Newly elected RHA board excited for future of UMD resident life

By Suzi Marsh

The University of Maryland’s Residence Hall Association’s May 23 executive board election has its new electees talking about their progressive goals for next semester and years to come.

The incoming executive board and Senate were both announced at RHA’s last meeting of the semester.

They include:

  1. Cana Curtis, freshman criminal justice and math major, will take the role of student groups and organizations liaison.
  2. Valerie Kologrivov, sophomore government and politics major, will serve as national communications coordinator.
  3. Bryan Gallion, sophomore journalism major, will be chief information officer
  4. junior information systems and marketing major Helen Liu will be public relations and outreach officer.
  5. Celeste Corona, freshman environmental science and policy and government and politics major, will be the finance and philanthropy officer.
  6. Annie Bao, freshman computer science major, will be administrative officer.

The start of the semester “is usually a bit more slow,” re-elected Vice President Tzvi Glazer admits, but with all the plans RHA has for the future of residence life, Glazer predicts it will be easy to get a fast start.

A new RHA installation that will require immediate attention next semester is the “dry” residence hall. Housed in North Hill’s Carroll Hall, this is the RHA’s first experiment with having a building be completely free of drugs and alcohol.

While university policy states that students are not allowed to keep these substances in their rooms regardless, Glazer says Carroll Hall residents will “take an extra pledge” to ensure their rooms are substance-free — even students over the age of 21.

RHA also works closely with the Department of Transportation Services, and hopes to make some headway on projects regarding campus parking and Metro access.

One of Glazer’s short-term goals is to start the process of building mini-garages around campus in an attempt to “mitigate the parking problem.” Because the university cannot provide copious amounts of parking space to the wide net of students who are eager to bring their car, Glazer believes the installation of mini garages will be a sound compromise.

After discussing a “free Metro access” proposal this semester, Glazer also predicts RHA will focus their attention towards making this a reality, even though students will not benefit from it this coming year.

The RHA doesn’t only deal with logistics, though. The executive board is committed to enhancing students’ resident life experience, and plans to continue doing so by hosting a wide variety of events and programming sessions. These events include annual block parties, service opportunities and campus safety programming.

Providing residents with these activities, Glazer said, has been “a tradition since long before I’ve been coming here.”

The purpose of these events is to promote bonding and resident education, and the various programs (especially community carnivals) are the “highlight of the year,” Glazer said.

But Elkton Hall Resident Assistant Jordan Hawkins thinks that while tradition is a critical part of the work RHA does, the quality of work has improved drastically during his time here and has yielded a broader range of results. The junior English major and three-year Elkton Hall resident can attribute that to a combination of “resident support and staff cohesion,” as it has “gotten a lot better over time.”

Freshman kinesiology major Kayla Beovich appreciates the “friendly” tone and “personable” atmosphere the RAs and CAs have created in her Hagerstown Hall dorm on north campus.

“I’ve noticed that when I walk into my dorm the person at the front desk says hi to me,” Beovich said, adding that she has faith that next year’s RHA board will continue that legacy.

Featured image by Suzi Marsh.

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