The Residence Halls Association is in the process of putting a bid in to host the 2013 the National Association of College and University Residence Halls conference.
The 100-page proposal, laying out the details of conference activities, opening and closing ceremonies, housing, dining, a philanthropy project and social activities requires almost a full semester of planning and pursuing support from the school.
A four-day event, the NACURH conference is an opportunity for its 450-plus members from every state in the United States and 10 different countries to join together and share ideas and show off the successes of each school’s RHA. Some schools hail from far away corners of the globe such as Qatar and Australia. Each school that attends the conference sends 10 representatives to join in the festivities and vote on national policy.
“It's lots of networking and meeting new people and learning new things that people can take back to their own universities,” RHA National Communications Coordinator Megan Cahill said.
The 2012 NACURH conference will take place at the University of Colorado-Boulder from June 1 to 4. This is where RHA will present its bid to the National Board of Directors of NACURH to host the 2013 conference at the Hearnes Center.
RHA Speaker of Congress Kathy Rudd stressed the importance of bringing the conference to Columbia.
“Mizzou was one of the four founders of NACURH, along with Iowa State University, University of Colorado and University of Northern Iowa in 1954, and we’ve never hosted the national conference, only regional conferences," Rudd said.
Rudd said she believes there is a strong chance of MU being accepted to host the 2013 conference.
“Typically two or three schools bid every year, and some schools fall short because they don’t have the support of the campus or Residential Life," she said. "We have both the school’s support and support from the Division of Student Affairs."
Hosting the national conference is also a point of pride for RHA.
“We have a lot that we can offer to delegates, and we want to show it off,” said Rudd. “RHA is very proud of our residence halls and dining services. We want to prove ourselves to other RHA representatives.”
“We want to bring people here to show them how amazing our school is,” she said. “We want to show off Mizzou to everyone and we're all confident that we can successfully host an amazing conference.”
If RHA brings the NACURH annual conference to Columbia, one activity members hope to include is a project involving the Buddy Pack program. The program is a service that provides food for elementary-age students whose only source of nutritious meals comes from free and reduced breakfast and lunch at school and do not always have access to food on the weekends.
Other possible activities to be featured during the conference include a bounce house, a hypnotist show and arts and crafts to keep the representatives entertained.
If awarded the conference, all students, not just RHA representatives, can get involved. Students can apply to be committee chairperson or volunteer during the conference, as RHA needs many people for both positions.
“Students who attend the conference will learn new ways to better their residence halls at their own universities,” Cahill said.