The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Hall Councils Are Enacted as Liasons for Resident Students

In order to serve as an avenue to address residence students’ concerns and enhance a greater sense of community, the Office of Residence Life recently implemented Hall Councils within each dormitory in the Residential Village.

“Hall Councils have become traditions in other college communities, creating greater involvement and pride within each hall,” Sharline Bryan, Resident Director of O’ Connor Hall, said.

The councils consist of student body members whom are elected into leadership positions at the start of each academic school year. Residence students nominate and vote for the candidates within their particular hall.

The leaders chosen are expected to act as role models of citizenship within their community, maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA at the completion of their first semester and must abide by all housing policies.

“It is our intention to help create a better system of governance within the halls through this new system,” Jason Perri, Resident Director of Donovan Hall, said.

Under the Hall Council program, Resident Directors and the senior Resident Assistants serve as the advisors for their respective hall.

And every month a general assembly meeting will be held within each residence hall.

“I think that [Hall Council] is good, because it allows our [student] views to be heard,” Nuvea Hothari, a freshman said.

But some students see no point to the tradition.

“I believe that it will be like my high school student council, where not much was actually done,” Riddhi Patel, a freshman physician assistant major, said.

Prior to the beginning of the academic school year, the Resident Director Advisor establishes the times for the General Assembly meetings.

The advisors also meet regularly with the Hall Council leadership to review, guide, but not approve all by-laws passed by the councils.

“The knowledge and experience of our advisors serve as a resource for us and I look forward to working with them as much as possible,” Beth Winkels, newly elected President of Donovan Hall, said.

“Hall Council is working towards creating a greater sense of community, not just within our particular halls, but within St. John’s as a whole,” she said.

Through social, educational and service programs and student affiliated fundraisers, the Hall Councils intend to increase student involvement in campus activities. Leaders are currently brainstorming ideas with the intention of promoting student interaction.

“I want to create an entertaining environment that actually makes people want to come back to their residence halls,” Greg Clarke, President of Briarwood Hall, said.

All funding for the approved activities comes directly from the Office of Residence Life. The dollar amount allotted for each hall is determined annually and is dependent upon each Halls’ student population.

It is required that the Hall Council submit a proposed yearly budget in October to the Office of Residence Life. Any additional funding needed must be acquired through student-planned fundraisers.

“The Hall Council Leaders serve as stepping stones for our residence students and their ideas,” Jaqueline Tejada, President of Hillcrest Hall, said.

“It is then our responsibility to combine our funding and student input towards the building of a more closely-knit St. John’s residence community.”

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