To debunk a common misconception, Resident Assistants (RAs) and the Residence Hall Association (RHA) are not the same. The latter is a student-based organization that seeks to “improve the quality of life on campus,” according to their page on The Path.
The organization is divided into two categories: advocacy and programming. President Rouguie Camara (‘23) handles the advocacy side, which focuses on students’ concerns.
“My role as president of RHA is to be one of the voices for the student body here on campus,” she said. “Anything the student body brings to RHA in terms of the residential hall or campus life in general, I try to connect to the people that can work with RHA to get it done.”
A new project is the Residence Hall Amenities Catalog, which details all amenities for each residence hall. General board members representing unique residence halls will inspect their respective buildings to catalog what each needs.
One main concern this semester for both the RHA and students is the laundry machine crisis. Some of the upperclassmen suites have had limited resources for laundry services, such as having only one washer and dryer for the entire building. RHA has been collaborating with Stephanie McCormick of Facilities to tackle this issue.
However, RHA already has a lot on its plate this semester. Some of Camara’s goals that are currently in the works include increasing lights on campus and fixing the water filtration stations.
A project Vice President Robert Angarone (‘24) said he wants to undertake as part of RHA is to get new furniture for hall lounges, as well as updating appliances to make sure they are safe for use.
“We want more furniture to make residents feel comfortable and like home,” he said. “We want to make this like their second home.”
Full of ideas, Angarone handles the programming side.
“We try to do events to promote community building and leadership,” Angarone said. “[We’re] just trying to bring the resident halls back together.”
Camara and Angarone’s campaign won the election for RHA’s presidential board in January, and they plan to serve for the rest of the calendar year. While this is Angarone’s first year in the position, Camara has been president for two academic school years.
As for the future, Angarone said he wants to emphasize communication and “bring RHA back into prominence [to] make it easier for everyone.”
He also prioritizes organization, and wants to promote “better accessibility to resources between administration and the student body as well as having a record of the resources we already have versus the resources we need to have.”
Camara agrees. “There are a number of people on campus with extremely good ideas to help us better build community on campus and also improve some of the residential halls,” she said. “RHA wants to connect to these people so we are getting active feedback from them and to give them a voice.”
Hopefully, this includes more than one laundry unit for McClintock and Hurst Halls.
Those interested in joining the RHA Executive or General Boards can attend any of their general meetings on Thursdays, which are open to the public in EC 145.