Living on the campus is probably one of the most memorable experiences an undergraduate can have during college. Luckily as University of Maryland residents, there are many opportunities available to enhance your residential experience and make a difference in the campus community. The Residence Hall Association offers one of these opportunities.

We are the governing body for all on-campus residents. Our organization has two main functions: programming and policy. We are divided into an eight-person executive board, legislative Senate body and 15 hall and area councils.

Our hall and area councils work individually and collaboratively to plan events and activities for their residents. For example, our hall and area councils host the annual North Campus Carnival and South Campus Block Party. Individual hall councils have also hosted programs such as Family Feud Night, Super Smash Bros. Tournaments and the La Plata Hall Formal.

Our Senate is involved in policy development and implementation, advocating for student concerns by working directly with five different campus departments to voice the concerns of the more than 12,500 on-campus residents. Just last year, we advocated for the implementation of mandatory in-person sexual assault prevention training, called for the addition of surveillance cameras in residence halls and service desks and advised the transition to Anytime Dining. In addition, we have shown our deep commitment to sustainability, playing a role in the launch of the university’s mBike Bike Share program.

By collaborating with the Department of Resident Life, Residential Facilities, Dining Services, Department of Transportation Services and Office of Sustainability, we create meaningful change on our campus. However, we need driven and dedicated students to continue making a positive difference.

We offer a diverse range of opportunities to be involved, make friends, gain leadership experience and make a difference. Applications are now open and due Sep. 11 and elections are Sep. 13 and 14. More information can be found on myDRL or at If you’re passionate about making a difference on the campus, be sure to head to our website to learn more and apply for one of the many available positions!

Speaking from personal experience, I have made many of my closest friends through the RHA. These are the individuals that I attend class, eat and live with everyday. Additionally, it’s very gratifying to be able to go to an internship interview and talk about some of the resolutions that we have been able to push through. There is nothing as satisfying as seeing one of your personal initiatives start as a light bulb idea and end as an actual campus policy, all within your time here at this university. Few campus organizations allow you to create such a tangible, positive change.

If you are looking to learn more about the RHA, feel free to visit our website at Also, please feel free to follow us on our social media accounts for important updates in regards to events or relevant news. Like us on Facebook at Maryland RHA and follow us @MarylandRHA on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Helen Liu is the public relations and outreach officer for the Residence Hall Association. She can be reached at