Dear On-Campus Student,
My name is Michelle Clark, and this past year I have served as the president for Residents’ Interhall Congress (RIC). RIC is a student government body for the on-campus student. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of the on-campus population. In other words, we are here to improve yourexperience as you live on our beautiful campus.
Sadly the 2018-2019 academic year has come to an end, and for many of you, that means that your time living on campus has too. This has been a great year for RIC and the on-campus population. Throughout the whole year, your residence hall has been advocated by your hall’s Lead Hogs and RIC representatives.
What We Do
Every week, your hall’s representatives have been debating and voting on bills during our weekly meetings, otherwise known as House. During House, representatives manage a $42,000 budget, allocating money to community events and hall improvements, all while keeping their constituents’ interests at the forefront of all conversations.
At the start of every semester, the RIC president delivers the State of the On-Campus Student Address. This address shares RIC’s achievements of the past semester and goals for the upcoming semester. As a way to close this year, I would like to share with you my Spring 2019 State of the On-Campus Student Address.
“Dear House of Representatives, fellow executive board members and special guests,
Thank you for joining me today to look back at Residents’ Interhall Congress’ achievements throughout the fall semester and goals for the spring semester. I want to take a moment to recognize the amazing executive team that I have had the pleasure to work with. RIC could not have achieved its goals without your time and dedication. It’s been a great year full of hard work, incredible achievements and of course wonderful memories. Thank you.
We started the fall semester off with strong goals, innovative ideas and unparalleled passion. We set a goal to increase membership through various recruiting methods and advertising over the summer and the fall semester. After countless hours of hard work, I am happy to announce that we successfully achieved that goal. We filled over 80% of the available seats in RIC.
We also successfully increased retention rates throughout the semester and between the fall and spring semester, through the creation of a more social environment and more leadership opportunities. The 2018-2019 academic year has been a year full of changes for RIC. Our biggest change was the update of the RIC executive election and cabinet appointment process. Elections and appointments were moved up from April to February to allow a more in-depth and effective transition process.
Throughout the rest of the semester, the current executive team will work with the incoming team to prepare for the next academic year.
As an executive team, we also created more opportunities for representatives to participate within RIC through the creation of additional committees and volunteer opportunities. We also strived to develop a bigger presence and a deeper impact on campus through events such as the RIC Homecoming tailgate, which revived the tradition of RIC’s involvement during Homecoming festivities, and the Campus Lighting Tour, which had a successful turn out of over 100 students who dedicated their time to make our campus a safer place.
Through these programs, the Homecoming tailgate and the Lighting Tour, as well as initiatives such as tableing for new voter registration and sustainability partnerships, RIC has been able to grow closer to and build stronger relationships with like-minded organizations and university departments such as the Associated Student Government and the Office of Sustainability.
We also continue to build relationships not only on campus but in the region. In October a delegation of representatives, executive team members and advisors represented the University of Arkansas at the Southwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls Leadership conference. After much dedication, hard work and enthusiasm this delegation won best Roll Call.
Through the commitment, dedication and commendable judgment of the House of Representatives, RIC has supported and sponsored various student-led ideas, programs and initiatives. Throughout the fall semester, the House of Representatives approved 34 bills and 1 resolution that benefited the on-campus student. The resolution, submitted by the student-led Registered Student Organization, SURGE, advocated for gender inclusive Housing. The resolution was also passed by the Resident Assistant Senate and been presented to the appropriate people in Upper Housing.
Over 80% of the dorms on campus were positively impacted by RIC funding including historically underrepresented halls such as Northwest quad, the maples, Reid, Gladson Ripley and Buchanan-Droke.
The majority of bills submitted to RIC and passed by the House of Representatives requested funding for in-hall events.
RIC Funded Events
RIC funded Lead Hog organized events such as Planting a Seed in Hotz Hall, Walton Hall’s Express Ride to the Coco Station, and Founders’ passive and active door decorating program. Many Resident Assistants also reached out for assistance in their initiatives. Some notable events were Hell on the Hill in Reid Hall, Around the World in 10 floors in Yocum and Holcombe’s eleventh annual Dance Around the World event.
Various other registered student organizations also requested funding for their events and initiatives. Some of these include our sister organization, National Residence Hall Honorary’s (NRHH) finals week doughnut pass out and Rotaract Club’s real talk luncheon. NRHH’S doughnut pass out provided stress relief while Rotaract’s real talk luncheon offered professional development, both benefiting the on-campus student.
RIC supported various programming efforts, but we also improved the residence halls by helping maintain and improving the facilities in the residential halls. A couple of these cases were the addition of a fire pit for Humphreys Hall and the refurbishment of a pool and ping pong table in Futrall and Holcombe Halls.
As you can tell, RIC has accomplished its mission of serving the on-campus student throughout the fall semester and we hope to accomplish the same during this semester. During the spring semester, we plan on increasing the social environment of the organization even more by implementing short monthly social games.
We are also working towards developing more RIC events that continue to create an impact on campus. Two events that are in the planning stages are the Spring Campus Lighting Tour and an LGBTQ+ panel.
This semester we will also be implementing the new transition process. This process entails several meetings with the outgoing and incoming executives where the two will work together to create the best possible plan for the upcoming academic year.
I am proud of what this executive team and House of Representatives have accomplished and look forward to what this semester will bring.
RIC, thank you for your hard work and dedication.
As for everyone here tonight, thank you all for joining me in celebrating RIC’s achievements thus far.”