Do you ever just wonder what the discussion was like sitting around the table in 1954? Maybe those 4 schools weren’t necessarily sitting around a table, but what those institutions devised, has helped shape so many student leaders today. Residence Hall Association, or your institutions equivalent, is what becomes affiliated with NACURH. Then, in 1964, NACURH had found itself in financial difficulties, and through some research the director at the time, found that
NACURH needed to be doing more service, so during the annual conference in Denver, CO, NRHH was created.
These two organizations were created to help students who lived in the residence halls grow and achieve leadership skills. So, how come, it is so gosh darn difficult for these two organizations to have a symbiotic relationship on our campuses? It seems like, often times, that these two organizations run perpendicular, and hit and miss each other instead of joining together and building each other up.
This is not only happening to us in the Midwest, NACURH recently held a webinar to discuss this. Last year, a task force was created in the Midwest to discuss how to better build the relationship between campuses RHA’s and NRHH’s. Here is what the task force came up with:
Have an NRHH representative at RHA meetings and visa versa
Plan and execute events together that make sense to be planned together
Partner in developing and implementing a leadership workshop in the fall for new student’s leaders
Collaborate on creating goals and a common purpose for both organizations
Recognize OTM winners at RHA meetings
Include NRHH members in the recruitment of conferences
While there could be several more ways, it seems that it should be simple and easy to build that relationship. So, again, what holds that relationship back? Is it the student leaders in the organizations? Is it the advisors? Maybe the departments administration?
I think it is important to take a step back at this point and look at how these two organizations are the same and what their goals are. Both organizations are there to help student leaders develop and grow in their residence halls and on their campus. Both organizations have similar goals but different focuses. Every institutions structures are different with how RHA and NRHH functions, but is there a way that the two organizations could function more as they were meant to be, sister organizations? Could your RHA and NRHH join together to do a service or recognition project? Could the two executive boards join together to collaborate on a program? What is stopping them? What is stopping you?