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Campus Life

SHA raffle to support minority students’ networking group

Prizes include upscale meals and hotel stays

The national conference of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality isn’t until February, but the Boston University chapter is preparing now. After all, they have six titles to defend.

“We’re definitely one of the largest and strongest chapters in the country,” says Justin Yu (SHA’07), the chapter president. “And we’re trying to keep that up.”

Last year, the BU chapter of the NSMH won 6 of the 14 awards given at the organization’s national conference — best publicity, best membership drive, best scrapbook, highest individual grade-point average, chapter president of the year, and chapter of the year — and 27 BU students were able to attend.

This year’s conference is in Texas, and Yu would like to bring 40 members, so the group is holding a monthlong Best of Boston raffle to help offset the cost. Tickets will be on sale until November 30, and prizes include meals and rooms at some of the city’s finest restaurants and hotels. In 2004, prizewinners won gift certificates to restaurants including Excelsior, the Bristol Lounge, and Jer-Né, and the chapter raised $1,600.

BU’s NSMH membership has doubled to 96 students this year, and the group has a full schedule of networking events that allow members to connect with BU alumni and other industry professionals. This year, they have already gone on site visits to the Ritz-Carlton and the State Room to learn about the day-to-day operations at both places; additional trips planned for this semester include Eastern Standard and the Foundation Lounge at the Hotel Commonwealth, the New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan, and the TD BankNorth Garden.

“The organization was started to help minorities better themselves in the hospitality industry,” says past president Priya Sridhar (SHA’06). “Now it’s kind of evolved; we welcome everybody, and it’s an organization that helps students network with people in the industry.”

Raffle tickets are $2 each, and can be purchased at the dean’s office in the School of Hospitality Administration or by contacting stephs@bu.edu.