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Morgan Hughes to hold Housing and Residence Life chair position without co-chair

A second student was not selected to fill the empty position despite a second-round applicant pool

An alternate student was offered the position after Baddeliyanage vacated it.
An alternate student was offered the position after Baddeliyanage vacated it.

Third-year College student Morgan Hughes will serve as the sole Housing and Residence Life chair for the upcoming 2023-24 school year after her previous co-chair, third-year College student Roshan Baddeliyanage, elected to leave the position and take a room on the Lawn for his fourth year. 

An alternate student was offered the position after Baddeliyanage vacated it. The alternate rejected the offer, and the HRL team opened a second round of applications but ultimately did not select anyone to serve in the role. 

For the 2023-24 year, the HRL leadership team will consist of five people, with Hughes as the chair and four vice-chairs. The vice-chairs were selected prior to Baddeliyanage’s decision to step down as co-chair. 

Holly Sims, fourth-year Batten student and outgoing HRL co-chair, opted not to share the number of second-round applications.

“[The position] takes a lot of understanding of multiple pieces of the program, so it can be tough to be able to speak about every single moving piece,” Sims said. “Morgan does a great job of that, and we just felt that the other applicants when we had opened it up just weren’t quite ready to take on all of that responsibility.”

Hughes and Baddeliyanage were selected as HRL co-chairs for the upcoming 2023-24 school year in February by the current team led by current co-chairs — Holly Sims and fourth-year College student Karissa Ng.

The HRL positions lead the Resident Staff program by selecting, supervising and mentoring Resident Staff members. They also work in collaboration with partners across University administration to engage in self-governance and create inclusive communities.

“It’s an interesting dynamic when you’ve already got a team put together, and we just felt it would be better for the program to move forward with that team of five who’s already done a lot of the legwork to get the year set up,” Sims said. 

As HRL co-chairs, Hughes and Baddeliyanage planned to focus on student self-governance and upperclassman housing. Hughes said she found out Baddeliyanage dropped out of his position to live on the Lawn March 3.

“I was really excited that [Baddeliyanage] was selected, and I felt like we both had a great vision for the program,” Hughes said. “But I entirely respect his decision, and I wish him all the best living on the Lawn.”

Both Sims and Hughes said the decision to adjust the number of HRL co-chairs is not unprecedented. In previous years, HRL has had a single chair and up to three co-chairs.

“I’m really excited about the year ahead,” Hughes said. “All of the things that Roshan and I were excited to do, I’m still very excited to do now, and I don’t really think that this is going to change my vision or my plan for the next year.”

Baddeliyanage declined to comment.