Promoting unity

Christina Stavale

Kent Interhall Council serves student body

Traci Sanders, Kent Interhall Council President and senior education major, and Cassie McClelleand, freshman nursing major and head of Programming and Development, preside over a Kent Interhall Council meeting last week. Members are encouraged to attend

Credit: John Proppe

For senior Traci Sanders, college is much more than getting to class and doing homework.

As president of Kent Interhall Council, Sanders is responsible for uniting the 35 residence halls on campus.

“It is the organization that oversees Hall Council and provides programming for all residence halls,” Sanders said.

Kent Interhall Council is made up of nine dedicated board members and three advisers who work to make a difference in residence hall life.

“Hall Council is an organization that gives students a leadership opportunity, adds programs to the hall to make it a better place to be, and controls the funding,” said Daniel Shonk, residence hall director of Allyn Hall and Clark Hall.

Hall Council receives its funding directly from residence hall students. Sixteen dollars of each room fee goes to Hall Council, but according to Sanders, “it goes right back to the residents.”

However, many students are unaware of all that goes on in their own residence hall.

“Students are so busy trying to get involved on campus that they forget to look right beneath their nose,” Sanders said. “They don’t realize that they actually can change things.”

In the past, hall councils have worked hard to promote change and improve the quality of life for all residents. They have made small changes, such as getting ping-pong tables and big screen television sets for the hall lounges, and significant changes such as moving the designated smoking areas on campus.

Hall councils and Kent Interhall Council also work to provide entertainment for students. For example, Kent Interhall Council organizes events such as Little Sibs Weekend for all students on campus, while hall councils often sponsor social events such as dances or holiday dinners for the residents.

There are many opportunities for leadership in hall councils. During the first few weeks of classes, each hall council elects board members including a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and various other positions, depending on the residence hall.

Beth Chambers, residence hall director of the First Year Experience lower plaza, believes that Hall Council is an excellent way for freshmen to get involved on campus.

“In both of the First Year Experience hall councils, there are no upperclassmen to lead the way, so it forces the freshmen to take charge and gain leadership skills,” she said.

Hall Council is not limited to elected members.

“There are great opportunities for everyone, such as getting involved on committees for specific events,” Shonk said.

Also, every residence hall student is invited to the weekly Kent Interhall Council meetings and the Hall Council meetings for their specific residence hall.

“We try to make our Hall Council meetings a fun activity,” Shonk said. “In the past, we’ve had ice cream socials, and meetings where residents can come in their pajamas or bring a friend.”

Even if you have missed your hall’s elections, there are still other ways to participate.

“Everyone involved in Hall Council has a good time and learns something,” Chambers said. “We will find a spot for anyone who wants to be involved.”

Contact features correspondent Christina Stavale at [email protected].