Open House Draws Students To Res Colleges

Lauren Levy

By Lauren LevyThe Daily Northwestern

Students considering moving to a residential college next year will have the opportunity to explore each dorm’s unique characteristics this week at a large-scale open house sponsored by the Residential College Board.

This year, RCB is hosting the first-ever “Coffeehouse Crawl,” an event welcoming current residents and non-residents to NU’s 11 residential colleges. The three-night event starts at 9 p.m. today. Students will learn about the different residential colleges and enjoy live entertainment, free hot beverages and dessert.

RCB split the 11 residential colleges into three groups based on geography, and students will move from one residential college to another, visiting a total of three to four each night. After hearing from each residential college president, participants will take a tour and receive handouts with information about each college. Groups such as BLAST, Graffiti Dancers, Tonik Tap and Thunk are scheduled to perform.

On Tuesday, students can visit the Public Affairs Residential College, International Studies Residential College, Communications Residential College and Jones Residential College. On Wednesday, events will take place at Slivka College of Science and Engineering, Ayers College of Commerce and Industry and the College of Cultural and Community Studies. Thursday’s events will be at Hobart House, Shepard Residential College, Chapin Hall and Willard Residential College.

Weinberg junior and RCB President Sarah Whitney said in an e-mail that the Residential College office has always worked to promote student participation in residential colleges, but the board wanted to add something fun and new.

Most residential colleges focus on a specific theme, such as similar majors, and organize dorm activities that residents attend for points. These points are used to determine room choices for the following year.

Students who live in residential halls but want to move into a residential college have to acquire points as a non-residential member before they can move in. Students often have to plan far in advance in order to attend enough dorm activities.

“Residential colleges and residential halls both have something great to offer, and it depends on what is the right fit for you,” Whitney said. “Residential colleges tend to have more programming, student-faculty interaction and very active residential college governments who really foster a sense of community.”

As of Nov. 1, about 1,338 residents lived in NU’s 11 residential colleges, RCB’s vice president of financial affairs, Tyler Louie, wrote in an e-mail.

Before Louie became president of Slivka last year, he had never been inside another residential college. As president, he attended weekly RCB meetings at all of the residential colleges and said he was interested in the dorms’ distinct environments.

“Reading and asking friends about what it’s like to live in a residential college and all of the invaluable opportunities you can take away from a college’s community doesn’t really compare to experiencing it, even if only for 30 minutes,” said Louie, a McCormick senior. “Just physically walking into all of the other colleges and seeing their facilities gave me such a different perspective and appreciation for what each residential college has to offer its residents.”

Weinberg freshman and CRC resident Connor Kobeski is not interested in switching dorms but said she might attend CRC’s meeting anyway.

“It’s free entertainment and something to go out and do,” he said.

Reach Lauren Levy at [email protected]