At the end of the 2002-2003 school year, the contracts with Delta Upsilon, Drama House and Community Learning Center will be void. At that time, UR will either place new groups in the houses or allow some of the current organizations to remain.
The contracts for the houses are signed every three years and this is the first set of groups to run under the current time frame. “It is the right amount of time to develop a program,” Associate Director of Residential Life Laurel Contomanolis said. “It stops [the houses] from being monopolies.”
Prior to the contracts, DU’s current house was a medieval house and CLC was an independent resident hall. The groups currently occupying the three houses, located on the Fraternity Quad, all placed bids for the houses.
The proposals are detailed — approximating 10 pages — and must meet given criteria. “[A group] needs to be able to fill a house. They are still a part of the residence hall system,” Contomanolis said.
Each house ranges from 20-30 rooms. Because of the size of the houses, many smaller special interest groups are cut out of the running immediately.
Groups must also have a vision for the house. “There needs to be something you are going to do academically for the university,” Contomanolis said.
Each student organization contains a different idea for the three years, but all offer some academic benefits. “We make our basement available for workshops, recitations and classes,” Vice President of DU and senior Daryl Reisfeld said.
Current organizations in the houses can reapply for the houses. All three are planning to make bids, according to Contomanolis.
“They need to look at their concept, and see if it is still viable,” she said. “[They] need to modify it to bring it into the future.”
Drama House is undecided about future programming.
“We are not sure [of how we will modify our programs],” Secretary for Drama House and junior Margaret Coit said. “We have a lot of ideas, but we are not cutting back [current programs].”
CLC will also make modifications. “As of now, we have stuck with our main proposal,” House Manager for CLC and senior Sara Taubman said. “Changes have to be made considering what we have learned.”
For many groups, planning is still in early stages, as applications are not due until Jan. 20. At the end of January, each group makes a half-hour bid. Decisions will be announced on Feb. 5. The final decision is made by a committee appointed by Dean of The College William Green. The committee includes students, staff and faculty.
The proposal guidelines set four basic principles that all groups must follow. If they fail to comply they may be removed from the houses before the three year contract is up, according to Contomanolis.
The groups must include in the proposal their plans for the house and all leaders of the group must live in the house unless an exception by the committee is made, according to the Special Interest Houses Application. The group will also be under the control of ResLife. Finally, each group is bound by the promises made in their proposal.
Groups do change throughout the three years and their activities change as well. “Each year, groups are evaluated,” Contomanolis said. This review serves as yet another check on the organizations in the houses.
Not all groups agree with the three year plan.
“I think this house should be permanent,” Coit said.
DU agrees. “The houses should be given indefinitely,” Reisfeld said. Both DU and Drama House agree that the three year application process should be ended. “There should be a yearly review [instead],” Reisfeld added.
Current groups in the houses are unsure of what they will do if they do not keep the houses. “We will cross that bridge when we come to it,” Reisfeld said.
“I have no idea,” Coit admits.
Contomanolis said she has received interest in the houses from about seven different groups, including the existing organizations.
The existing groups will be put on even turf with those new applications. Contomanolis sees no reason that the existing organizations could not stay as they are, but each group, in order to be fair, will complete the entire process.
Taubman disagrees. “I think we still deserve to live here,” she said.
Drama House will make another bid for the specific house they are in. “We recognize how privileged we are. There are some pretty good groups on campus and we don’t really know what is going to happen,” Coit said
DU will also bid for the Drama House for its historic value, as the house was once owned by DU.
According to Contomanolis, any changes will be implemented at the end of the school year.