This past semester has been one of, admittedly, little communication, so I'd like to provide you with a transparent view of what's been going on behind the scenes, what we're working on, and what our goals are going forward.
To provide context for the year, I'd like to take you back to GRHO 2019. At our annual conference, we held elections, as per usual, to fill the Executive Board for the 2019-20 year. We filled four of the six positions at the conference (Executive Director, Associate Director of Promotions, Associate Director of Administration, and Advisor), leaving two positions temporarily vacant (Associate Director of Recognition and Advisor Elect). In the weeks following the conference, a series of unexpected events transpired, leading to the resignation of our elected Associate Director of Promotions and Executive Director and leaving our Executive Board with two officers: Sarah Herring—our Advisor--and myself (Bryan Gomez)—the, at the time, Associate Director of Administration. I've since assumed the role of Interim Executive Director.
Sarah and I have been operating under this two-person team for the majority of the year. An early call for applications to fill the remaining vacancies in March of this year, unfortunately, proved unsuccessful, as did an attempted business meeting in April to discuss filling the vacancies (due to not meeting quorum). At the same time that we were looking to fill vacancies, we were also looking to find a Conference Host for GRHO 2020 since no bids were received during GRHO 2019 to host.
In the past few months, we've been fortunate to have Clayton State University step up to host GRHO 2020, which will take place on February 21st and 22nd. The conference committee meets weekly every Friday, and most essential key components of the conference, including transportation, housing, dining, entertainment, and more, have been solidified. Registration for the conference is now open, and the cost of the conference is $75 per delegate.
Just a few weeks ago, Sarah and I also brought on two new members to our team: Ariane Stark and Anshul Banga. As opposed to serving as elected officers, Ariane and Anshul are currently serving as appointed Executive Assistants to both Sarah and I, and they will be helping us with all things GRHO as we get closer to GRHO 2020.
Over the past semester, I've been working on multiple behind-the-scenes IT and organizational projects, one of which you're looking at right now. Our previous GRHO website was running on an old Weebly framework that needed major updating, as did our domain name and our Google Suite team (which is actually classified as a Legacy account, which has been outdated since December of 2012). When I logged onto our platform, I was shocked to find hundreds of unorganized files and thousands of unsorted (and unread) emails spanning across multiple addresses and dating back to June 2012. The past semester has been a slow effort to go through all of these files and emails, slowly organizing them and adding context to them in an attempt to standardize our—mostly buried—resources.
All of that brings us to today. Now that we have a committed team working on not just our annual conference but also the governance and operations of GRHO, we plan to hit the ground running come January. Because we're getting such an unanticipated late start to the year, our priorities are shifted slightly and focused on the bare essentials of GRHO. Whereas in a normal year we might focus more on networking, hosting business meetings, hosting open and virtual office hours to discuss university-specific problems/concerns, and more, our current team is looking to focus primarily on just four key aspects of GRHO: affiliation, our annual conference, recognition, and creating the necessary infrastructure to support the next year of GRHO and ensure the proper filling of all officer positions at this year's conference.
Accordingly, you'll be receiving many updates on each of these points in the coming days and weeks. Affiliation is already open, and all schools in Georgia that have residence hall organizations are encouraged to affiliate as soon as possible. We've shortened the affiliation process significantly and have removed RFI and governing document submission as a necessary part of affiliating. A flyer listing some of the benefits to affiliating is attached at the end of this post. Registration for GRHO 2020 has also opened, and more details concerning conference scheduling, program presentation submissions, and more will be posted here as soon as they're received from Clayton State. Full information covering our Peach Awards and Annual Bids (including timelines, selection criteria, etc) will be released by next Friday, December 20th at 5pm. Schools will have the ability to backlog Peach Awards for the whole entire year, and bid submissions will be due sometime in early to mid February.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach me directly at 770-789-7480. I deeply appreciate your patience this year as we've worked to fill positions and ensure the success of GRHO 2020,
Bryan Gomez, Interim Executive Director