The Arizona State University Alumni Association hosted an Affinity Reunion for Residence Hall Association, or RHA, student leaders from across the U.S., honoring their contributions to the quality of campus life over the years.
RHA alums who held positions ranging from executive director, resident assistant, judicial board director and more gathered April 11 in the Student Pavilion building on the Tempe campus to share stories and memories, reconnect with each other and their alma mater, and listen as speakers discussed the importance of their roles as student leaders.
Each year, the Alumni Association hosts a reunion for a different organization, club or academic affiliation to re-engage alumni and bring them back to campus. Previous reunions honored ASU’s elected student government leaders, Greek leaders, Devils’ Advocates, Leadership Scholarship Program students and State Press editors.
“The Alumni Association created the affinity reunions to recognize the legacy of ASU’s undergraduate student leadership programs and recognize their contributions to the university,” said Christine K. Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Alumni Association. “Residence hall leaders have a profound impact on students living on campus through meaningful programming, community engagement and personal development.
“The reunion brought together these former student leaders and advisors along with current residence hall leaders from all four campuses and included alums from as far back as the 1960s. Residence hall leaders have and will continue to serve a vital role in the undergraduate experience at ASU.”
Wilkinson recognized the event’s speakers, including Joanne Vogel, ASU vice president of Student Services; panel moderator Kendra Hunter, ASU deputy vice president of Educational Outreach and Student Services; and Kody Kambra, 2022–23 director of RHA West.
During a lively panel discussion with Tyson Milanovich, ‘96 BA; Allyson Anderson, ‘18 BA; Marcus Jones, ‘13 BS, ‘14 MEd; and Kyle Fray, ‘02 BIS, ‘04 MEd, a strong theme emerged of the lasting bonds and camaraderie that RHA members formed during their time at ASU and afterward.
They also spoke of how they were able to develop leadership and other skills through their roles in RHA.
“Somewhere along the line, we were identified as leaders,” Milanovich, said about what qualities lead students to join RHA.
He, like most first-year students, was looking for a community on campus, and when he joined RHA, he knew he had found his. No matter how diverse fellow RHA members were as individuals, they were also very similar. They shared values such as a desire to help others, contribute to campus life, and develop new interpersonal and leadership skills.
Anderson, another panelist, said she joined RHA after seeing an ad for a meeting during her first year at ASU. “I joined RHA for the free food, but I was welcomed with such warmth and a sense of community,” she said. “RHA lit a fire under me that was passion."
The kind of passion that propelled her to lead a 40-member committee that spent two years organizing the annual National Association of College and University Residence Halls conference, hosted by ASU in 2018.
The strong bonds were apparent between two of the newest RHA members in attendance, Srilekha Amujure and Shelby Soma, both first-year students who are in Casa de Oro at ASU's West campus.
“Shelby and I met through RHA. We were both first-year students who ran for the executive board positions,” Amujure said. “I am definitely sure I would have not met my best friend if it was not for RHA.”
Ellyse Crow, director of Affinity Programs for the Alumni Association, thanked RHA members for their dedication and passion for ASU and their tireless work guiding students.
“It is clear that the impact of both Residence Hall Association and National Residence Hall Honorary leaders has spanned across generations,” Crow said. “The legacy of leadership that began for each of you years ago continues on today, paving the way for others following in your footsteps."
For more information about ASU’s Affinity Reunions, click here.
To view Affinity Reunion 2023 photos, click here.
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