Alexia Donovan, Cory Johnson share goals for RHA presidential term

Donovan and Johnson’s RHA presidential campaign strives to create community through collaboration, approachability and sustainability.
Alexia Donovan and Cory Johnson are running for Residence Halls Association president and vice president for 2019-2020. Courtesy of Facebook via @donovanjohnson2019

Alexia Donovan and Cory Johnson are the only people running for Residence Halls Association president and vice president. But they aren't taking that for granted.

Donovan and Johnson are focusing efforts to build a thriving community within the residence halls on campus. Their slogan “Community Thrives Here” captures the shared vision Donovan and Johnson hold of community centered on sustainability, connection, approachability and collaboration with other MU organizations.

“We’re trying to make sure RHA is creating community in residential halls, creating a home away from home for students and making sure that they’re all comfortable and safe,” Donovan said. “Our whole platform is students first. We want to make sure that students are getting everything they can from what is usually their first year at Mizzou. It makes a big impact on them.”

Johnson said a part of this effort to create community within residence halls is “listening to the hall governments and hall coordinators who know best, and we’re trying to meet their needs and fulfill their ideas of what it takes to create a community in the dorms.”

A large part of their mission in creating a community-centric environment is strengthening the working relationships between RHA and other on-campus groups.

Though RHA maintains relationships with Missouri Students Association, the social justice resource centers and the Sustainability Office, Donovan admits “they could be better” and is striving to bolster collaboration between RHA and other MU organizations.

The slate has also made sustainability a large focal point of its campaign. “We see [sustainability] being a priority,” Johnson said. While some residence halls such as Bluford Hall and Brooks Hall were designed to operate as environmentally friendly dorms, Donovan and Johnson are focusing their efforts on sustainability in all residential halls.

They said they want to push for the implementation of low-flow shower heads and conserving energy through LED lighting systems.

“We’re focusing a lot on implementing of these initiatives, but also education,” Johnson said. “[We plan on] tailoring a lot of our educational resources to the residents so they understand that just by changing a simple habit of theirs, this is what you contribute; you're part of something bigger than yourself.”

In serving students, Johnson and Donovan said they are looking forward to promoting RHA and being more accessible to students.

“We want to make it more well-known that anyone can come to committee meetings and share their ideas and responses as well as make sure they’re able to know who we are within their halls,” Donovan said. “We’re hoping RHA is not so much a secret space in the bottom of Pershing and that anyone knows exactly where to go if they have any concerns.”

With their upcoming term, Donovan and Johnson are ready to take measurable steps to make their slogan “Community Thrives Here” true.

“The bottom line for both of us is that we have some unfinished business and we have some big ideas that we want to implement next year and draw the organization back to being really community centered and one that serves the residents in everything that we do,” Johnson said.

Edited by Ethan Brown | ebrown@themaneater.com

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