by Katie Yeaton

During my undergraduate career, I was wicked involved in NEACURH --the North East Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls-- a leadership group for students run by students.  So when I was considering the types of professional development opportunities I wanted to have in my professional career, I knew I wanted to get involved with the North East region once again.  NEACUHO --the North East Association for College and University Housing Officers-- is what I was looking for in professional development.  While one may infer from the two similar acronyms, NEACUHO is essentially the professional connection for Residential Life in the North East.  Both NEACUHO and NEACURH have annual conferences hosted in different cities/towns.  They both have committees and electronic opportunities to get more experiences within the regional organization.  NEACUHO, however, only has one annual conference and a seasoning of events throughout the year.

This year’s annual NEACUHO conference was held in Portland, Maine, so how lucky was I to be able to be on duty and attend conference.  (Thank goodness there was only one lock-out on Wednesday!)  Coming to NEACUHO for the first time, I was curious to see how the student-based organization was represented and connected to the professional side.  Within the first few minutes of sitting in the lobby, I ran into someone I knew from the NEACURH 2014-2015 Regional Board of Directors.  It was amazing knowing that I was not the only newcomer at NEACUHO and, as I continued to discover, a number of highly involved members of NEACURH had taken on professional-level positions as well.  I also came to see that although the Director for NEACURH was unable to attend the conference in person, she was still represented by her host-school and an update was given in her absence.  It was great to hear the student-side residential life represented through the NEACURH Director’s proxied speech.  I could tell there was a sincerely passion and investment in student leadership at NEACUHO just from the way all of the professional staff members spoke of their students.

There is no doubt in my mind that I am returning to NEACUHO next year.  I am ecstatic to continue learning and growing in my own position as a Resident Director.  This conference has made me twice as enthusiastic to succeed in my current role so I can continue to help students.

To anyone hesitating on going to a conference, go.  Take the time to invest in yourself so you can give that new zest and vigor to your department and your students. :)

Student Affairs - the First Years

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