A change is coming for residents of North House. Next semester all of its inhabitants will have a common goal community-service.
The Residents Life office has been planning this change since the beginning of the year. This will be the third house to be switched to themed housing.
Students who are interested living there will have to complete 15 hours of community service throughout the semester, along with a number of service projects around the community. The purpose of the housing change is to connect students with the local community and help them understand the importance of community service, said Area Coordinator Cora Churchill.
Churchill is in charge of overseeing all of the themed houses and she is excited about the initiative of the new program.
“The goal is to bring students to a closer understanding of why it is important to be a good community member, what it means to be a good community member, how to give back, and show that it feels good to give back,” Churchill said.
The house will hold 36 students and Churchill said she is hopeful that they will fill the house with students who are interested in this initiative. However, if that can’t happen, students who aren’t interested, but are still placed in North House, won’t be required to do community service.
There were no costs to make the change and students have shown a lot of interest in the idea of a community service house, Churchill said.
Matthew Ocker, a junior and current North House resident, believes the housing change is a positive one for students and the town.
“It would allow students to get to know each other in different ways and it could also help create a better relationship between the town and students if we did more things for the town,” Ocker said.
In recent years, the town and students of the college have not had a very positive relationship, and this is another effort to improve that, students and officials said.
But not all students are happy about this change.
“I wouldn’t choose to live in community service housing because it would be hard for me to make time for it,” said junior Alex Brownell said. “I think community service is a positive thing, but it doesn’t fit into my schedule.”
But those interested in it say community service is very useful for a resume and looks very good for students after they graduate.
“I would choose to live there because the housing option gives students an ample opportunity to do community service. It would also be very helpful for my resume,” said junior Brooke Naylor said.
Although many students might not participate in the community service housing, there are always opportunities around the area to help out and get involved yet live elsewhere. Churchill said she hopes that students realize the good they’re doing.
“I think students already have the want to help others in them and other students might not know it yet and so they may choose to join the following year to see how the program goes,” Churchill said.
If students are interested in learning more about community service housing, they can contact Cora Churchill via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students can also choose to move into North House during housing selection in April.