Theme House Applications went through the selection process last week, releasing five houses, both old and new, for the next academic year. Yet many students on campus continue to have trouble even remembering the theme houses that are currently in residence.
Junior Liam Wholihan admitted that he does not know very much about theme houses in general. He also, as many other students do, confuses permanent houses with annual theme houses.
“I know there is Smash House and Jazz House, but that’s really it,” Wholihan said.
Each year, the Campus Life Office and Student Senate are in charge of going through the applications to choose which groups of people will be the residents of a theme house. The only requirement is that the house has a minimum of two events every term. This can be anything from Culinary House, where students cook for one another, to Smash House, where students spend hours playing the hit video game “Super Smash Bros.” The houses are voted on at a general assembly hosted by Senate.
Junior Auturo Jimenez, who has been a part of Smash House for the past two years, feels that even as a member of a themed house, he isn’t aware of what other houses are in existence.
“I haven’t seen as many house events as ours, not trying to say they aren’t, just kind of an observation,” said Jimenez
Sophomore James Stratton of Film House feels that the college does not do enough to make the houses known, as he still wasn’t quite sure which theme houses were still up and running this year.
“I wish there was a board that said all the theme houses we had around so we were more aware,” said Stratton. “A lot of people don’t know we exist because … we are in Post 10 so they didn’t really give us a good set up.”
For advertising their events, Film House has had difficulty when it comes to saying explicitly what they are doing. They have tried to do different themed film nights, but because of film rights, the house is unable to say the names of the films on their fliers. They plan to do events based around Black History Month and Women’s History Month in the future, which they hope will help with attendance.
“We put up fliers, we have to block out the names of the movies because we would have to buy the rights, we don’t have a budget so we can’t buy the rights. We rely more on word of mouth, we haven’t done as much as we would’ve liked to … we hoped that the fliers and the Facebook would be enough,” Stratton said.
First-year Carly Rieger, the Student Senate’s Campus Life chair says that once the theme houses go through the acceptance process they are then left to promote for themselves. Senate and Campus Life do not do anything other than funding to assist the houses otherwise.
“Our only job is to get them through the process, kind of like with clubs that Senate offers to fund,” said Rieger. “The Senate’s job is to get them confirmed and to get them set up for the year … How they want to use the funding they get is entirely up to them, so for themed houses it is up to them to promote themselves.”
Reiger does agree that it is difficult to find the theme houses for the current year, as there is not a set place on any social media that explicitly states the status of these houses. She hopes to change that in the future.
“I also had a hard time finding what theme houses there were and where they are if the theme house isn’t promoting their events, putting up fliers, making themselves known on campus, so I think that is definitely a concern that we have,” Rieger said. She explained that she wishes Senate or the college would set up a designated place where students could find information about themed houses, hopefully resulting in more utilization of their resources.
The five theme houses for next year are: Smash House, Culinary House, Botanical House, Tabletop House (which will have board games such as Dungeons and Dragons), and “Friends of Green Oaks” House.