The Special Interest Housing Council was formed in 2001 to meet the concerns special interest housing groups had about what freshmen housing meant for their floors and houses. It consists of representatives from all eight non-Greek special interest houses. The Council’s primary goal is to help the houses network, pool resources and share ideas to become a united voice on campus. Each floor has its own history, its own personality and its own set of targeted interests. Everyone should consider special interest housing as an alternative to moving off campus or the housing lottery.

The benefits of special interest housing are incredible. First off, by joining a special interest group, you remove yourself from the housing lottery. You get to meet another group of people who share a similar interest to you. Special interest floors, primarily located in Towers, are more social and open than other floors, because all the members know each other. The floors can often become a second family.

Just as a natural family grows through time, special interest housing grows through new membership. Every year special interest houses work to recruit new membership. The ultimate goal is to keep these floors alive, but why are they important to the campus? The Computer Interest Floor offers technical support to the campus and an additional computer lab in the basement of Towers. River Campus is greatly improved by the Community Learning Center which provides outreach and multicultural education to undergraduate students. Drama House brings all aspects of the performing arts to UR. Health and Home celebrates diversity in a substance-free, homelike environment. Incoming freshmen have the option of joining a mentoring program provided by the InterClass Living Center.

The International Living Center improves the UR community by embracing cultures from around the world and celebrating diversity. The Music Interest Floor is a vital part of UR because they promote non-Eastman musical performance right here on River Campus. The Tiernan Project is a bridge between UR and the outside world through community service and outreach programming.

The valuable contributions made by each of these floors are the reasons you should consider joining one. Each floor offers a warm and friendly living environment that is much more of a community than most non-interest floors.

When you choose special interest housing, you choose it for the entire floor. You do not end up living next to random people who have nothing in common with you, for you both share the interest of the floor or house itself. For more information, check out the Special Interest Housing Council website at www.sihc.cif.roch-ester.edu.

Altmann is a junior and Speaker for the Special Interest Housing Council and can be reached at baltmann@campustimes.org.



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