(December 7, 2015)
Centenary Residence Hall Association wins regional award
Tyler Sanders (center) accepts the award for Centenary RHA.
SHREVEPORT, LA — Eight student members of Centenary's Residence Hall Association (RHA) attended the Southwest Affiliate of Colleges and Universities Residence Halls Conference (SWACURHC) at the end of October in College Station, Texas. At the conference, Centenary RHA members were thrilled to accept the very competitive regional award for Program of the Year for their annual "RHAPaul" event.
"Program of the Year is always a tough category," said Centenary Dean of Students Mark Miller. "Winning this award at the SWACURH regional level is a great accomplishment, and an acknowledgement of the efforts of all the students who worked hard on the program and on the winning bid."
SWACURCH includes over 48 colleges in a region encompassing Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and Mexico. Over 400 delegates were in attendance at this year's conference, and Centenary beat six other colleges for the Program of the Year title. Centenary RHA President Tyler Sanders and Robin Chailland, President of Centenary's National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), prepared a written bid for the program prior to the conference, and Sanders made a presentation to a voting delegation during the regional meeting. Sanders was the Special Events Coordinator who originally planned the RHAPaul program.
"The process of gearing up to present this bid in front of an incredibly picky group of peers from all over the southwest region was mentally and physically taxing," said Sanders. "Despite that, it was incredibly rewarding and it has given me an enormous boost of confidence with public speaking and the work I do in RHA."
Centenary's program, "RHAPaul," was designed to create a safe space for queer students identifying within the LGBTQIA+ community to celebrate their identity. RHAPaul is a drag show produced by RHA to provide a fun event that educates the entire campus about drag culture and its importance in the queer community, allowing students to showcase their artistry and talent without mockery or judgement.
Senior Steven Knight participated in the program last year and found the experience to be enriching.
"It was the type of experience that allowed me to face some of my fears in such a loud and present way," said Knight. "Removing gender stereotypes and getting to live as an embodiment of freedom was beautiful. Not to mention I was killing those heels!"