The Employee Recognition Committee of Staff Senate would like to congratulate the Midwest Affiliation of College and University Residence Halls (MACURH) Conference Staff for the November 2004 Department of the Month award.
When a group of UNK students attended the annual Midwest Affiliation of College and University Residence Halls (MACURH) conference in Springfield, Mo., a year ago to network with peers from other regional institutions and gather programming ideas that could be used on the UNK campus, the conference inspired them to do much more. They decided UNK would make an excellent host site for the November 2004 conference.
Once back on campus, the group initiated a three-month process of developing a bid for the event. After many exhausting long nights of planning, the bid team traveled to Kansas State University last February to compete with five other delegations for the honor of hosting MACURH 2004. The competition was stiff. Many of the other bid teams had hosting experience, while this was the first time the UNK student group had attempted to put together a bid.
Further, the bidding process set a national record for the most schools bidding for a single MACURH conference. Other schools that bid for this year's conference included Creighton University in Omaha, Drake University in Des Moines, Minnesota State University Moorhead, the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. However, at the close of the bidding, UNK had successfully received the bid.
Since February, under the direction of Conference Chair Elizabeth Obermeier, the MACURH staff has developed a Web site, created a budget in excess of $60,000, sought programs, reserved facilities and transportation to serve the approximately 700 attendees, secured corporate sponsorship, recruited and trained volunteers and security personnel, coordinated a philanthropy project for participants, and hired entertainment and food service personnel.
On Nov. 12-14, the conference will open and UNK will welcome students from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and the province of Manitoba. During the conference, students will attend rallies, ceremonies, programs, dances and keynote speeches. When the conference opens, conference staff will have worked for one calendar year, put in an excess of 3,000 hours, recruited more than 100 UNK students to assist with implementing the conference and have enhanced the leadership abilities of the students working on the project.
Gail Sims-Aubert, UNK area coordinator for Residential and Greek Life, is a conference adviser. Members of the 2004 conference staff, listed alphabetically by hometown, include: Elizabeth Obermeier and Luke Saulsberry, both of Aurora; Ruth Udey of Columbus; Matt Allbright of Cozad; Sarah Marshall of Elm Creek; Heather Jahnke and Alisha Schnackenberg, both of Gothenburg; Rachel Rowley and Heidi Ruzicka, both of Grand Island; LaTona Schmieding of Gresham; Meghan Vogel of Hastings; Ely Colindres of Lexington; Kayla Johansen of Marquette; Amanda Mollet of North Platte; Trisha Borland, Brooke Johnson, Jeff Kenney and Kathleen Parish, all of Omaha; Tom Schlund of Ravenna; and Michael Eiberger of St. Paul.
Staff Senate commends the MACURH conference staff for their commitment and leadership in hosting the 2004 MACURH conference on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus this month.