Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pre-Midterm Anecdote

I have a midterm tomorrow, so I'll be brief, but I wanted to share a funny little story.

There's been a little bit of tension betwixt Hall Staff (that is, RA's) and this semester's Hall Association (the residence hall student government, also known as Hall Ass). You see, last week we found out that they had cut our hall budgets by 25%. That's quite a drop. Why? Well, they said they didn't think the RAs were "doing enough." Of course, they have plans for that money. Oh yes: they want to buy an air hockey table and put it in Cunningham Hall (the building that most of them come from).

Now, I have always been diametrically opposed to Hall Ass. For the past three years, I have tried to get them disbanded. Since becoming an RA, I've become more vocal. Hall Ass is supposed to be an organization dedicated to the representation of students in the residence halls. However, as things are right now, they are a waste...a waste...of resources. The only things they do are really lame, infrequent programs (for example, they only have one program planned this semester, and it's a goddamn movie night. I - or probably any RA - could do a movie night in their sleep), and they approve our budgets for programs. Seriously, that's all they effectively do.

Why do we need that? Personally, I feel the Resident Directors should approve program budgets. After all, they have a better idea of how much these things have cost in the past. Plus, they're our main authority, so they are who we should listen to. (Do note my preference for a more autocratic system here.)

I have heard stories of certain, exceptional Hall Asses who have put on excellent program. But that's all they are to me. Stories. And they're certainly not the norm. In my experience, Hall Ass exists for Hall Ass's sake. It's made up by a bunch of people who just want to pad their resumes but can't pass muster for the ASUC (which, incidentally, I also want to disband and replace with a less bureaucratic solution). They don't know what they're doing. And yet, without any sort of real training or experience, they get do determine what we have the capacity to do.
-End Aside-

So, anyway, learning that our budget was cut riled up a bunch of people. Not so much myself. My views on them were already well-established, as you can see. However, the powers-that-be wanted to make it so that Hall Ass and the RAs could better acquaint and learn about what kinds of programs we were all planning.

So, we had a little Sushi/fruit & veggie/cookie party thingamajig. Since it was during the usual RA meeting time, we were required to go. Hall Ass was simply invited. And a good number came. We were split up into little groups made up of both sides and were simply requested to "chat." (We also had a large "announcement of programs" time; interestingly, in the next two weeks, RAs have about half-a-dozen programs, and Hall Ass has their movie night.)

Anyway, I had my notebook with me, and it was open through the early part of the chatting. Now, what I hadn't realized was that I had last week's notes plainly visible to anyone who made the effort to look.

If you haven't already, direct your attention to the upper right corner.

Yessir, nothing to promote bonding betwixt RAs and Hall Ass than a portrayal of them as some monstrous money-grubbers. Nobody mentioned it, probably because nobody actually did make said effort to look at my notebook, but if they did, I would have defended it.

Still, this was a diplomatic shindig, so I discreetly closed the notebook.

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