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The Daily Tar Heel

This year there are four candidates running for president of the Residence Hall Association — which current President Kendall Nicosia-Rusin said is unprecedented.

The president of the association works with community governors and the Department of Housing and Residential Education. It represents the 9,500 on-campus residents.

“This is the first time in 10 years that the race has been contested,” she said. “Each of them brings a different skill set to the table.”

Grayson Berger, a freshman and community governor of Manning East, is involved in the association’s Housing Advisory Board Committee, and is involved in the Tar Heel Bikes Steering Committee.

So far, he is the only candidate who has the 250 required signatures on his petition to run, said Board of Election Chairman Robert Windsor. The other candidates still have a 24-hour grace period to collect signatures.

Berger said he wants the association to seek more input from students.

“I wanted to take RHA in a new direction, where it’s a more student-based, student-led, student-run organization,” he said. “What I would like to do is make it more transparent, grassroots based.”
Taylor Bates, a freshman running for the position, is the current governor of Craige Community.

“The biggest thing I want to do is cut the RHA presidential stipend. It’s currently $1,400 of resident money,” Bates said. “I want to cut that to zero and put that into resident programming.

Shreya Shah, a sophomore, was the lieutenant governor for Hinton James last year. She is the current executive secretary on the association board and is in charge of the alumni committee. She wants to emphasize advocacy.

“A lot of residents don’t know about RHA,” she said. “The other reason is to continue with the composting programs and Tar Heel bike programs and to forefront other new programs that would benefit not only the environment in campus but the community as a whole.”

Candidate Austin Andrews, a sophomore, was the community governor of Craige Community last year.

This year, he works on the executive board for the association and is National Communications Coordinator.

“My three biggest goals are expanding on things that we already have—Tar Heel Bikes, a composting program and Living Learning Communities—and making them more accessible and pervasive on campus.”

The election for president of the Residence Hall Association, as well as positions such as Student Body President, is Feb. 11.

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