By: Alissa Glaeser (’18), Contributing Writer Photographer: Alissa Glaeser
The theme houses have been a staple of uniqueness on Drew’s campus since 1989. When themed housing began, they were housed in what are now the faculty offices (Sitterly House, Smith House, etc.). Later, theme houses found an additional home in Asbury. Today, Drew’s current five theme houses are in Haselton Hall and Eberhardt and are prime examples of what living learning communities are. From the large Haselton 4th lounge, to the full kitchen of Eberhardt, the theme houses offer not only a place to learn, but a place to build lifelong friendships.
Women’s Concerns: A Feminist House
The oldest theme house on campus, founded in 1989 in conjunction with the then Women’s Studies program (the now Women’s and Gender Studies program). With such a long history, Women’s Concerns: A Feminist House has gone through numerous name changes. First, Womyn’s Concerns: A Feminist House, then WoCo: A Feminist House, and now Women’s Concerns: A Feminist House (WoCo for short). Throughout its many name changes, WoCo has always focused on providing the campus with various educational and activist programs. It is an outlet for passionate feminists on Drew’s campus to be involved in direct activism on campus. From the Take Back the Night march, to The Vagina Monologues, to the monthly zines that can be found spread around campus that tackle everything from Hispanic Heritage Month to How To Deal With Your Racist, Homophobic Sexist Family this Holiday. WoCo is a place to learn and to act. It is a community that started with people interested in feminism and became a way for them to actively engage with feminism in their daily lives.
Women’s Concerns: A Feminist House is located in Eberhardt 23 and 24. For more info contact HA Alissa Glaeser (firstname.lastname@example.org). Apply to live in WoCo at this link: https://goo.gl/forms/OFpo9O7ReiHEUHM03. Applications for WoCo are due by April 1st.
The second oldest house on campus, founded in the 90s, Spirituality House offers such programs to the campus as Spirituality and The Body, an annual spring program devoted to connecting the body, the mind, and the soul through things like yoga and other crafts and activities. Since it began it has been an intimate family of individuals with different spiritual, philosophical, practical and religious backgrounds within the larger Drew community. Spirituality House is not a house about religion, but about creating a community of various philosophical, practical and spiritual/religious backgrounds. This community aims to open a dialogue surrounding issues in order to enable us to work on respect, acceptance and understanding of our own and different views. Members of Spirituality House choose to intentionally live together in an interfaith environment in order to foster appreciation for each other’s philosophical, spiritual and religious beliefs. The only requirement for being a member of SpiHo, as it is colloquially known, is that you are an open minded individual. Members of the House not only discuss what defines religion and spirituality for each of us, but also bring this discussion and thought to the student body. This environment of living and learning not only enriches a members own experiences, but also that of the Drew Community as a whole.
Spirituality House is located in Eberhardt 25 and 26. For more info about applying, contact HA Lauren Monopoli (email@example.com).
Umoja House was actually once a theme house in the early days of theme house living, like SpiHo and WoCo, but like many theme houses, disappeared from lack of people wanting to live in the House. But through clubs like KUUMBA and DASA, Umoja has found a home once again on Drew’s campus. Umoja is the Pan African Theme House. In keeping with the spirit of Nguzo Saba, Umoja House strives to create and maintain cultural unity within the Drew community. Their goal is to create both a cultural and academic institution that fosters the spirit, history and reality of Pan-Africanism. Because of the historical under-representation of Pan-African people and culture, the Umoja House is committed to educating themselves as well as the entire Drew community on issues dealing with not only with Pan-African issues, but also with race in the United States. They accomplish these goals through various programming events, social gatherings and critical discussions.
UMOJA House is located in Eberhardt 21 and 22. For more info about applying, contact HA Manny Familia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Music House, also known as Music Appreciation House, is a house that combines music lovers with musicians. Founded within the last four years, Music House strives to create an atmosphere where musical knowledge is expanded and creativity is encouraged. Music is something that most people have an interest in, whether they listen and appreciate it or they study it. One of the advantages of this House is that they bring programs that teach people about music to Drew outside of an academic setting to enhance whatever musical experience a person has. These programs create more opportunities on campus for people to have fun in positive ways. Besides enhancing musical experiences in a non-academic way, they also enhance the experience of music students at Drew by providing programs that build upon and assist their musical education. By living within a community of other musicians, music students will have a support group that can help them if they are struggling with certain concepts or assignments. Also, living within a community of other creative people will help inspire students to create more. Music House also has a large common area where people can practice or do homework with your fellow theme house members.
Music House is located on Haselton 3rd. For more info about applying, contact HA Anne Marie Labrutto (email@example.com).
International House, better known as I-House, is also a newer house. I-House was founded two years ago, and this House is dedicated to positively contributing to the experiences of international students at Drew. The House is open to both international students and domestic students. The house allows both domestic and international students to build cooperative relationships and skills useful to them both inside and outside of Drew University. I-House also organizes events that educate the wider Drew community on various international holidays and customs.
International House is located on Haselton 3rd. For more info about applying, contact HA Sheryl Wong (firstname.lastname@example.org).