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Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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RHA approves higher social fee

Tags: RHA

The Residence Halls Association voted to increase the social fee during Congress on April 25.

If approved by the Board of Curators, the social fee will increase from $15 to $17.50 for future RHA members beginning in 2020.

Members of the 2016–17 RHA executive cabinet were sworn into office.

Freshmen Matt Bourke and Martha Pangborn were sworn in as the new president and vice president of Residence Halls Association at the end of the meeting. The rest of the cabinet includes National Communications Coordinator Nathan Hoffman, Director of Communications Kyle Roberts, Director of Diversity and Inclusivity Jasmin Hampton and Finance Coordinator Nnamdi Okoli.

Freshman Emily Aiken was elected by unanimous vote as the RHA Speaker of Congress and was sworn in separately from the executive cabinet. Aiken was the only member of RHA to be nominated for Speaker of Congress and faced a vote of no confidence in the election. Aiken previously held the position of Programming Coordinator.

Three new justices were added to the judicial board of RHA, including previous Speaker of Congress Alex Johar, Operations Chairman Chase Harvey and Operations Vice Chairman Garren Wegener.

The vote left one vacant spot on the judicial board, but RHA bylaws do not require all seven seats to be filled. Three other representatives, including Advocacy Chairwoman Monica Roselli, Residential Living Chairwoman Victoria Lee and Residential Living Vice Chairwoman Alex Roderick, were nominated for the board but did not receive a two-thirds vote of confidence.

The Executive Stipends Bill passed by Congress will call for some executive budget cuts from RHA. The bill states that the RHA president and vice president will receive a stipend of $400 as opposed to $500. They will still be compensated for room and board. The bill was the most debated by representatives, and received a vote of 14 in favor and 10 against with nine abstentions. This bill was later vetoed by Billy Donley, who was acting as President Emeritus since the bill was passed during his time in office.

The NRHH Partnership Strengthening Bill which was also passed by Congress, and allows for the National Residence Hall Honorary to receive 3 percent of revenue from the RHA budget. Previously, NRHH was allotted 1 percent of the total RHA budget. This bill was also vetoed by Donley by request from the author of the bill because of discrepancies in the wording.

RHA also passed two bills which did not involve the budget, including the Whiteboarding Bill and the Payment Bill.

The Whiteboarding Bill aims to increase interaction between RHA and students in the residence halls by requiring that each representative spend two hours per semester in the lobby of their residence hall with a white board and take suggestions or talk with residents. Enforcement of this bill will be determined by the Speaker of Congress.

The Payment Bill states that no member of an individual hall government will receive payment from the hall’s funds. This bill came after a representative discovered a line in one hall constitution stating that the hall treasurer would receive compensation over the course of the year. However, this line, according to representative Monica Roselli, has not been followed for several years.

RHA members will gather for a final Congressional meeting May 2, led by Emily Aiken.

Edited by Waverly Colville | wcolville@themaneater.com

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