Anderson-Fels elected to lead the Inter-Residence Hall Association


Chloe Anderson, a sophomore majoring in biology, and Braden Fels, a freshman double majoring in history and secondary education, will be the next IRHA president and vice-president. Photo taken by Thomas Burkart and courtesy of Arianna Fischer.

Chloe Anderson, a sophomore majoring in biology, and Braden Fels, a freshman double majoring in history and secondary education, were elected as the next Inter-Residence Hall Association (IRHA) president and vice president.

The 2023 election saw a total of 142 votes out of around 12,000 eligible voters, according to Arianna Fischer, the election commissioner and a senior studying business analytics. Election ballots were emailed to anyone contracted to live in a dorm in the 2023-2024 academic year, excluding incoming students.

The Inter-Residence Hall Association is a student-run organization that represents students who live in residence halls. They focus on the issues and concerns facing campus residents and organize free events.

Anderson and Fels ran in the election against one other slate with a campaign platform focused on three key points:

  • Dining
  • Outreach
  • Representation/Feedback

Together, these goals spell DOR, which stands for Department of Residence.

The dining aspect of their campaign includes adding Get & Go hours to the weekend and creating more meal bundles so students can purchase a full meal using a single flex meal. They also hope to add healthier food options, like fresh produce, in the campus convenience stores.

Outreach is focused around sending IRHA executives to hall council meetings early in the school year. Anderson and Fels want to advertise the leadership roles that are available as soon as possible to help residents gain leadership experience at the beginning of the year.

“We want to let residents know early what they can all get involved with so when they have career fairs, they’re able to already have leadership experience listed,” Fels said.

Fels said they also want to send executive members out more consistently to ensure IRHA utilizes all of its funds. He said there is “a lot” of leftover money this year and hopes they can avoid this in the future and host more events.

With representation/feedback, Fels said they want to set up posters with links for students to send in suggestions and complaints. One example he gave was having an experience with a dirty table. Fels said ISU Dining is also hoping to pursue a “suggestion wall” that students can post notes on so they can see when their message is pulled down and addressed.

Anderson and Fels ran against Julia Pedroza, a junior double majoring in psychology and computer science with a minor in criminal justice, and Amanda Roeder, a freshman double majoring in business management and marketing.

“They competed really hard; they worked really hard, and they should be proud,” Fels said. “They were fantastic people to run against, and they definitely made it a more enjoyable time.”

Anderson said they interacted with several student leaders and residents who played a large role in their success.

“We’ve had a lot of really good student leaders that were supporting us but also to look up to,” Anderson said. “There’s also a lot of people from different communities on campus that were really supportive and awesome to talk to.”

Fels said he also interacted with several people on his dorm floor who gave him support and feedback. While brushing his teeth in the communal bathroom or walking to fill his water bottle, other residents would give him fist bumps and wish him good luck.

“It definitely motivated me to want to work harder and motivate them and help them out,” Fels said.

Fels said one of the challenges they anticipate for next year revolves around the large number of people who will not be returning to IRHA next year. Many of the leaders they interacted with and learned from are graduating seniors or retiring staff members.

Anderson said one of the challenges for her will be the quick transition into her role as president because the election’s timing does not leave much time in the semester. Fels was re-elected into his role and will not have a transition into the vice-president position this term.

“Ultimately, though, I think that me and Thomas [the current IRHA president] can both work on getting that transition done smoothly and efficiently, so I think that will go over okay,” Anderson said.

Fels said he and Anderson are excited to continue helping residents. When they helped host a Super Bowl event earlier this semester, their favorite part was watching students have fun and enjoy themselves.

“That’s why we do what we do,” Fels said. “We do it for the residents.”

Anderson and Fels said they are both proud of the work they have put into the campaign, but they could not have done it without the friends and family who supported them.

“I think they had a huge impact on how the election went and also how we felt about it,” Anderson said.

Anderson and Fels both have one year of experience with IRHA. Anderson currently serves as Eaton Hall’s president and IRHA representative, and Fels is the current vice president of IRHA, re-elected for a second term. Anderson and Fels are also members of the IRHA events committee, ISU Dining influencers and members of the National Residence Hall Honorary.

Anderson and Fels will lead their first parliament meeting on April 27, and their term will begin in the summer.