Virginia Tech student experiences leadership first-hand through student-run program
While many sophomores are still getting acclimated to life at Virginia Tech, one is getting an early start by serving as president of the second largest student-run organization on campus.
Caroline Gimenez of Williamsburg, Va., a sophomore majoring in mathematics in the College of Science, was elected president of the residence hall federation for the 2010-11 academic year.
As the president of the residence hall federation, Gimenez plans and presides over executive board meetings, mentors hall councils, serves as a member of the Commission on Student Affairs, represents the federation within the student government association’s house of representatives, helps plan campus-wide programs for Virginia Tech students, and organizes philanthropic events.
“As president, I have had to learn how to take charge, delegate tasks, and deal with conflicts when they arise,” Gimenez said. “It has been one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced, but also one of the most rewarding and educational experiences.”
The residence hall federation serves as the programming body for Virginia Tech’s 9,100 campus residents. Members strive to improve residence life in any way possible. The student-run organization accomplishes this through campus-wide programming and legislative action. It is also represented throughout the state, region, and nation by interacting with other residence hall associations around the country.
The residence hall federation provides many programs for residential students including Campus Bonanza, their annual kickoff to the school year, which provides students with free food, carnival rides, and games on the Drillfield. It also participates in multiple service events, like collecting canned goods for Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week, collecting soda tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, and volunteering in Relay For Life and The Big Event.
During her freshman year, Gimenez says she was encouraged to get involved with residence hall federation by her resident advisor. She said the easiest way to get involved is to attend a hall council event and ask one of the hall council members about the group and the executive board.
Elections for hall councils occur at the beginning of each fall semester. Students can ask their resident advisor for applications about running for a position. Members of the hall council participate in weekly meetings to discuss relevant business about residence life.
Gimenez said that the residence hall federation has been a worthwhile experience for her and believes she has taken much from it. “[The residence hall federation] has helped me hone my leadership skills, giving me the confidence to step up and take charge when I’m needed,” Gimenez said. “Most importantly, I will take away the memories of great events and changes made with the help of some amazing people.”
Written by Stephanie Paradiso of Rockville, Md., a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.