Continuing along its tradition of strong showings, the UC Santa Barbara Residence Halls Association was awarded several distinctions at this year’s annual Pacific Affiliates of College and University Residence Halls Conference.

The gathering, which took place at California State University, Chico on Nov. 15 through 17, hosted more than 40 schools from several states and about 425 students, was designed as a forum for sharing ideas for programming and organizations as well as an awards event.

Among the merits UCSB received were an award for best display, two top-10 program distinctions and a bid to host next year’s conference.

“I jumped out of my chair I was so excited,” said RHA Administrative Vice President Adam Holdren about the awards.

This year, after about four months of preparation, RHA presented its programs and displays, receiving top-10 honors out of more than 70 programs submitted to the conference. UCSB won honors for its “Get a Life” diversity program and the HIV/AIDS Safer Sex Program’s peer-training manual.

RHA also won an award for its display, “Catch a Wave: Surf to Success,” which included a bridge over a waterfall with fog. All displays had to use the conference’s “Spanning Bridges” theme.

Although school rivalry was not the main driving force in the competition, Holdren said he was excited UCSB’s display beat out UC Berkeley’s “Mystify Your Mind” display.

UCSB has a history of achievement in these conferences. Last year, UCSB RHA won one of the top-10 programs, and two years ago it won the national competition for best project.

UCSB RHA was also chosen over Berkeley for the bid to host next year’s event, scheduled to take place in November.

“I had a feeling we were going to make it,” Holdren said.

This year’s conference at UCSB will include similar events that took place in recent years – seminars, presentations of displays and programs, and a keynote speaker.