Campus / News / April 5, 2017

Senate approves five theme houses

Queer & Ally (Q&A) and Harambee houses are set to become permanent houses on campus next year. The Senate Housing Committee also approved Smash House, Culinary House and M.E.Ch.A. House as theme houses for this upcoming year.

According to information junior and Chair of the Student Life Committee Jeannie Mora presented at the March 7 Student Life Faculty Committee meeting, three non-permanent houses were approved out of the applicants for houses next year.

Gaming House was denied their request for a house. Mora said that the committee decided this based on the similarity to Smash House, which is dedicated to the Smash Bros. video game, and a less concise mission statement. Gaming house is free to apply next year though.

Smash House also has more history on campus, having existed two years ago according to junior Logan Ayers who helped organize the house this year.

Senior Dan Miller and junior Jess Heim relax in the Q&A House living room. Q&A, short for Queer & Ally, is now a permanent house on campus, along with Harambee House. (Theresa Murphy/TKS)

“This term we don’t really have [a dedicated space], so we’ve been having our tournaments in Post Lobby. But it would be really nice to have a central hub so that we can store all of our TVs and stuff like that,” Ayers said.

The current Culinary House and next year’s are unrelated, as culinary houses, though fairly common, do not often persist from year to year. French House did not re-apply.

“Just some years, some individuals choose not to reapply,” Mora said. “They generally come back with different people. Houses like French House generally have a pretty good, I guess, following base. There’s people who are always interested in it, it is just a time-consuming process.”

Next year’s Culinary House will have to stay on board and work with Bon AppŽtit for their events. According to their treasurer, freshman Katana Smith, they have not yet worked out the specifics, but know they will need to discuss kitchen regulations regarding open use for campus and selling the food they prepare.

“We wanted to be more focused on actually making food that’s good, honestly, and sharing the craft of cooking,” Smith said.

MEC.hA had a house last year, according to member sophomore Aby Romo. It worked well for them but they did not apply for one at the end of last year, she said.

“We wanted a house because it would create space where we would get together and have our events. Sometimes it’s hard in the [Human Rights Center] because you have to schedule with other clubs, and you have a smaller space and not enough room for your own things,” Romo said.

The house will also give them a place to host members of the national organization when they come to town as well as give them the opportunity to build a Chicanx library for works on Chicanx history and by Chicanx authors.

Harambee House and Q&A House, two previous theme houses, will become permanent cultural houses.

Senior Rashika Bahl, who is coordinating the paperwork for Q&A House next year, sees the move as an opportunity to gain more support from the school and increase the awareness of students for the house, which is a 24/7 safe space.

“As a cultural house, it will make it so that we get more help from Campus Life, and advertising, and people knowing that this is a safe setting, a space that exists for them,” Bahl said.

Connor Wood, Editor-in-Chief
Connor Wood is a senior with a double major in English Literature and Environmental Studies. He started as a volunteer writer and then staff writer his freshman year and was a news editor his sophomore and junior years. He has also worked as a communications intern for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and as an intern with Unified News Group, both in the Madison, WI, suburbs.

Tags:  harambee mecha mecha house Q&A house senate student life theme houses theme housing

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