University of Montana Western’s Department of Residence Life recently hosted an inaugural winter formal on the Montana Western campus.
Held on a Saturday night, dance attendees were treated to a variety of dessert and drink options and a meticulously curated collection of music, sophomore Resident Assistant (RA) Caitlynn Ratliff explained.
The dance was conceived of and planned by Ratliff and fellow RAs, junior Amanda Stobie and junior Gabriela Gomez-Wint.
“We wanted to make a fun event for students in the middle of winter, but more than that we wanted the dance to benefit a great organization that students could feel good about,” Ratliff said.
Residence Life will donate all proceeds from ticket sales to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The non-profit organization has arranged experiences described as “wishes” to children with life-threatening medical conditions since 1980.
“Based on the success of our first year, the formal will become an annual event,” Residence Life Director Mike Piazzola said. “Our students had a great time and raised money for a good cause. That’s the Montana Western way.”
“Montana Western RAs, who are responsible for organizing events like the winter formal, are chosen through a three-part interview process that includes an application, group interview and individual interview,” Piazzola said. “The RA position teaches them leaderships skills, how to respond to emergencies and how to work with people who are different from themselves. RAs like Caitlynn, Amanda and Gabriela are a large part of why UMW’s students have so much fun on campus.”
Students interested in becoming RAs should contact Residence Life Office at 406-683-7565 or [email protected]
Ratliff said she is already planning next year’s formal in her mind and thinking of ways to enhance the experience for Montana Western students.