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Residence hall student leaders recognized at IRHA banquet

Katelyn Squiers

The Inter-Residence Hall Association (IRHA) announced its next president and vice president and presented various students with awards at its annual banquet Thursday night in the Reiman Ballroom of the ISU Alumni Center. 

More than 100 students attended the banquet, which featured a keynote speech by President Wendy Wintersteen. The event also included a dinner provided by Christiani’s VIP Catering & Events in addition to six basket giveaways.

IRHA is a student-run organization that represents students who live in residence halls. The organization focuses on the issues and concerns facing campus residents and organizes free events for students.

Adam Zeitlin, the IRHA director of leadership and a senior studying civil engineering, said the banquet provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the work students have accomplished as resident assistants (RA), Hall Council members and more.

“We have leaders in all these organizations, and sometimes those leaders aren’t paid or aren’t paid a lot,” Zeitlin said. “It’s a time to have a nice banquet ceremony, get all dressed up and look back on all the great achievements that people have had throughout the year.” 

Fels-Pedroza elected to lead the IRHA

Braden Fels, a junior double majoring in history and secondary education, and Julia Pedroza, a senior double majoring in psychology and criminal justice, were announced as the next IRHA president and vice president for the 2024-25 academic year. 

Fels is the current IRHA vice president, and Pedroza is the current IRHA director of communications. 

This year’s election saw a total of 182 votes out of around 1,200 eligible voters, according to Zeitlin, who also serves as the IRHA election commissioner. Election ballots were emailed to anyone contracted to live in a dorm in the 2024-25 academic year, excluding incoming students. 

Fels and Pedroza ran against one other slate with the campaign slogan “Learn something. Do something.” Their campaign mission, titled “DARE” focuses on four key initiatives: Dining, Accessibility, Residence Life and Engagement. 

“We’re excited to just hit the ground running,” Fels said. “We’re sending out emails to try and find executive members for next year. We really want to be able to have a full executive team filled by the end of the semester so that we can use the summer to team bond and get stuff started.” 

Additional information on Fels and Pedroza’s platform goals can be found on their campaign’s Instagram page


Keynote speech by President Wintersteen

President Wendy Wintersteen thanked this year’s residence hall leaders for their dedication as resident hall leaders and for creating an environment that makes students feel welcome. She also provided an overview of the five states of being a leader, based on the book “The Servant Leader” by James A. Autry. 

Zeitlin said a keynote speaker is not always present at the IRHA banquet, which made Wintersteen’s appearance a special element of this year’s event. 

“Because the residence hall system is so special at Iowa State University, it makes Iowa State seem like a very small place for our students,” Wintersteen said in her speech. 

Wintersteen said the residence hall system at Iowa State helps students feel comfortable on campus and creates an environment where students want to live in the dorms. She also noted that there is data depicting that students living in residence halls acclimate faster to college life and achieve higher academic success.

“This ‘Live Res Life’ is a real thing, and it’s because of [everyone] in this room,” Wintersteen said. “It’s more than just a place to sleep and study. It really is the environment that you all create.” 


Category awards

Three and Four Year Service Awards

Fifteen students received a Three Year Service Award

Seven students received a Four Year Service Award

Outstanding Student Leaders

Emma Allen

Nathan Abbott

Thaddeus Zenk

Sam Mosley

Chase Davis

Callie Lindgren

House and Hall Councils of the Year

Anders, located in Barton Hall

Bean, located in Geoffroy Hall

Campbell, located in Martin Hall

Hall of the Year – Linden Hall

Resident Assistants of the Year

Dain Dolan

Tessa Clark

Electra Li Bassi

Eli Ripperda

Tyrique Ross

Nick Fiflis

Kate Gira

Brenna Coron

Annie Chu

Charlie Doud

Sullivan Flynn

Jaedyn Stilley

Iain Davis

Clayton Stoskopf

Taylor Burnside

Graduate Assistant and Hall Director of the Year

Martina Swartwood

Khai Phyn Teo

Parliament Superlatives

David Heidenreich – Best Discussion Contributor

Tyson Spicer – Most Creative Ideas

Betsy Hahn – Silliest Goose 

Jake Snyder – Here For the Snacks

Hemanth Peddasani – Most Locked In

Peter Adams – Most Passionate Parliament Member

Adam Zeitlin Executive Member of the Year

Julia Pedroza Jecks High Impact Award

Bronze Pins

Katie Kangas

Karen Rodekamp

Virginia Caraballo

Braden Fels

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