National Residence Hall Honorary unites student leaders

Rachel Stevenson

The National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) inducted 14 new members into the Kent State Black Squirrel chapter during its fall initiation ceremony on Sunday.

Steven Yurek, vice president of recruitment and retention for NRHH, said the organization brings leadership skills to the top 1 percent of student leaders living in the residence halls, all while helping them feel more connected to the university.

“It helps you to create that home away from home,” Yurek said. “We all look for that place where we feel important, and we feel special and have that connection.”

For Yurek, NRHH has been a means of coming out of his comfort zone, developing as a leader and meeting other students.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to be a part of since I came into school freshman year,” Yurek said. “For me, I found my place at Kent State through NRHH.”

Service and recognition are at the forefront of the organization’s mission, and Chapter President Marisa Stephens said NRHH is constantly working to improve campus life and unite students of diverse backgrounds.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet people coming from different backgrounds and work with them toward the same goal of making (campus) more inclusive,” Stephens said. “It’s a really great way to make connections (because) you’re meeting people you might not have met otherwise.”

The organization hosts several local volunteer opportunities with senior centers located in Ravenna, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Hattie Larlham, in addition to giving monthly recognition to leaders in the residence halls.

Yurek said NRHH also sponsors an end of the year celebration where faculty, staff and students in the residence halls are recognized for the difference they make in the Kent State community.

Stephens said volunteer and recognition opportunities like these shape the future of NRHH members.

“I think NRHH just sets the tone for how people want to live the rest of their lives, and from there, they are just super successful,” she said.

Stephens said she hopes to see the organization provide new inductees an opportunity to grow as leaders and recognize the impact they have on the lives of others and the Kent State community.

“I hope this organization can give them a voice and give them a path to follow through their college career,” Stephens said. “I also hope it has an impact on them that what they’re doing doesn’t go unnoticed.”

However, Yurek said the opportunity for growth through NRHH is reliant on what new inductees invest into the organization.

“It’s really up to the members to decide how they grow and develop,” he said. “I want them to make it their own and create new memories from it, at the end of the day.”

Rachel Stevenson is the residence services reporter, contact her at [email protected].