MACURH 2008 Weekend
Win for the Missouri Tigers over Kansas State on Saturday night
Win for the New York Jets over St. Louis on Sunday afternoon
Win for the New York Knicks over Utah Sunday afternoon
And one huge Program Of The Year win for Mizzou’s RHA.
On Friday morning, we left Mizzou with a delegation of nine people headed for the Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls conference at the University of Missouri of Science & Technology. We checked in, went to a few hours of programming and then checked into our own assignments for the night. For myself, and Ryan (our PCC), Lauren (NCC) and J (advisor), we had our own socials to go to, with our respective counterparts from throughout the region.
I got to spend about an hour chatting with other RHA Presidents from about forty other schools from our region. We introduced ourselves, reviewed how our boardrooms were going to be structured the next day and then just compared how semesters were going at other schools.
As much fun as all that was, Saturday was the big day. Boardrooms abounded for Lauren, Ryan and myself in the morning, but although we got a ton of work done in my President’s boardroom, the central part of the day was my bid presentation after lunch.
Mizzou has had a rather lackluster participation in regional and national conferences in recent years, and this bid was our first serious bid in several years. The Program Of The Year award consists of a 20-page written bid about a program that your organization has put on within the past year for the residents. Then comes the presentation at the conference which includes a fifteen minute oral presentation followed by a question-and-answer session with the joint boardroom (NCCs, PCCs, NRHH reps & advisors .. roughly 200 people). In the POY presentation boardroom, the PCC has the speaking power and the school’s vote. The delegation from each school in the boardroom is allowed to converse together before a vote, but the PCC holds the final voting power. One school, one vote. Mizzou’s huge on-campus size counts the same as the 200-resident K-State Salina.
This year, there were three bids for Program of the Year. Mizzou’s bid was for our program Mizzou Iron Chef, which was a recreation of the Food Network’s hit show, Iron Chef America involving teams of student chefs paired with a Campus Dining Services sous-chef. Missouri S&T’s bid for The UnGodly Hour, a 9-session discussion about atheism and christianity. The University of Missouri-St. Louis’ bid was for their Amateur Drag Show which is exactly what the title indicates. Students cross-dressing and walking down a runway. The Mizzou bid you can find by clicking the link provided. The bids for UMSL and Missouri S&T are no longer available online, as only the winning bid remains available on the MACURH website. Although if anyone really wants to read them, I still have the PDF files on my computer.
After reading all three bids thoroughly, I felt our bid was far and away the most impressive of the bunch. I’m not a huge fan of drag shows, but UMSL’s bid was well executed and beneficial to a large number of residents. It did was a good RHA program should do for its residents .. entertain and educate. Missouri S&T’s bid looked very impressive, but after reading it I felt it was rushed, shallow and a quite honestly, a disgrace. What the program boiled down to was two friends got into a religious debate on night and decided they wanted to do that more often. So the two of them stuck up a few paper fliers, read a few articles and just argued with twenty people or so nine times. It was extremely limited in scope and not something that I would have nominated for a Regional award.
The joint boardroom for the POY presentations open with everyone (including presenters) in the boardroom and a roll call of voting schools. Nominations are then accepted for POY bids. A school that bids for Program of the Year are not guaranteed since they must be nominated. This is usually just a technicality as a school’s PCC can nominate his or her own school’s bid. And they usually do just that.
After all three bids had been nominated, the boardroom was emptied and the first presenter prepared the room for her presentation and then the session reconvened. Missouri S&T (being first alphabetically) went first while I and the UMSL presenter sat outside, not allowed to view the other presentations. After the Missouri S&T presentation, the boardroom emptied again and I set up my presentation. I started with our promotional (damn, that was the word I was looking for in my presentation .. ended up using “preview” instead) video created by our then-Speaker of Congress, Tanner Tucker and then transitioned into my killer PowerPoint presentation. After my presentation I entered into the Q&A part of the process. I felt that this was the strongest part of my presentation and the representatives obviously were passionate about our program and presentation as it was moved to extend the Q&A for further information.
After my presentation ended, I was again escorted outside of the boardroom to wait. And this is where my time in that boardroom ended. Everything else is information given to me by Ryan, Lauren and other school’s representatives that were in the boardroom. I hope to soon have the minutes from the boardroom to know exactly what went on.
After the UMSL presentation, which I’m told was okay .. not too bad but not overly impressive either .. they said the presenter seemed uneasy and somewhat unprepared, the boardroom moved into a time of discussion. This starts with a pro/con session for each bid, that start with alternating pros and cons about each program and ends with three unanswered pros or three unanswered cons. Mizzou Iron Chef was the only bid of the three that ended in three unanswered pros. After that process the boardroom was moved to an open discussion.
Let me preface this part by explaining about the representatives from Missouri S&T. They are overinvolved and very passionate about Residential Life. They pride themselves on bidding for everything and everything and are very vocal about their many wins. Add that to the fact that they hosted this particular conference made them nearly unbearable this weekend. And this boardroom sealed the deal and ruined the region’s perception of them.
One of their delegates spent over half an hour (an entire page of minutes) doing nothing but trashing Mizzou Iron Chef and Mizzou, while praising their joke of a program and pathetic bid – they used 11 quotes in their bid from five people (all students), while I used five quotes from five people (3 students, 2 faculty) .. quotes are often used to spice up a bid, but they also help take up space. Ryan then was allowed to talk and he yielded to Lauren who led with
I’ll try to only take half a page, but..
And proceeded to tear apart everything Missouri S&T had said and then tore apart Missouri S&T. I’m so proud of my NCC and PCC. After that, a boardroom that had been expected to be fairly divided turned drastically in favor of Mizzou. Or perhaps more accurately stated, turned against Missouri S&T. A clear majority is needed to win Program of the Year which probably meant somewhere around 20-25 votes. So multiple votes were expected. But only one was needed. And Mizzou won on the first count.
I sat outside the boardroom for 90 minutes for a discussion that should take fifteen. I spoke with the UMSL presenter who was back to normal dress, except for the hot pink nail polish for most of the time that the boardroom ran. We both expressed a desire to win, but a stronger desire to see Missouri S&T lose. So needless to say, when the winner was announced at the banquet (even though we were back in Columbia) I’m sure both of us were pleased, as I’m sure the majority of the region was as well.
The whole point of this post I guess was to inform everyone that MIZZOU was the recipient of the 2008 Program Of The Year Award for the Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls.