The newly formed Special Interest Housing Council had its first meeting Wednesday to discuss ways to improve recruitment and attract more students to get involved.

Members of different special interest floors expressed their concerns about losing freshmen and having random persons on the floor to fill it up.

Most floors miss the presence of freshmen. The Health and Home substance-free floor used to have freshmen make up 50 percent of the floor. Members of the Music Interest Floor discussed the problem of having a lack of new ideas and the problem of informing new freshmen about Special Interest Housing.

In this meeting, ideas for different programming options and ways to get attention of current freshman for SIH were discussed.

Specifically, the council thought to do some kind of program or event on the Freshman Quad and getting their attention.

?By making it a combined endeavor, we can have a broader appeal,? said senior and Chair of the Computer Interest Floor Chris Howell-Little.

The two goals of the council are to provide continuity, because leadership of different floors changes often, and for groups to be able to work with each other.

The idea is to play groups off each other to see what is working well with one group so that other groups can try that strategy, Howell-Little said.

The Subcommittee on Special Housing and Greek Affairs formed the council. ?The committee is committed to making sure that special interest floors will get the support they need and that their leaders contact one another,? Professor of Political Science and Chair of the subcommittee Gerald Gamm said.

?I served on the subcommittee. We reached the conclusion that special interest housing was being negatively impacted by freshman housing and we wanted to create a support system,? Howell-Little said.

Last year, groups had to recruit in the spring before the housing deadlines because of freshman housing.

?We had to try a lot harder advertising and we had to examine applications closer,? senior and Outreach Director of the International Living Center Hannah Kastenbaum said. She added that she wanted to make sure that the people accepted were interested to live on the floor and not just in a single in Towers.

Some of the special interest housing groups were unable to attend the meetings.

The council plans to meet weekly for the first few months in order to get the ball rolling. It is still to be determined whether the council will be funded.

?Once we get it moving, [the council] is a great resource because we will be more organized, have man power and have a bigger presence on campus,? Kasten-baum said.

Additional reporting by Dan Bock.Desai can be reached at mdesai@campustimes.org.



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