RHA to bid for November 2013 NACURH conference

The regional conference brings together roughly 300 students from the Midwest and Canada to share ideas about residential living.

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The Residence Halls Association is no longer bidding for the 2013 National Association of College and University Residence Halls Conference.

“NACURH is considered to be the largest student run organization in the world,” its website states. “It brings together over 400 schools from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Qatar.”

RHA President Chris Rucker said the organization dropped its bid because it could not reserve the facilities needed to host the conference. The Hearnes Center Fieldhouse was already booked years in advance, making it difficult for RHA to find a suitable reservation date.

The conference, which brings together residence hall representatives from all over the U.S. and abroad, is an annual summer event meant to explore ideas and suggest improvements for living in residence halls.

Instead of bidding for the national conference, MU’s RHA has decided to bid on a smaller conference, the 2013 Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls Conference, which is held every November. The MU lasted hosted this conference in 1953.

“This will definitely help our bid,” Rucker said.

Rucker also said MU has a few other advantages over competing schools.

“Of the voting schools that choose where the conference goes, Missouri has the most votes,” he said. “We also have close ties with Missouri State, who hosted the conference recently, so we’ve been working with them to see what made them successful.”

MACURH is composed of 56 schools from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Nunavut.

Formed in 1954 by MU, Iowa State University, University of Colorado and University of Northern Iowa, MACURH was originally called the Midwest Dormitory Conference. In 1955 the schools renamed it the Association of College and University Residence Halls. Then in 1961 they added the word “National,” giving it its current name. It then created its regional affiliations, Rucker said.

Because RHA has already made progress with its NACURH bid, the organization will simply make adjustments to the current application to make it applicable to the MACURH conference, Rucker said.

RHA will present its bid at the 2012 MACURH conference at University of Nebraska-Kearney this November. The schools attending the conference will then vote after hearing every bid and the winner will be announced at the end of the conference weekend. The conference does not cost the hosting university at all, Rucker said.

National Communications Coordinator Megan Cahill said because MACURH is a much smaller conference than NACURH, the availability of space on campus is not an issue.

“There are usually around 300 people that come to this,” she said. “Also, everyone stays at hotels, since it is during the fall, so we don’t need residence halls. Usually we’ll use one building such as Arts and Science or Strickland for the weekend and that’s it.”

Although the main focus of RHA is bidding for 2013 MACURH, the organization has also discussed bidding for the 2014 NACURH Conference or even starting a Missouri Regional Conference. The No Frills Conference, a regional yearly meeting that strictly deals with financial corporate business, was also discussed as a possibility for MU, Cahill said.

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