Three awards given to residence hall program


Kristina Aiad-Toss

Senior Leah Rosler and her brother hang out on Sibs Saturday.

By Samantha Hickey, News Editor

UA’s Residence Hall Programming Board (RHPB) events and members swept three different awards during their recent visit to the regional National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) conference.

RHPB won the Programming Organization of the Year and Innovative Program award for their Sibs Saturday Safari program, an annual event for students in residence halls and their siblings. RHPB’s graduate assistant Robbie Williford won the Outstanding Graduate Assistant award. All three awards were “bids” submitted by UA students who are part of RHPB.

Junior Casey Polatas created her bid to nominate RHPB for the Programming Organization of the Year, which RHPB last won in 2011.

“We love to bring a diverse group of entertainers to campus. Anything from spoken word artists, musicians, hypnotists, magicians and even comedians,” Polatas said. “We take pride in the wide variety of people that we showcase throughout campus. We have worked hard throughout the years to be recognized for awards and this is just the icing on the cake.”

A team of three UA students, sophomores Taylor Oser, Addie Hujar, and Kaylee Gutschow, nominated RHPB’s annual Sibs Saturday Safari for the Innovative Program of the Year award.

“[We] nominated Sibs Saturday Safari for the Innovative Program of the Year Award because it is an event unlike any other that we program,” Gutschow said. “Between Bingo, dinner at Rob’s Café, the Chicago Boyz Acrobatics, and the Kids Carnival at EJ Thomas Hall, we created a fun-packed day for students and their siblings. We had to think outside of the box to make a day that would appeal to all ages.”

Graduate assistant Robbie Williford was nominated by junior Jen Vilet for the Outstanding Graduate Assistant award. Vilet said she nominated Williford because of his dedication to his students.

“He is a remarkable human being and truly values a student’s voice,” Vilet said. “He has an open door policy and always drops everything when someone walks in the door. He makes everyone feel like a somebody.”

Members of RHPB travel to the NACA conference every year where they not only place their bids, but browse entertainment to bring to campus, network, and work on professional development.

Although schools aren’t informed on how many nominations are received, they are told that the process is highly competitive. Williford said on average there are 30 to 40 schools in attendance at the NACA regional conference.

“Out of all schools and nominees in the region, The University of Akron was selected for these awards, which is pretty cool,” Williford said.

RHPB is a student-run group that plans events and builds communities among the resident halls. The organization is responsible for the 9:09 comedy series and the 7:17 coffee house series.