Housing and Residence Life hosts banquet

Kameron Wilson, Features Reporter

As spring semester approaches its final days, resulting in Winona State University students preparing for final assignments, papers and exams, members of Housing and Residence Life are preparing for the annual Housing and Residence Life Banquet.

The banquet will take place Sunday, April 22 and will be held at Signatures Restaurant.

At Winona State, the Housing and Residence Life Banquet has been a recurring tradition for several years. Sarah Olcott, an assistant director of Housing and Residence Life, commented on the history of the banquet.

“I wish I could say a definitive date when it started, but I would say it’s been going on for the last 30 years,” Olcott said.

Over the years, the Housing and Residence Life Banquet has been held at several locations within the community of Winona. According to Chris Welsh, a junior marketing major and one of the MCs in charge of the banquet, the Housing and Residence Life Banquet made its first appearance on campus grounds.

“In the past years, the banquet has been held on campus in the Tau Rotunda. This is the second year that the banquet has been held off campus, at Signatures Restaurant,” Welsh said.

The Housing and Residence Life Banquet offers a luncheon to staff members of Housing and Residence Life such as Desk Assistants, Resident Assistants, Lifeguards, Resident Housing Association, National Residency Hall Honorary and many more.

According to Olcott, the main purpose of the banquet is to recognize members of Housing and Residence for their contribution to campus over the school year.

“The banquet celebrates all of our staff members who contribute to our mission. It’s important in the cycle of our work to provide closure and the banquet allows us a space to celebrate them,” Olcott said.

Aside from the luncheon, the banquet involves different speakers from numerous departments in Housing and Residence Life recognizing the work effort of several staff members.

According to Mariah Tweed, a senior individualized studies major and the second MC in charge of the banquet, the biggest highlight of the event is the recognition of members who have been involved in Residence Life since their first- year of college.

“I love seeing the recognition for the seniors because it is great to see how many members we have who spend their college years in housing and residence life. It’s good to give them that moment of recognition,” Tweed said.

In addition to recognizing senior staff members, the banquet also awards the members of Housing and Residence Life with certificates for their years of service.

According to Olcott, members who have served for a year or more receive a certificate of recognition.

“We give away some awards, such as the Housing and Residence Life excellence award. We give out awards for first year, second year and third year or more Resident Assistants,” Olcott said. “The presidents of RHA and NRHH give out their bronze pins and that is a student leadership designation that recognizes people that have contributed to the presidency or generally supported their organization.”