Southern Oregon University will make a bit of history next June, becoming the smallest institution to host the annual conference of the National Association of College and University Residence Halls. The conference, held each year since 1954, typically attracts between 1,000 to 2,500 participants, but here’s the hitch: the organization has announced that the 2022 event will be held remotely.
“With the announcement of the 2022 annual conference being held virtually, student leaders at SOU realized that it was the perfect opportunity for a small school to host the 68th NACURH annual conference,” said SOU student Rachael Baker, recognition chair for the university’s chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary – a branch of NACURH.
“SOU is making history by not only being the smallest institution to ever host this conference, but also earning the title of being the first institution in Oregon to host the conference,” Baker said.
In fact, the only other NACURH conference to be hosted by a Pacific Northwest school was in 1965, at Washington State University. The nearest to Ashland was in 2006, at the University of California, Berkeley.
A group of 12 student leaders from SOU worked for eight months to put together a presentation and bid for the 2022 international leadership conference, which was accepted earlier this summer. Baker is the conference chair and has worked on the project with Kyrstyn Kelly, the NACURH board liaison; Mimi Pieper, finance chair; William Hutson, website and technology chair; Caleb Hefner, social media and marketing chair; Bree Erb, educational sessions chair; Mason Healy-Patterson, entertainment chair; Beck Weiser, volunteer chair; Izzy Hodgin, accessibility chair; Phoenix Ramirez, safety and security chair; and spirit and mass gatherings co-chairs Jay Santos and Ryana Terao.
Allyson Beck – SOU’s assistant director of housing for leadership, retention and marketing – is serving as staff advisor for the conference team.
NACURH, the largest student-led non-profit organization in the world, is made up of eight regions that cover the entire U.S. and portions of Canada, Mexico and The Bahamas. The organization’s purpose is to bring together students from a wide variety of college residence halls to discuss ideas, best practices and resources that may help them improve residence hall experiences at their campuses.
More than a dozen individual and chapter awards are presented at each annual conference.