The National Residence Hall Honorary Highlander Chapter is an organization specific to Residence Life that recognizes the top 1% of on-campus student leaders. Its membership capacity is 1% of the possible population on campus. This is enforced by the Central Atlantic Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls and National Association of College and University Residence Halls.
Formed in 2021, the chapter aims to enhance the resident experience through professional development, community outreach, and organized advocacy. Students can apply to be a member through a form; it requires at least one recommendation from a staff member in Residence Life or adjacent departments who can advocate for your impact on student experience.
“NRHH has extended its abilities as an honorary organization into the realm of advocacy with our Residence Life Amenities Survey, which received 532 responses and provided critical feedback to various administrators,” said Sebastian Fine, third-year biomedical engineering graduate student and chapter president.
The chapter sells grilled cheese sandwiches weekly as a fundraiser for NJIT delegation to both regional and national conferences; the order form can be found at njit.gg/cheese, generally on Thursday nights. Additionally, in partnership with Residence Hall Association, the chapter can identify on-campus residents who volunteer or support its mission and provide them with the ability to attend conferences representing NJIT residents — they do not have to be an inducted member of the chapter.
“The most enjoyable component is being able to structure a space for my executive board to professionally and personally develop,” Fine said. “The competitive nature of being a recognized student leader can become dehumanizing and overextending; aiding my executive board in finding their individual balance of work and life while serving both the NJIT and greater Newark community through advocacy and programing provides me with a sense of pride.”
Albert Joseph, third-year mechanical engineering major and chapter vice president, commented, “This semester, NRHH has exceeded my expectations because we have done many large-scale programs in a very short amount of time. We have also pursued a large amount of branding initiatives and collaborated with multiple organizations despite only being founded in 2021.”
“My favorite part of the club definitely has to be the leadership experience I get as being part of the executive board. Being behind the scenes with the events we host or sponsor, actively seeing NRHH’s impact on the community, and working with my colleagues has been enjoyable,” stated Manal Desai, third-year computer science and applied mathematics major as well as the chapter co-treasurer.
Secretary of the chapter Ayushi Shah, a fourth-year architecture major, was inducted in April after being encouraged to apply considering her position as a Resident Assistant. “I was very interested in doing more large-scale programming as a part of the executive board. We have since been able to do quite a few programs, including a banquet for Residence Life staff, a community trash pickup with NJIT’s Public Safety Department, a murder mystery with the Forensic Science Student Association, and a pumpkin carving competition with the Hillier College of Architecture and Design and American Institute of Architecture Students,” she said.
Like Desai, Sheetal Padhi enjoys making grilled cheese sandwiches with the other volunteers. When asked about her favorite part of being involved, the third-year biomedical engineering major and head of the branding committee responded, “The people I met.”
“Programming focuses on two primary pillars: accessibility — food, location, or ability to participate — and impact — content, recognition, education, or even distraction from the multitudes of stressors college life can evoke,” Fine added. On Nov. 30, the group will be hosting a tabletop game night in the Laurel Hall Game Room from 9:30-11:30 p.m. It’s also planning a cooking event in December, Nutrition Night, which is geared towards Maple Hall residents.
The chapter hosts weekly executive board meetings and monthly general assembly meetings for current members. General assembly meetings generally take place on the last Friday of each month during common hour from 12-1 p.m. in Room 115 of Cypress Hall.
The organization will be hosting information sessions for the application process in the spring. Feel free to reach out to the National Residence Hall Honorary Highlander Chapter through its Instagram, email, or Highlander Hub page at @nrrh_njit, firstname.lastname@example.org, or https://njit.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/nrhh.