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ASU hosts national residential leadership conference at Tempe campus


National Association of College and University Residence Halls conference 2018

Delegates of the 2018 National Association of College and University Residence Halls conference at ASU attend the Leadershape workshop at the Tooker eSpace. Photo by Spencer Brown.

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May 25, 2018

More than 2,000 student leaders and advisers representing college and university residential communities from across North America and beyond united on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus for a long weekend of skill-building, networking and fun. 

The annual National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) conference opened May 25 at ASU and will continue through May 28. The conference is one of the largest in the industry, providing a prime opportunity for students and advisors from hundreds of institutions to share ideas and learn from one another, while providing an opportunity for the ASU community to shine.

The association's mission is to “empower, motivate and equip residence hall leaders by providing them with skills and resources in order for them to excel and positively impact their campus community.”

This weekend’s conference will put that mission into action — Sun Devil-style.

Cory Shapiro, assistant director of leadership development for University Housing at ASU, is on the team responsible for coordinating the conference. ASU Student Life asked Shapiro to discuss the goals, objectives and expected impact of the endeavor and it what means for the ASU community.

Question: What is the goal of NACURH conference and how will participation support ASU residence hall leaders in developing their abilities to positively impact residential communities and ASU?

Answer: The NACURH conference is an annual student leadership conference for students living in residence halls across the United States, Canada and several other countries. The organization NACURH is considered the largest student-run corporation in the world. Students attending the conference will take part in leadership development workshops, interact with student affairs professionals, network with other student leaders and develop their skills through case-study competitions, panel luncheons, spirit competitions and much more. Many of the students themselves are presenting sessions.  

Q: Who are the attendees and how many are expected?

A: Nearly 2,200 delegates and advisors from approximately 270 institutions of higher education will be attending the conference. Each institution hosted its own selection process to find delegates to best bring back something valuable to their schools. Key topics include leadership development and ASU values such as innovation, inclusivity and sustainability, which are emphasized throughout the conference and its programming.  

Q: What are some of the key topics, themes or activities that will be covered during the conference? What role did ASU student leaders play in shaping the agenda?

A: This year’s conference will have a Broadway theater theme, titled "Showcase the Leader in You." Activities include LeaderShape, philanthropies, mass gatherings, a sponsor fair, nine programming sessions, a corporate business meeting, careers in student affairs luncheon, a case-study competition, banquet, entertainment and networking socials.  

The agenda was put together by the conference staff of 21 ASU student leaders under the leadership of NACURH 2018 Conference Chair Allyson Atkinson (who graduated just days ago), along with support from me as conference advisor, and 18 other committee advisors.

Q: Why was ASU selected as the host venue?

A: ASU is the ideal place to host this conference! Residence Hall Association and National Residence Hall Honorary leaders worked together to put a strong bid together that was 136 pages long. After a presentation and a three-minute bid video, ASU received the honor of hosting the NACURH Annual Conference for the first time since 1991. With the size of ASU, the amenities offered to delegates and the opportunities as departments and sponsors to work together to create an affordable and innovative conference, ASU was the best place to host this year's annual conference.  

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