Choosing your place of residence for the following year can be quite tricky. If you are one of those people that showers once a month – I may or may not be included in this category – chances are that few people will volunteer to live in the same hallway, let alone the same room as you. Being told by a friend that you are not roommate-worthy can be even more insulting than being dumped by your significant other on Facebook.

But what if you experience the opposite problem? Perhaps you are very popular and just too many people are vying to sleep in a bed next to yours. Maybe you have not found other students who share your hobbies or academic interests. It is not pleasant to be stuck with a random roommate who finds pleasure in staying up all night clipping his fungus-infected toe-nails. These are all very real and undoubtedly serious problems. However, unbeknownst to most students, there are alternative living situations. One such option that many people overlook is special interest housing.

Special interest housing can be a great opportunity for students who are passionate about something and would like to meet others who share their interest. Rather than having to throw together a group of people you really don’t like, why not get to know people who are similar to you? There is a plethora of special interest housing from which you can choose. These include the Drama House, the Community Learning Center, the Computer Interest Floor, the Music Interest Floor, the Health and Home Interest Floor, the International Living Center, the Tiernan Project and the Interclass Living Center. Although the names of the different housing arrangements may seem pretty self-explanatory, their members are not confined to one interest only.

For example, the Drama House is not merely for students who are in the Todd plays. Rather, a large group of people interested in all types of performing art – including music and film – live there. Additionally, CLC is a great place to live if you enjoy interacting with a diverse group of people who want to promote cross-cultural learning while engaging in community service.If you do solely enjoy computers and people who share this particular interest, then the CIF may be the place for you. If you want to meet people who know as much about technology as you do, then it would be in your best interest to check out this option. If you like jamming out every night with your guitar, the MIF would be your best bet. Rather than having a tone-deaf neighbor scream at you for playing your creative tunes at 2 a.m., have one who comes over and adds a few chords to your already perfect song.

If you want to expand your horizons and meet students from every class, the ICLC may be the right place for you. There is an open-door policy on the hall, which is located in Crosby, and various social and volunteer-work programs in which you could participate.

Another tight-knit group on the quad is the Tiernan Project. Located on the second floor of Burton, the members of the Tiernan Project bring their community service efforts to the Rochester community.

If the thought of drunken people running through your hallway and urinating on your door makes you cringe, then the Health and Home Interest Floor may be right for you. Their floor is designed for students who want to live in a substance-free and culturally diverse home that also participates in community service work. Finally, the International Living Center is a great place for students who want to learn about many different cultures from around the world.

Special interest housing can provide you with an active social environment, of which you may not have been aware. They can be a great way to get involved in community service and to meet all different types of people. Rather than being stuck with a weirdo who steals your food, or having to choose a roommate from your large group of friends, look into special interest housing.

For more information, look at the special interest housing website – http://cif.rochester.edu/sihc.html.

Permutt can be reached atspermutt@campustimes.org.



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