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UW-Eau Claire Student Team Wins Bid to Host Conference in 2010

RELEASED: March 3, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — Students involved in various leadership positions in Housing and Residence Life at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have won a bid to host the Wisconsin United Residence Hall Association 2010 annual conference.

The 27 students started their work in November 2008 by forming a team and writing a 40-page bid, including a conference schedule, lodging information, leadership development programming for student participants, entertainment options and service-learning opportunities.

"The students came together and formed (committee) leadership with minimal adviser support," said senior Jordan Benedict, Eau Claire, conference co-chair. "It's a diverse group that recognizes the higher purpose of serving student leaders and is extremely motivated by this."

The team worked with several departments and organizations to plan programming for the conference. Activities will range from a leadership seminar by Beth Hellwig, vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, to a workshop by mathematics faculty about catapult building. Conference participants also can volunteer with the "Jumpstart for a Day" program, which emphasizes language and literacy programs for preschool children deemed to be at risk.

The Children's Hospital of Wisconsin was selected as the central philanthropy for the conference. Monetary donations will be accepted from each participating delegation.

Benedict and senior Mike DuPont, Green Bay, and sophomore Emma Brennan, Madison, presented the bid at the WURHA 2009 conference earlier this month. The bid was presented to representatives of 17 public and private schools. After the presentation, the representatives voted on the 2010 site. UW-Eau Claire was announced as the 2010 host school at the closing banquet.

"We had invested so much into this presentation," said Brennan. "When they announced that WURHA 2010 was going to be at UW-Eau Claire it was a surreal moment that I will never forget. It was a victory for not just us but for everyone who had worked on this presentation."

The student bid team will transition to a conference staff and will begin planning the WURHA 2010 conference, which will be held March 5-7, 2010, at UW-Eau Claire.

"Our goal has been, and always will be, to serve the student leaders of Wisconsin to the best of our abilities," said Benedict. "Our vision, ambition, preparedness and motivation is what won this conference for us, and it will also be what makes this WURHA one of the best and most memorable there has ever been."

For more information, contact Paul Shepherd, an assistant director in Housing and Residence Life, at shephepr@uwec.edu.

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