The 2011-2012 academic year will bring both familiar and new theme and formal group houses to campus.
Returning formal group houses include SLUG, ORC, Greenfire, Swing House, Theater House, Co-op and GLOW. The Phi Kappa Tau, Beta Theta Pi and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternities will also maintain their houses.
The Delta Tau Delta fraternity has succeeded in regaining its former house at 218 South Lawe Street, which was known as Rosemary House this year.
The Sinfonia theme house will return next year, but neither Meditation and Mindfulness House nor LUCIA Spanish House will reappear. Instead, two new theme houses have been established: Artistic Expression House and Gaming House.
Formal group housing is available to any official campus organization that chooses to apply. To gain and maintain a house, the group must have enough interested members to keep the house filled. The group must participate in campus outreach through events tailored to its specific organization or by hosting parties.
In addition, formal group houses are responsible for completing some kind of useful service to either the Appleton or the Lawrence University community. When a group succeeds in obtaining a house, it maintains the house for a three-year contract.
The guidelines for theme housing are slightly more open-ended. Theme houses need not be related to an official campus organization; they can be established by any group of students with a common interest. When the group applies for a house, they must explain how their idea reflects Lawrence’s liberal arts philosophy and what kinds of programs or activities they could offer to campus. Theme house contracts apply for one year.
Associate Dean of Students for Campus Life Amy Uecke noticed a significant increase in creative application ideas this year. She said, “There was lots of competition this year for small house living and group living, and there were fantastic ideas that people brought forward.”
Gaming House will be located at 217 North Union Street. Junior Jacob Roush will be the Lawrence Gaming House events coordinator. He said, “Our common room is going to be set up for gaming anytime, and you’re all invited! Most of all, the house will be a fun place to socialize and relax for any member of the Lawrence community.”
Roush emphasized, “We promote all forms of gaming, from cards to videogames, tabletop to live-action.”
As far as events, he added, “Whether you want to celebrate the release of a brand-new game, or compete in a tournament against the best competition campus can provide, or even challenge your professor to a battle of wits, you should keep a lookout for events Gaming House is going to organize. We will also host informal gaming nights throughout each term.”
Sophomore Cindy Yetman has been an important leader in the application process for Artistic Expression House, which will be located at 203 North Union Street. She said, “The whole thing started as a way to give Photo Club a place to put a darkroom, but it turned into much more than that.”
She continued, “When I think of Art Ex, I imagine a house covered in paint. Everywhere. Inside and out, there should be no bare walls showing. Everyone will be respectful of everyone else’s artistic expression.”
Art Expression House will host wall painting events along with weekly art critiques, weekly open studio time for all art forms, a space for students to exhibit their work and hopefully a darkroom in the basement. Yetman added, “Art Ex is about making the visual arts accessible to everyone on campus, not about being exclusive in any way. Everyone has something to contribute and something to learn.”
Students interested in getting involved in the selection process for new houses should contact LUCC.