Resident Hall Association (RHA) President Amada Reyes, senior political science and communication studies major, recently received the Pacific Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls President of the Year Award.
Reyes said that though the award is a wonderful recognition, what meant the most to her was the process.
"The RHA executive board put together the bid that nominated me [for] President of the Year," Reyes said. "That ... meant the world to me, not only because of how much they worked on it but how they were willing to give up their free time to complete it on time."
For the bid, two letters of recommendation were required — one from the RHA advisor and one from the RHA executive board. The recipient of the award is chosen by voting members of the Regional Business Conference.
Leo Gonzales-Smith, senior biology major and associate vice president of RHA, spearheaded writing the letter from the executive board.
"Working with Amada is a very unique experience," Gonzales-Smith said. "She’s one of the only people I’ve ever worked with that truly cares about your personal character. She cares about the human first."
Gonzales-Smith recalled how during a particularly difficult week for the RHA executive board, Reyes planned an escape room for the team to do together to bond and relieve some of the stress.
"That really showed that she really cared about how we were doing as a team and as a family," Gonzales-Smith said.
According to their LEO page, RHA is comprised of representatives from each residential hall, and works to maintain a positive living environment for students.
Reyes said that the most rewarding part of her experience serving as president of RHA has been working with the individual hall governments. "Our hall governments plan the most amazing events, engagements and initiatives to ensure that their residents are having a positive experience on campus," Reyes said. "They have been the fearless leaders that have inspired everything that RHA has accomplished."