On February 2, 2013, residence life students from Hinds attended MREAL 2013 at Mississippi State University.
Although February 2 was the big day, the work for us would start long before then. Two of the most important aspects of the conference were school spirit and philanthropy. As a group, we got crunk and got our moves on with the many chants that were established during our meetings. In addition to this, a few of the members were involved in creating a roll call video which consisted of various Resident Assistants (RA) and Residence Hall Association (RHA) members explaining what Hinds truly is.
In additon to the chants and the video for school spirit, we all took part in making Valentine cards for those in hospice, retirement homes, etc. At the end of the week, we had completed over 800 cards to take to the conference.
With the excitement we were filled with the night before the conference, a few of us worked nonstop from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. the morning of the conference. I was unable to catch any sleep until 4:00 and I was up by 4:30 ready to go.
As we took our first steps onto the MSU campus, we were already showing our school spirit as our "rivals" Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) were in the bus right behind us, and as anyone would expect, it was competition from the first moment we made contact.
After signing in and eating our breakfast, it was time to enter the auditorium for the opening ceremony. This consisted of the viewing of our roll call videos and each school showing out with chants. From this, you could tell that not only do we have rivals, but Hinds has friends, and this was shown through our MAROON... WHITE!!! back and forth collaboration with MSU. Although my primary motivation for attending the conference was to represent my school, I would gain much more from the conference.
The first guest speaker at the conference was Dr. Hank Flick, an instructor at MSU. The reason I was excited about this was that this person has played an important role in my life as he contributed encouraging words to me my sophomore year of high school that would help me succeed both in education and life. After speaking to fellow attendants about their opinion on Dr. Flick, I heard nothing but positive feedback about his presentation.
After introductions were over, Mississippi Association of Residence Hall Students (MARHS) board members were called out to a meeting, while other conference attendants would go on to attend various programs throughout the day. I had the experience to gain much knowledge from the programs I had attended at MREAL last year; however, this year would be much more different than what I had expected as I was chosen to be a Hinds delegate for MARHS.
The programs that Hinds had submitted were a complete success, and despite my involvement in the meeting, I was able to see first hand just how well prepared my fellow delegates were and how well the programs were going.
At the end of the night, we had a snack dinner and would all meet back up in the auditorium for the closing (and awards) ceremony. Hinds had much success.
Hinds would come out with the following awards:
*Philanthropy award for most Valentine cards
*Most Philanthropic (overall)
*Most spirited roll call video
*Top 8 program
In addition to Hinds as a whole, a personal award was also received by Hinds' very own Ernest Dixon. Mr. Dixon was presented an award for his years of involvement with MARHS.
If this wasn't enough, this conference laid the path for Hinds to become more involved in MARHS as we would find out that I was elected for the Associated Director of Communications for the MARHS board for 2013-2014.
The MREAL 2013 conference was quite a memorable experience for each and everyone of the Hinds delegates that attended, and I know that most of us look forward to attending future conferences.