Housing for those sick of dorm life

Katy Stanton

It’s that time of spring term again. No, no, not the time where the weather dictates your studying time, although it is that time too – it’s the time to put your best suits on and vie for the most awesome housing options on campus. “But,” you say, “I don’t wanna wait in line to get a crummy double in Trever!” Luckily you have other options – in the form of formal group or theme housing. Formal group housing is defined as “a housing option available to viable student organizations that have a shared mission, an organizational structure, a desire to live together in campus housing, and a willingness to be responsible for the privilege of occupying such housing.” Currently the Outdoor Recreation Club, the Co-op, Greenfire, and the YUAIs occupy houses on campus. Past houses have included the EARTH house and the Arts Collaborative house.
Though they’re open to everyone on campus, preference is usually given to those either involved in the club or organization, (e.g. ORC and Greenfire members) or who have interests that align with a specific house (the Co-op or Arts Collaborative). And it keeps getting better. Formal or theme group housing does not require a lottery number, but an application that is particular to each house. At least the outcome for next year’s dorm is a bit more in your control than random assignment and finding the person you can stand with the highest number.
Yes, the Arts Collaborative house and EARTH house have left the Lawrence campus, but the Spontaneous Musical Enlightenment and Education house is on its way to take their place. Put together by freshmen Elise Butler-Pinkham and Ellen Frisbie, the house would contribute to both the Lawrence and Appleton communities. The house would foster creativity for Lawrence students. “It would give students an opportunity to be creative outside of the classroom, a predetermined environment,” says Frisbie. The house members would then take their newly found inspiration to the area and help kids find their own improvisational creativity. The house is not limited to just music students, it is open to any creative arts student.
Obviously, there is a lot of room for housing creativity with formal group living. Further, Rachel Long of the Co-op house says that “[formal group housing] is more of a community-living co-ed, we’re more like adults. We don’t have to be segregated.” A sense of independence sometimes so lacking from a small, all-dorm campus like Lawrence can be found in a house where meals and living quarters are on a more individual or specific group basis. So, if you’re sick of irate RLAs yelling about quiet hours, unfair lottery numbers and long institutional hallways, apply for a spot in a house or create your own. Get ’em while they’re still open – these popular spots in awesome, old houses go quickly.