Residence Halls recognized for impacting U students’ community

Student housing leaders were recognized for making the U dorms having a positive impact on the U community as a whole.

During Presidents Day weekend, members of the Residence Halls Association attended an intermountain region business meeting in Montana, where they were recognized for their commitment and contributions to the U’s residence halls and the U.

“We have an active and productive body living on this campus,” said Nicola Saliendra, vice president of the RHA. “One that is having a significant impact on its community.”

Members of RHA presented five award bids and won four awards and regional nominations for the national conference in May.

“Receiving these awards is a huge deal because there are between 25 and 30 schools in the intermountain region and each region, of the eight, is only allowed one nominee per category to send to the national level,” said Melissa Prentice, national communications coordinator for RHA.

Receiving the Commitment to Diversity award is most significant.

“This award recognizes the entire university’s dedication to diversity through student initiated programs,” said Jaymes Myers, president of RHA.

“The commitment to diversity bid recognizes student initiated programming with a focus on diversity and the impact those programs and initiatives have had on the student body,” he said.

This recognition also helps with the recruitment of students and professionals to the U. It also empowers other students to get involved and make an impact on their community,” said Myers.

It also helps redefine the campus.

“This kind of recognition is significant,” Myers said. “Recognition of students living in the residence halls and activities in the residence halls proves that the U is more than a commuter campus.”

Prentice agreed.

“We’re more than just students who live on campus, we are building a community,” she said.

And while the awards don’t affect the students living in the halls directly, “the average student does notice when things are running better and when things are happening,” Saliendra said.

These awards show that students can have a significant impact on their community.

“By receiving this recognition for the U on a regional and national level, Utah becomes a place that both in-state and out-of-state students want to be a part of,” Saliendra said. “[So] we may put on programs that some don’t see, but the hope is that in 10 years what we started here will allow our future goals to be met-increasing the amount of students on campus, living in the halls specifically, and more people wanting to get involved.”

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