement.”
The council position allows students to interact and immerse themselves in the community with various groups of people. Additionally, the resurfacing of the RSC provides a new experience for current students. It was previously thought to be a thing of the past.
“I’m excited to see how our elected officers for each of the residential communities on campus will make the role their own,” Beck-Aden said. “The last time HPU had hall councils was before any of us were students, so there is so much room for creativity within each of the positions. Students should consider joining the RSC, either this semester or in future semesters, because it will be a fun, unique experience to build community with other groups of people. Most of our students are residential, so living on campus is definitely a big part of the college experience for many at HPU. The RSC’s job, in collaboration with SGA, is to ensure that everyone feels like HPU is truly their home.”
As part of the position, an RSC officer will be responsible for creating events for the various communities they oversee. According to Carr, communities have flexibility and autonomy when tailoring events.
“Centennial Square may choose to hold a pool party with food trucks,” said Carr, detailing communities’ abilities to plan as they please. “Finch, Millis or Wilson Hall may want to have a haunted house. The Women’s Complex may want to promote a service project for Open Door Ministries.”
SGA and the RSC will also have a campus-wide event that will be available to all students this semester. Beck-Aden advises students to be expecting more information and to attend the events in their communities.
Students interested in applying for an RSC position are encouraged to contact Beck-Aden and Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.