RHA’s president on residence hall pride, gender inclusive housing

Each week, The Observer will sit down with an important member of campus administration or a Case Western Reserve University organization to get an inside look at their organization.This week, we talked to the Residence Hall Association president, Victoria Robinson.

Gender-inclusive housing survey on the way

Robinson says that the Residence Hall Association (RHA) will be releasing a survey in a few weeks designed to gauge interest and support for gender-inclusive housing among the student body. Currently, gender neutral or gender nonconforming students are often placed in first floor singles, where they are isolated from the rest of the community. RHA is hoping to change requirements to make residence halls more inclusive for these students.

RHA will send the survey results to Vice President for Student Affairs Lou Stark, who will see whether or not the policy has enough support to implement. If possible, RHA would like to start implementing the policy for the fall of 2016.

RHA wants you to respect where you live

Starting in the fall, RHA will begin a Love Where You Live program, designed to encourage people to respect their living spaces and the other people in them. The community councils will hand out wristbands and fliers to residents as they move into their new homes.

Robinson said that RHA has seen people destroy their common areas. The goal of the Love Where You Live program is to give people a better sense of community standards.

Project Pay Attention coming to CWRU
Project Pay Attention, an initiative started at New York University, aims to get people to consider the language that they use and how it affects those around them.

“It’s about replacing your words that you say that are offensive with better words,” said Robinson.

Working with the #webelonghere movement and Culture of Care through the Office of Greek Life, RHA hopes to start creating a campus culture where people spend more time thinking about what they say. They are also looking to collaborate with other organizations on the Student Executive Council.

“Even though it may not be a resident initiative, it impacts residents,” said Robinson. “People feel at home in the community when they feel respected and comfortable.”

Robinson hopes that Project Pay Attention will bring more focus on RHA’s three pillars of leadership: development, programming and advocacy.

“In past years, we had a focus on leadership and programming, but advocacy always fell to the wayside,” she said. “This year, we thought that focusing on balancing the three pillars was really important.”