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#URSuccess Contest Winners 2014

First things first, thank you to everyone who participated in the #URSuccess social media contest! The quantity and quality of participation blew us away, enough that we wanted to share not only the winning entries but also a group of finalists who perfectly captured various aspects of success in University Residences. Some entries are funny, some are heartfelt and all are a reminder that living on campus is a dynamic and unique experience. There was singing, there was sledding, and there were zombies.

All we asked for were social media posts with the hashtag #URSuccess showing us something great about living on campus. Posts could include a photo or video and were judged on creativity and originality. In order to be eligible for a prize, the student had to have re-contracted to live in University Residences again next year, since the contest was part of our contract renewal campaign. After the 10-week contest concluded March 31, a panel of HFS administrators chose three winning entries, featured here:

First Place: Matt Tornquist (Cary Quad)

Matt produced a video of snow day sledding on Slayter Hill, getting ready to brave the cold in his room and then joining all the students who trek to Slayter for a day of fun when classes are cancelled. Matt won a customized dinner with 20 friends at the Gathering Place in Meredith Hall, where he will get to plan the menu with a professional chef.


Second Place: Stephanie Leeth (Hillenbrand)

Stephanie is an RA at Hillenbrand who snapped this photo of a bulletin board she designed, which celebrates diversity and encourages students to be mindful of some commonly-used offensive phrases. The second place prize is a meal with 10 friends in the Athletic Dining Room in Cary Quad where the Boilermaker athletes eat.

Stephanie Leeth Feb 17


Third Place: Nichol Wuertemberger (Cary Quad)

Nichol’s photo is a quintessential res hall experience… Everybody grab an instrument and annoy the neighbors! Nichol’s prize is lunch with 10 friends at the Sagamore Restaurant in Purdue Memorial Union, a favorite food spot of Purdue faculty.

Nichol Wuertemberger March 27 (2)


Honorable Mentions (listed alphabetically):

Hannah Addie had two entries as finalists, one of engineering students on her floor making homemade snowboards and another of her RA staff dressed as characters from The Walking Dead.

Hannah Addie Feb 7

Hannah Addie Feb 3

Nicoletta Fala shared videos from several events in Shreve. Forewarning: karaoke.


Steven Kalacinski parodied a football training event to create the “RA Combine.” (Read bottom to top for sequential order).

Steven Kalacinski Feb 24


Stephanie Leeth shared two videos, one that includes projectile food and the other a song written and performed for an RA.


Elliot Mathieu took the time to celebrate his resident assistant on RA Appreciation Day.

Elliot Mathieu Feb 19


Lorrie Newhouse shared a photo of the hand-made invitations to a Valentine’s Dance from Tarkington to Windsor and then a group shot at the event.

Lorrie Newhouse Feb 13

Lorrie Newhouse Feb 21


Kelly Peterson captured about half of Meredith crammed into a common room to watch the Super Bowl.

Kelly Peterson Feb 4


Joel Phillips made a compilation video of the dining courts, residence halls and sledding at Slayter Hill.


Raymond Riley found his way to the Shreve Chatterbox for a study break. As detailed in our Of-the-Months post from March, the Chatterbox is a ballpit with questions written on some of the balls to encourage students to get to know each other by jumping in and start conversations.

Raymond Riley Feb 20


Annie Sheahan shared a touching moment from a program at Windsor, where students sent Valentine’s cards to a retirement village.

Annie Sheahan Feb 11


Nichol Wuertemberger shared another photo of the Shreve Chatterbox, with the guidelines for participation listed on the right.

Nichol Wuertemberger March 25 (2)


Hannah Young praised the staff of the dining courts for coming to work and cooking during a very snowy winter at Purdue.

Hannah Young Feb 5


February Of-the-Month Winners

National Residence Hall Honorary recognizes outstanding students, staff, organizations and programs in residential life every month with Of-the-Month (OTM) awards. We’re going to start publishing the winners of these awards here to highlight what is so special about living in University Residences and spotlight one or more winners with a description of why that program or person deserves the recognition.


