Formal House Leadership at Crawford House consists of the elected and appointed members of the HAC, an additional appointed coordinator of the "Crawford Cup, "the RA Staff, and FHOH. Informal leaders exist throughout the house, bringing their social influence to the floors, to house-wide events and to other organizations on campus. Mentorship at Crawford is both formal and informal. Informal mentorship happens between and among the FHOH and RA Staff and the HAC, when the real-life events of the house require real-time responses that model an adherence to our house values. Some of these conversations happen in private, in one on one dialogue between members of the leadership team. Others are more public, through FHOH facilitated floor meetings or in our weekly Staff and HAC meetings.
Formally, we view the RAs and HAC as both house leaders and principal learners in the community. We seek to provide paced, modeled opportunities for both teams to build their skills in community-building, engagement, event-planning and conflict resolution. While the RAs are well-prepared by our Residential Life staff and supported by a professional area coordinator, in-house mentorship focuses on how those larger commonalities among Res Life leadership may be enacted responsively here. Likewise, we seek to expand on the leadership training the HAC enjoys through Commons-wide supports to use the lived experience of Crawford House as a case-study in leadership and community development. In our weekly meetings, we discuss both the practical demands of house events or happenings and organizational philosophy that may help us to prepare and respond more effectively to this community. By naming the times when leadership theory can help to describe a house phenomenon, the experience of our HAC can move toward a natural integration of theory and practice in leadership.
In the 2017-2018 academic year, Crawford's first election for House President resulted in a tie between two candidates. After the run-off election, both candidates remained involved in House Leadership, with one assuming the role of our President and the other as our PR Chair. Describing the experience of the HAC, one member said, "Living here has made me believe that growing up might not be so awful after all." As we have in previous years, we hosted an HAC bonding hunt in the early Spring of 2018, during which members of the HAC were tasked with a number of critical thinking and community-building exercises, at the end of which they were hosted for a shared dinner. This important tradition allows our HAC to build the kind of inter reliance that they'll need to take real leadership in the House, especially as we move into the more student-directed second semester. Again, our Floor Representatives took an equal role in House Leadership as our elected President and Vice President. The culmination of their leadership growth was evident in our penultimate House-wide event, The Crawmazing Race, for which each HAC member was responsible for enlisting and leading a team in a cross-city race. This event, entirely driven by our HAC and RA staff, received honors as the Event of the Year from Residential Life.