RHA can: challenge created to fight hunger

The holiday season is coming up, and food drives around campus are in full swing. Local organization Helping Hands is collecting cans for families in need, and students have plenty of opportunities to chip in.

The Collegiate Financial Organization was part of a group that announced a food drive, and the university’s Residence Hall Association joined forces to help inspire students to support local food banks and the community.

Hot off the heels of the successful Flat Randy Project, RHA sponsor and Burt Hall Resident Director Rebeka Retta thought it was time to bring students together by performing a service project..

She brainstormed with co-sponsors Johnson Hall Resident Director Julie Barr and associate dean of students and Director of Residence Life Donna Plank.

Freshman exercise sport science major Nicole Viana fills boxes with canned food that will be donated to the local food bank, Helping Hands. The 10 Day Tin Can Challenge, hosted by RHA, challenges students to give to those in need for the holidays. Photo by Halley Harrell/The Bells

“I know there’s another organization that’s doing a can drive, and they asked (Julie) if it would be possible to do something in the dorms to promote the students within the dorms to (donate),” Retta said. “All the cans will eventually go to Helping Hands. So we got to thinking and Julie said, ‘Why don’t we do a challenge and see who can get the most cans?’”

Retta met with the publicity team for RHA and hashed out the details.

Since the competition lasts Nov. 5-15, the team decided to name it the 10 Day Tin Can Challenge.

Though the main goal is to assist Helping Hands, RHA wanted students to have fun in the process by hosting a competition.

The dorm that collects the most cans wins the chance to prank their resident director.

Some of the proposed prizes include free room checks and throwing jello and pies at the RD.

Freshman exercise sport science major and RHA publicity team member Nicole Viana believes the contest aspect of the canned food drive is what makes it successful.

“We wanted to make it fun and not just donate cans. We wanted the students in the halls to get something out of it, so we decided to make it a competition within the dorms,” she said.

Retta hopes to mimick the success that another project generated. She said, “The Flat Randy project that we did worked out really well; people had a lot of fun with it, so we did something else against dorms.”

However, Retta is looking for more in the 10 Day Tin Can Challenge.

“Even though the Flat Randy was a lot of fun, it was just fun,” she said. “This one is fun still, but it’s about helping other people, thinking outside of ourselves. It’s kind of a twist because it’s still like the Flat Randy where there’s competition, but it’s still helping out.”

Each residence hall has a drop-off box where students can bring their cans

Freshman nursing major Brooke Villani donated 40 cans. Which prize is she hoping to score?

“The room check,” she said. “I like that one best.”

Author: Halley Harrell

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