If you know anything about Winona State’s Residence Housing Association, you’ll know that they put on many events in the res halls throughout the school year. In fact, there’s two events each semester in addition to the End of the Year Party in each residence hall. To you, the average student, these events are just fun and games, but as Sheehan Hall Council Secretary, I’ve gotten an insider’s view of putting on a RHA event. And let me tell you, I had no idea of the commitment, effort and team bonding skills that it involves.
When we first start planning an event, we begin with picking the category–either Social, Education, Inclusion & Diversity or Service– of our event. We then toss around ideas for a few meetings of what exactly we plan to do for our event, and brainstorm a catchy title to get people interested. Some ideas we have end up working better than others, so it is really crucial for us to use good communication skills during this process. We don’t want to waste time and we want to work towards creating a successful event.
We then run these ideas by the Sheehan Hall Director and Assistant Director and decide on a date and time for our event. We also need to figure out what we will need to buy–snacks, craft supplies, decorations–with our hall budget using a Purchase Order (PO) form. For example, at our first Social event called “Which Witch is Which?” we played the Halloween movie Hocus Pocus and offered candy, seasonal hot chocolate and apple cider beverages and snack food for all who came. A second Education event “Meditation & Me in the IWC” included a guided meditation session as well as goodie bags and healthy food to unwind from the stress of finals.
Once we’ve got a plan and the approval, we start promoting our event. We create big PR posters to hang in the common areas of Sheehan as well as smaller flyers for mailboxes. Sometimes we get pretty creative with it too, like when we created pipe-cleaner spiders with the info for our Halloween Social. Of course, we also announce the event to our residents at Hall Council meetings.
As you can see, a lot of time and energy goes into event planning!
We are currently working on our 3rd event of the year, an Inclusion/Diversity event called “The World Awaits, Full of Taste!” where residents will get to eat appetizers and desserts from different countries and listen to a variety of cultural music. There will also be a trivia game about foreign countries where they can win prizes. We really are looking forward to it and are hoping for a good turn-out. So now that you know all the hard work we put into these events, the next time you see posters in your hall, please stop by and enjoy it!