Only three of seven proposed theme houses secured approval for next year. The approvals came following the completion of voting by the student body and an examination by Student Senate on how well they fulfill the requirements to have a theme house and on their value to the campus community.
Q&A House, an established 24-hour safe house on campus that received the largest number of votes from students, was approved and will remain at its current location. House of Cards, a place to play offline games, was approved for 265 Academy St. and Cultural Cuisine, a food and cultural diversity house, was approved for 270 W. Tompkins St.
Bon Voyage, Spirit House, Inspiration Station and Harambee were not given approval. The events of Bon Voyage were considered to be too similar to already existing events and clubs on campus. Spirit House’s idea was deemed not developed enough for approval. Bon Voyage and Spirit House also ranked low in student voting support.
Inspiration Station was not approved as some events overlapped with existing events and the committee was not sure if their events needed a house. They believed the idea would be better suited as a club.
Harambee ranked second in campus voting, but had significant problems. Deadlines for the theme housing request were extended multiple times for them, none of the students who were to be in the house attended the interview and there was confusion if some members desired to be in the house at all. The disorganization, lack of interest in going through the process and a shortfall in hosting events this year prompted senate to vote against approval.
Senators debated on the decision to deny housing when space was available. Senior Nora McGinn said, “We should give any group of students theme housing standings.” She believed that given a house, students would want to host events for the campus.
Others held a more pessimistic view and felt that groups need to show strong initiative before being granted a house. Also, some theme houses had ideas quite similar to existing events and junior Lissa Mann stated that they did not want to “over-saturate” the college with overlapping events.
The senate committee plans to provide constructive feedback for rejected theme houses and urges students not to be discouraged. If students rework their ideas, they can apply again next year, or they could try again for a house this year through the regular lottery system.