Dear Hill News,
I was mildly offended and confused by the recent article regarding theme houses. The author himself said that he “I have never had any interesting in living in any of the houses as my impression was that the residents were quite exclusive and the only way to have a chance at living in them would require strong connections to the current residents of the house.” This alone makes it well known that the author went in with a preconceived notion of the houses that he did not seem to want to get rid of.
He mentions that one of the biggest problems with the theme houses that it is impossible to get into them unless you know people in the houses. I am still confused as to why this is a bad thing or at all surprising. Some theme houses are as small as eight people, the same size as a suite or just a little bigger than a town house. It doesn’t make any sense that you would want to live in a suite with a bunch of random people you don’t know so why would you want to live in a theme houses where you don’t know anyone?
Second the author seemed to miss the point of what the theme houses are for a lot of students. Yes they are supposed to go and promote their own activities and contribute to the campus as a whole but they are also supposed to be beneficial to the students living within them. He mentioned regarding one theme house that “most of them felt alienated and struggled socially on campus before joining the house”. It is for these students alone that the theme houses should exist as they give these students a place where they belong and feel welcomed.
My own experience with the theme houses made it so I am still a SLU student today. My freshmen year I felt isolated, didn’t drink and had a lot of trouble finding people that had my interests. One of the theme houses stopped me from transferring, it was there that I found people who were similar to me, not only in interests but in personality and who were different from a large portion of the SLU student body. It gave me a place away from many of the aspects of campus I didn’t like and made me a part of a community. My theme house was my home for the next two years and I still live close by to remain connected to the members. That the author would think to deny theme houses to kids who feel as outcasts or different on campus is a shame. SLU should make it so that everyone can find their place, I found mine and it was in a theme house.
Class of 2011