Each year, groups of students apply to create a theme house for the upcoming academic year, and the application process for this year has begun.
Since the college owns many houses, students are offered the opportunity to live in them by applying for Special Interest Housing. Groups of students can invent a theme that they want their house to revolve around and then go through an application process for the chance to be given one.
The ideas for themes are endless, and they can also be associated with a club or organization that is already in existence.
In order to create a theme house, students must fill out the Special Interest Housing application form, which asks the group to “provide your mission statement as a theme house and two goals you hope to achieve from having a theme house.” After submitting the form, the students applying will be interviewed and the finalists will have to present a mock program.
Theme houses are not just an opportunity for friends with a common interest to live together; they also serve as a place for the whole Knox student body.
For example, the Gingerbread House is open to all; if a student wants to bake or cook, they can email the members of the Gingerbread House and use their kitchen.
Every house is required to hold three events, which are open to everyone on campus. On the application form, it states that, “As a theme house, you will be allotted $200 dollars per term to host events.”
Students applying must give examples of the three different events they would host and what they are “meant to achieve.”
Residential Life Committee Chair senior Ellen Jackson said that the interview part of the process is important because it allows her and the others on the committee can “feel out what they really want to do with the house.”
On the application form, it states that after the interview, the committee will choose finalists and these finalists must present “a mock program at the special interest Housing Fair.”
At the event, each potential house will set up a booth and present their ideas and goals for their theme house. Knox students will then be able to see what each house offers and will have the opportunity to fill out comment cards for each house.
Jackson said that the special interest booths “[are] one of the most important” parts of the process because it makes housing better since students give feedback. This part of the application was started last year, and Jackson kept it for the application process this year.
The committee has six houses to give out for next year, but they also do block housing, so it is possible for more than six groups of students to get theme houses. Some smaller groups can get block housing, meaning that they can get a townhouse or be given a suite in Post.