Francisco Barrera/Daily Nexus

Francisco Barrera/Daily Nexus

The Resident Halls Association (RHA) hopes to merge with the Student Apartments Community Council (SACC) to form one housing student government titled the “UCSB Housing Association.”

RHA aims to better connect students living on and off campus through collaborative events. If approved by students, the UCSB Housing Association will begin functioning in about five years. It is possible the Graduate Student Apartments Community Council (GSACC) will join as well.

RHA Vice President of Finance Jacob Johnson said residents could benefit from “stronger” organization and programming services.

“Week of Welcome could become a lot stronger and more inclusive for those who live in undergrad apartments,” Johnson said in an email. “This change allows greater communication and collaboration with the multiple areas of campus, such as the undergraduate apartments, and I.V.”

RHA president and third-year psychology major Matilda Mead said the future UCSB Housing Association could provide more leadership opportunities by refining the housing experience for transfer students who tend to be “neglected” on campus.

“We would be giving them the opportunities for developing leadership experience that come with our title as an association, such as conference opportunities, summer Student Leadership Development training (currently RA and RHA training), additional positions within the RHA Coordinating Board and RHA Councils, and myriad networking connections ranging from within our campus to across our nation,” Mead said in an email.

Former San Rafael Hall Resident Assistant and fourth-year Asian American studies major Myra Cheah said she favors the change in hopes it will make the transition for transfer students easier.

“I think programming more heavier, wishing apartments would be great for transfers,” Cheah said.

First-year political science major Renee Zapata said living on campus has been a positive experience and she wants to see housing-related student government grow.

“That’s great to see that RHA is able to improve the living experience for students,” Zapata said. “The fact that it is able to get better than it is, is awesome. I don’t see why students would vote against this change.”

Johnson said RHA wants “everyone’s input” about the potential change.

“Our organization runs hand in hand with the student voice,” Johnson said.
“We are proposing this to the students and are depending on their voice on how and if we should proceed.”