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Alternative Housing How-to

Everyone on campus has heard of fraternity and sorority housing, traditional residence halls, and Sutton Apartments, but not many students know about the alternative housing options available.

Three organizations on campus have their own houses: Pinehurst, Rollins Outdoor Club (ROC), and the sustainability program (housed in Mowbray), while the Interfaith Living Learning Community lives in a section in Sutton Apartments and the Language Living Learning Community resides in Strong Hall.

How do these organizations get housing in the first place? Ingrid McLennan, associate director of Residential Life, explained, “Every spring the Residential Life Office sends out information concerning any availability for organizations to be housed together. Groups may submit an application for consideration and go through the selection process.”

In order to keep their housing, these organizations have to go through an extensive evaluation process each year, known as the Community Commitments Review. The review ensures that every organization on campus meets certain standards and is committed to the highest quality of student experience for its members. Each group is reviewed in the following seven segments: Membership, Service, Philanthropy, Academics, Community Involvement, Leadership, Alumni Involvement, and Accolades.

What does someone have to do to live in one of these residential organizations? First, the potential candidate needs to apply for a room in the spring semester. In most cases, the candidate will then be interviewed by members of the organization. They use a ranking system to determine the candidate’s place on the selection or waiting list. Once accepted into the house, residents are required to attend meetings and participate in the organization’s events.

McLennan believes that “Our Residential Organizations have raised their standards in the last four years, and we are seeing some amazing things come out of these groups including student leadership and advocacy, a commitment to social justice issues, community engagement and intentional educational programming.” Think about the alternative housing options available this coming spring.

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