The National Association of College and University Residence Halls named the University the 2002-03 national school of the year for its charity and community service efforts.
It is the first time the school has won the 31-year-old award.
The University hosted the association’s national convention in May 2002. Association board members said after the convention the University excelled where so many schools have failed: It remembered its own students.
While the association’s national board weighs many factors when choosing school of the year, this is what ultimately separated the University, said Talia Bailey, regional director for Midwest Association of College and University Residence Halls.
Bailey said that the final vote was close, but the eight-member national board – which chooses the national school of the year – keeps its final vote tally confidential.
“(The University’s Residence Hall Association) completely excelled in putting on programming even after holding the national convention,” Bailey said.
Regional Assistant for Finance and Records Adam Foley, who graduated from the University in May, said because hosting the national convention requires an enormous time and resource commitment, previous host schools have not been able to adequately plan their own events for the next school year.
Foley said one and a half years of planning went into the bid, which included a presentation and a 200- page proposal. When the University was selected, the next year went to planning for the $400,000 convention, which drew 2,800 students from around the country.
Despite the added workload, he said the association “came back really strong with a lot of amazing hall-life programs.”
The University’s Residence Hall Association is a student group that organizes activities in the University’s eight residence halls and three student apartment complexes.
Residential Life Programs coordinator Kevin Dostal Dauer said the University’s association met its goals last year, holding events such as dances, food drives and fund-raisers. He said the association raised nearly $20,000 for organizations not affiliated with the University.
Jens Manuel Krogstad covers student life and welcomes comments at [email protected]