Social Program Winner: Shreve Hall Chatterbox

Person in Charge: Parth Shah, Shelby Farmer     

Nominated by: Ryan Egan

The idea to put a ball pit in a public space originated from the website, created by Rainn Wilson (or Dwight Schrute from The Office). The original purpose was to allow strangers in New York to meet one another amongst all the hustle and bustle of the big city. Having seen SoulPancake’s ball pit video, Shreve’s fourth floor RAs Parth Shah and Shelby Farmer felt that this underutilized piece of equipment typically found in children’s play places could be thoroughly enjoyed by college students.

The Chatterbox is intended as a free space for residents of the large hall to meet each other without the usual stunted awkwardness characteristic of introductions. To aid in the get-to-know-you process, Parth and Shelby wrote conversation starters on miniature beach balls immersed in the Chatterbox, questions such as, “If you had a month to live, what would you do?” The Chatterbox is a passive program in the purest sense. Some of the RAs assembled it in the lobby one evening and left it largely unattended for a few weeks, leaving the rest up to residents. On a given day, one can walk by the Chatterbox and find two or three residents sitting and talking about life. Sometimes you might find a student lying face down in the Chatterbox after coming back from a hard day of classes. I’ve walked through the lobby to see a person sitting solitarily in the Chatterbox, only to watch as a pair of hands and a face emerged from below the surface, accompanied by laughter from all involved. Whether as a reminder of the simpler days of childhood or a vehicle for intellectual adult conversations, the Chatterbox is open to everyone.

Congratulations to all of our Of-the-Month winners for February!

February OTM Winners

#URSuccess Contest Rules

University Residences isn’t just a place to sleep at night. It’s much more than that. It’s a place to live, a place to learn. And let’s be honest, a place to play. And if you’re lucky, a place to sleep during the day sometimes.

We at UR want to capture everything that is great about the residence hall experience – the late night cramming, the late night pizza deliveries, the early morning cramming – and show it off to your peers. So we’re having a contest to see who can best demonstrate #URSUCCESS. And the winners get prizes, so keep reading.

Success in University Residences could be a photo of 40 people piled in a lounge to watch the Super Bowl, a video tour of the coolest room on campus or a Vine video of you studying for a test and then later showing off you got an A (or a B, tests are hard). It can be funny, or sentimental, or artistic, or even just a selfie. Post it on social media with the hashtag #URSUCCESS and you’re in the contest.

1. Each entry should be one of the following and include the hashtag #URSUCCESS:

Vine Video
Standard text post

2. Entries must be posted by March 31, 2014, by 5 p.m.

3. You MUST be currently enrolled at Purdue and MUST plan to live on campus next year. Only entries posted by students who have signed a housing contract for 2014-15 by the deadline (March 31) are eligible to win prizes.

4. Your legal name must be listed on your profile or included in your post. We have to know your name to give you a prize.

5. Your post settings must be set to “public” – or we can’t see it! We have to see it to give you a prize.

Entries will be judged by a team of administrators, and prizes will be awarded based on creativity and originality.

First Place: Customized dinner for you and 20 friends at the Gathering Place in Meredith Hall – you get to work with a Purdue Dining & Catering chef to select your personalized meal! Your favorite foods will be prepared by a professional chef.

Second Place: A meal for you and 10 friends in the Athletic Dining Room in Cary Quad – test the limits of the phrase “serving size” as you eat where the Boilermaker athletes eat.

Third Place: Lunch for you and 10 friends at the Sagamore Restaurant in the Purdue Memorial Union – enjoy fine dining at a favorite food spot of Purdue faculty that includes a made-to-order hot serve station.

Winners will be contacted April 4 through their Purdue email address or the social media platform from which they posted. You will have until April 8 at 5 p.m. to respond to your notification, or your prize will be forfeited. Once you respond, Housing & Food Services staff will contact you to coordinate the details of your event, which will take place during the spring semester of 2014.

No cash value can be exchanged for your prize if you win. Best of luck and may the odds be ever, well, you know.