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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

RHA Spirit Week to encourage campus involvement, community

Saint Mary’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) kicks off its annual Spirit Week on Monday, with a series of events that occurs annually to foster community among students who live on campus and make students feel at home.

“We want to create an environment where students feel they have an opportunity to get involved [with] events where they feel welcome,” RHA president and senior Grace Kelly said.

This year, Spirit Week has an Olympics theme and will begin with an opening ceremony on Monday evening, she said. After that, there will be s’mores on the island at Lake Marian.

Spirit Week is known for its giveaways, Kelly said, and this year will include giveaways for larger numbers of students than those of previous years. A t-shirt giveaway on Monday will have enough shirts for all students living on campus, as well as some for a limited number of off-campus students wanting a shirt. Residents of each dorm will have a different shirt design.

“Because we’re the Residence Hall Association and represent the people who live in the residence halls, we felt it was important to make sure that everybody got a shirt,” Kelly said.

Events scheduled throughout the week include a donut giveaway in Reignbeaux Lounge in the lobby of Le Mans Hall on Tuesday morning, a volleyball tournament on Wednesday evening and a scavenger hunt on Thursday. A closing ceremony for the week will be held on Friday.

“These events sound low-key, and I want them to [so] students don’t think they’re too overwhelming,” Kelly said.

In addition to the community fostered at the events, Kelly said RHA has also planned another giveaway to encourage students to come to events throughout the week.

“For every event you go to, you get a ticket to put in a bowl,” Kelly said. “At the end of the week, we’re going to draw a name out of the bowls for a gift basket. The more events you go to, the more chances you have to put tickets in … for the gift basket.”

She said the gift basket will include gift cards, food items, beauty supplies and a sweater.

Funding for Spirit Week activities and giveaways comes primarily from the funds allocated to student organizations at the beginning of each academic year, Kelly said. For events that occur later in the year, RHA uses money from fundraisers that take place throughout the year.

Spirit Week was originally planned to take place earlier in September, but Kelly said planning the events and ordering shirts took longer than anticipated.

“We didn’t really feel prepared to have it earlier,” Kelly said. “Everything had to be evaluated by the Office of Student Involvement and a lot of [other] people before we could get [Spirit Week] approved.”