Campus / News / May 8, 2009

Five new houses to host campus events

Tree House
By Amanda White
The Knox Student

The Tree House, a house dedicated to fun, will debut on campus next year. Its residents, sophomores Martha Baumgarten, Sam Martone, Tim Lee, Liz Thomas, Grace Forman, Stef Gordon, Caroline Coatney, Sierra Knechtel, Katie Harte, and Priya Sharma want this house to bring out the childhood fun in everyone.
“This is going to be a place for students to unwind and have fun,” said Baumgarten. “Knox brings in a lot of speakers and comedians, but they involve a lot of sitting.”
The point of the house is to get people up and moving, including activities that will be used as stress reducers for students across campus. Tree house plans on also encouraging students to create new friendships with different people who they normally wouldn’t hang around. The tree house already plans to host games of tag, red rover, and capture the flag throughout fall term. Winter actives include board games and pajama nights with hot chocolate and movies held in tree house. They hope to allow students the chance to have some fun and get rid of the stress that can accumulate over every term. “After all the planning our group has done, we are really looking forward to a big turnout,” said sophomore Priya Sharma.

Queer and Ally House
By Deana Rutherford

After much debate on campus and in Senate, the Queer and Ally House, or Q&A, has been approved for theme housing next year.
The six students, all freshmen, who plan to live in Q&A next year, met through Common Ground and span a variety of genders and orientations. Though gender-neutral housing does not officially go into effect until next year, they had no trouble getting rooms together.
“They didn’t care about it. We acted like it was gender-neutral and picked our rooms and ran into no problems,” said Charles Ely.
“Since it’s the queer and ally house, we’d theoretically have more to worry about from opposite-sex roommates,” said Peter Thomas.
The future housemates variously described the recent housing drama in senate as a “fiasco,” “unpleasant,” and “a roller coaster ride with a section of track missing.” Still, the kerfuffle had some positive effects.
“I think it did open eyes to the ignorance on campus,” said Beth McRill, who will also be living in the house.
“There was a lot of prejudice, but it didn’t come down to ‘I hate queers.’ People just didn’t know,” said future resident Michael Martinez.
The campus-wide debate also served as free publicity for the house.
“There are very few people who don’t know where we are now,” said Matthew Becker. Their address is 237 S Knox St., where the Co-House is now.
The Q&A house wants to provide a different service for Knox’s queer population than is currently covered by Common Ground.
“At the moment, the only outlet for GLBTQ [people] is Common Ground, and that’s more of an activist thing. This is a social thing,” said Thomas.
The house plans to host events like barbeques, masquerade balls, dances, and “culture nights” to raise awareness of queer issues on campus and provide a safe place for Knox’s queer population to socialize.
Ely said many people may have misunderstood what the group meant by ‘safe space.’
“A lot of people were under the impression we meant a physical safe space, but people mostly don’t get beat up on at Knox College. We’re talking about understanding,” Ely said.
“An emotional safe space,” added Martinez.
“If you’re not comfortable with yourself, you can come in and we’ll be comfortable with you,” said Becker.

Humor House
By Katy Sutcliffe
The Knox Student

The residence formerly nicknamed ‘Quickie House’ will have a new name for the 2009-2010 academic year.
Now called Humor House, a group of four women and eight men have the goal of creating, “a place where people can laugh and have a fun time,” said freshman Robert Carey, one of the house’s future residents. “We saw a need for more purely fun activities.”
One of the house’s central goals will be to strengthen the campus improvisational groups, giving them a rehearsal space and allowing for more frequent performances. Rather than making shows once or twice a year events, Carey suggested that the house’s residents would like improv groups to be able to perform regularly. Humor House will offer them a place to do that.
The residents are also planning a month-long charity event known as ‘Red Nose Day,’ which will run throughout February of 2010.
“We will essentially do funny things for donation money,” said freshman Kate Donoghue, another resident of Humor House. “We plan to table in Seymour to raise a monetary goal, which, when reached, might mean, for instance, Robert Carey might have to shave his head, or all of us in the house will wear our clothes backwards for a week.” The group will also be selling red clown noses to support their selected charity.
In addition, Humor House will sponsor movie showings and television marathons of comedic shows.
“As time goes by, we want to add more things on as well,” said Carey. “We’re open to ideas.”

By Annie Zak
Assistant Mosaic Editor

An approved theme house for the 2009-2010 academic year, the Co-House will return at the new address of 530 S. West St. The aim of next year’s house is similar to that of this year’s in wanting to bring the Knox community and the Galesburg community together. “It’s a safe space to integrate the neighborhood and the community at large,” said sophomore Tanya Novotnak, who had a role in planning the house and will be one of its returning residents next year.
Novotnak said that the reason for the community integration is two-sided. “Students will be able to reduce misperceptions about so-called ‘townies’ and reduce fear related to the neighborhood,” she said. Also, a goal of the house is to reduce misperceptions that local residents might have toward Knox students.
Events for the Co-House next year are still not entirely planned. Because they intend to integrate with things going on in the community, much of that involves waiting to see what the community brings next year. One of the house’s most successful events this year was the Inauguration Party in the evening of Barack Obama’s inauguration. The house also intends to work closely with The Center in the planning of their events.
Other successes of the Co-House that they might plan to repeat were a fall picnic, which included a town band playing live music, and a progressive dinner involving other theme houses.

Asian Cultural House
By Klayr Valentine-Fossum
News Editor

“The point of the house was to have a presence for the Asian American community […] there’s not really a house representing the Asian minority on campus and that’s reflective of society in general they’re not as well know as the black and Latino population in the U.S,” said sophomore Willy Ow, member of Knox’s new Asian Cultural House. “We don’t want to do it as a theme, as a temporary, we want to be a permanent structure on the Knox campus. ”
Ow believes the attitude directed towards the Asian population at Knox is similar to that found in the United States as a whole.
“The attitude is reflective of society, that ‘we don’t need to worry about Asians.’ We’re an over looked minority. It pertains to the idea that if you’re Asian, you’re an immigrant. I was born and raised here. I know a bunch of friends that have had their families here for Three or Four generations,” said Ow. “Asians make up the largest minority on campus, but we still don’t have a cultural house, and that’s what were trying to get.”
Some students have gone to the Knox administration creating a permanent residence. As a theme house it must be present on the campus for multiple years before the possibility of it becoming long-term lodging such as EcoHouse, ABLE or Jazz House.
The Asian Cultural House will again host to the Asian Student Association, Japanese Club, Korean Club and Chinese club, as well as a new club representing southeastern Asians.
The clubs plan to host community dinners as they have in the past, such as a sushi dinner with bubble tea. “Language Tea,” an event currently hosted by Japanese club but expanding to include the other Asian community clubs, helps students learning the language to develop their skills.
This is the second year for the Asian Cultural House. The new members will be Ow, Hannah Cynn, sophomore Leslie Kang, junior Michael Hsu and sophomore Joseph Suh. The new location will be 697 S. West St.

Deana Rutherford

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