Western recognized as Outstanding Chapter of the Year

Tea Wheat, Courier Staff


At 8 a.m. on Nov. 15, 10 students from Western Illinois University, along with two advisors, loaded up two university vehicles and departed from Macomb. These students and advisors were headed to the Great Lakes Affiliate of Colleges and University Residence Halls (GLACURH) Leadership Conference to represent the on-campus leaders at Western. This year, the GLACURH regional leadership conference was hosted at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

The Great Lakes Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls is a student-run organization that was created in 1996. According to the website for this organization, they work “to promote and improve student life on college and university campuses across the region, including Michigan, Ontario, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.” With over 50 schools in attendance at the regional leadership conference, this conference served as a phenomenal opportunity for student leaders to share what Western Illinois University is doing to better our institution and learn what other colleges and universities are doing as well. Then, students have the opportunity to bring back the ideas and knowledge that they have gained from other institutions and incorporate that here at Western.

The delegates that attended the conference included Adam Blue, Brooke McDaniel, Jamel Adams, Jenny Simon, Megan Orsini, Sandra Torres, Brooke Barnes and Vanessa Rosales. These delegates were selected and led by Conference Coordinators John Porn and Téa Wheat and were overseen by Complex Director Andrew Haugen and Assistant Complex Director Jacob Livingston.

“The spotlight and the late nights with little sleep were all worth the life changing experience,” McDaniel, a first-time delegate and a presenter at the regional leadership conference said.

McDaniel, along with the other first-time delegates all participated in attending programs and networking with other delegates from institutions throughout the region. It is important to note that four of these eight delegates were accepted through an application process to present at GLACURH 2019.

Barnes and Orsini co-presented the program “Growing with Others,” created by Barnes, which focused on the importance of taking time for yourself and empowering not only yourself but also those around you. As the program description states, “It’s one thing to grow by yourself, it’s even more fulfilling to grow others.”

McDaniel and Torres co-presented the program “Constructing Our Rails,” created by McDaniel. This program focused on the different paths that leaders take. It allowed individuals to walk along their own tracks and see who they would meet along the way. As the program description reads, “The tools you already have can support another in building their rails.” Both of these programs were extremely well-received, with many delegates expressing the impact of the programs.

This year, Western Illinois University won two awards at the regional level. These awards were the NRHH Outstanding Chapter of the Year award for the Caroline Grote Chapter and the President of the Year Award for Inter-Hall Council’s past president, Killian Tracey. The NRHH Outstanding Chapter of the Year award focuses on an NRHH chapter within the region that has proven to uphold and go above and beyond with the NRHH core values of service and recognition. This is the highest honor an NRHH chapter can receive at the regional level. The President of the Year award recognizes a president of an organization that has gone above and beyond for their organization, and for their institution as a whole. It is evident that Tracey had done just that throughout her time as an undergraduate at Western.

In addition to these awards, National Residence Hall Honorary-Communication Coordinator Téa Wheat received a Four-Year Service Pin. This pin recognizes four years of service within the residence halls at a student’s home institution and is a great honor at the regional level.

The entire delegation worked tirelessly throughout this experience, from writing bid award nominations to creating spirit items, all the way to the long nights and presentations at the conference. The hard work and dedication of the Western Illinois University delegation paid off tremendously upon arriving at home sweet home, GLACURH, the celebration of a lifetime.