Pacific earns four top honors at college housing conference

University of the Pacific students and staff earned for awards at a college housing conference.

Students and staff were honored for their philanthropy, inclusive programming and school spirit.

University of the Pacific students and staff who work in Residential Life and Housing received four major awards at a conference held recently at University of California, Davis.

The Western Association of College and University Housing Officers hosted the conference, which provided students with professional development, program ideas and supported their growth as leaders.

“It was great to see the pride that students showed for Pacific,” said Yna Gonzales ’26, a Pharmacy student and lead resident assistant. I believe we will be able to take many things we learned and apply them to our work and studies at Pacific.”

Pacific’s honors were:

Philanthropy Award: The honor went to the university that donated the most items for a philanthropy project. Pacific donated 88 feminine hygiene kits, three times more than any other school.

Top-Three Program Award: Addison Bedford, a staff area coordinator, won for a program entitled “Inclusion of People with Disabilities in On-Campus Events.”

Spirit Points Award: This was awarded to the school with the most spirit points through school spirit, costumes, banner creation and participation in the philanthropy project.

Spirit Award: Pacific won this award in a vote by all schools. The Spirit Award is considered the conference’s highest honor.

“We got to bring the Spirit Stick back home to Stockton for the next year,” Gonzales said. “That was fun and rewarding to have students from other schools vote for us.”

Fourteen schools, mostly from Northern California, attended and 45 of the 168 students in attendance were from University of the Pacific.

“The purpose of the conference is to share experiences and learn from one another, and I definitely feel we accomplished that,” said Josh O’Connor, assistant vice president for student life. “We also are proud to receive the awards. It says a lot about our students.”

Luis Becerril Suarez, an area coordinator with Residential Life and Housing, said this was one of the first major student conferences since the COVID pandemic.

“It was a big deal to have that experience back again,” said Suarez, who helped organize the conference. “There are not a lot of student leadership conferences, so this was a great opportunity to network for student leaders and staff.”