Special Interest Housing Week began on Monday and continues through Sunday. During the week, members of each special interest group offer information and entertainment for those who may be interested in living with them for the 2006-07 school year.

Students in these groups hope to answer questions and provide insight into what it’s like to live with a group of people sharing similar interests. Flyers explaining when and where each group is meeting are posted around campus.

“Special interest housing provides students with a specific interest the opportunity to live together in a common living area and to focus on that interest,” Interim Director of Residential Life Laurel Contomanolis said.

An additional benefit of living in Special Interest Housing is being pre-selected for housing and not having to endure the housing lottery.

For students choosing to live in specialty housing, there are two options – special interest housing and special interest houses. Special interest housing involves a group of students residing together on specific floors of residence halls.

The majority of these special-interest floors are in the Towers and Hill Court residences, with an additional few on the Residential Quad and in the Graduate Living Center.

There are at least two prospective groups hoping to become included in special interest housing this year. These include a film group focused on productions, screenings and discussion and a group with a strong political interest who are eager to engage in political banter with people of all views.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to share a comfortable home-like environment with open-minded individuals,” former International Living Center president Teresa Cruz said. “We felt that expressing their cultural beliefs was important.” ILC is having their international game night tonight from 8 to 10 p.m. on the sixth floor of Anderson Tower.

Special interest houses are a completely different program from their floor-based counterparts. In these houses, groups develop a substantially sophisticated theme or focus. They have three years to own a house and to make a valiant effort to connect with faculty and with the campus on a higher level, according to Residential Life.

There are currently three special interest houses on the Fraternity Quad – the Community Living Center, the Drama House and Delta Upsilon Fraternity.

“There’s a real sense of community and everyone is extremely friendly in CLC,” three-year CLC resident Eric Miller said. “Living in the house – as opposed to on a hall – really helps to unite us as a group.”

Junior Mike Riffle’s enthusiasm about living in the Drama House echoes Miller’s about CLC. Riffle has lived in the Drama House for two years and has every intention of staying in the house until he graduates. “The Drama House is a great place to be at the heart of what’s going on with theater on-campus,” Riffle said. “It’s also a really great group of people to live with.”

A rumor has circulated around campus recently, claiming that next year’s freshmen will reside on the Residence Quad instead of in the Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls. This would leave Sue B. open for rising sophomores and anyone else interested in living above Danforth Dining Hall.

This rumor has no validity, according to ResLife and housing options for everyone on-campus remain the same next year.Koeblitz can be reached at kkoeblitz@campustimes.org.



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