Entering O’Connell House last Thursday evening, I witnessed a circle of people eating, laughing, and watching two curious men sporting red pants. A few friends waved in greeting as I grabbed food before finding a spot to watch The Red Trouser Show.
They begin with some basic tricks. While impressive, they were by no means show-stopping. The friendly banter of the performers endeared them to their audience. However, when one of these men balanced on the other’s head as he walked around, the students burst into applause. Students exchanged amazed glances as the performances ensued courtesy of DOBC and UPrising.
Hanging from the staircase, a banner with RHA—Residence Hall Association—printed across it announced the club responsible for the food and entertainment.
Perhaps lesser known than some of the other clubs involved in organizing events at Boston College, RHA establishes its presence throughout BC's campus, serving as a voice for the students and organizing events to bring the community closer together. By talking to students involved with RHA, the common theme of focus is strengthening the community. Marco Oriella, CSOM ’17, has been involved with RHA for four years now. "I joined because I wanted to be involved with the community," Oriella commented.
Geared toward freshmen, the Residence Hall Council (RHC), a branch of RHA, engages directly in planning events for the freshmen. Julia Nagle, MCAS ’20, ran for president of the Cheverus, Kostka, and Medeiros community this year. "It’s a great way to meet upperclassmen and build a strong support system,” Nagle asserted. For sophomores, there is a program known as the Sophomore Leadership Council. Although less intensive, SLC organizes a multitude of events similar to the events meant for freshmen.
Through a variety of programs, RHC creates a bond between all classes and dorm buildings. Beginning by building a strong, tight-knit community, they are able to impact the larger BC community. The community-building theme carries on throughout the entire undergraduate experience.
Oriella described the difference between freshmen year and senior year as “the focus changing from the immediate community around you to the wider community of the entire school and Boston in general.” RHA provides opportunities for students from all classes and paths of life to join together for events that everyone can enjoy. These events include male beauty pageants such as Mr. Newton and Mr. Upper which feed into the larger school-wide pageant, Mr. BC. Smaller events like Karaoke Night or pizza before a big game build up the more immediate community.
RHA provides an opportunity to “use money that BC wants to spend the way you want to use it,” noted Oriella. In terms of getting involved, each interested student has to apply to join the board. Getting involved is relatively easy freshmen year: by simply contacting the president of your assigned dorm community you can find several ways to get involved. Recognizing the work that goes into building the supportive environment one finds at Boston College, students are encouraged to take a moment to support RHA by helping to organize and attend events like BC Street that bring Boston College students together.