CISSA, SU, BSD, CCR, CCEL Â-- as if arriving at university wasn't disorienting enough, it seems every organization, club and event carries an acronym with its name.
Fortunately, for all students living in residence, there is one acronym that can prove exceptionally helpful in deciphering all of the others. The Residence Students' Association, or RSA, is a valuable resource available to students living on campus. Whether new students are looking for their mailbox, trying to figure out how to get involved around campus or just wanting to find their way through the MacEwan Student Centre without being road-blocked by unknown acronyms, the RSA are there to help.
Residence students may notice a change in RSA priorities since last September, when an on-campus party got out of control and placed the RSA on probation with Residence Student Services.
RSA executive president Matthew Knox claimed some of the credit for the RSA changes and recognized the efforts of last year's president, Luke Mason, for his efforts.
"We have definitely, in the past, been labelled as a party organization but we have been moving past that," said Knox.
The current RSA office has a better relationship with residence services said Knox. They are providing an open and easy to find place for students and volunteers alike. Now located in the Dining Centre instead of Rundle Hall, students can easily walk by and see what is going on inside.
Knox hopes to bring about more accountability for individual executives members to prevent situations similar to last year's from punishing the organization as a whole.
"Instead of having us get in trouble for one person, [we want to] have enough accountability that one gets in trouble, not the group," Knox said. "It only takes one person to ruin it for everyone."
The RSA is also looking to use up some of the alumni trust fund in the residence buildings, however these plans are not finalized. The alumni trust is paid into by members of residence as part of their fees and goes towards projects that are beneficial for all future residence students. Previous projects made possible by the trust are lounge furniture and TVs and the giant rock outside the Dining Centre used to advertise events.
RSA volunteers provide reliable information to every student living in residence. From planning events like rez rodeo, to getting everyone riled up for the next Dino's game, to bringing student issues into the council, the building Student Representatives and other volunteers make the community of residence an exciting place to live.
Also in the works are efforts to improve relations with the SU, something Knox sees as very feasible this year, with several SU executives having former ties with the RSA.