New and existing theme houses unite common interests


Kelsey Siegler

Staff Writer

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For the 2016-2017 academic year, there are twelve theme houses. These houses will be: the Green House, Wick, Sportsman House, Community Engagement House, Gender and Sexual Diversity House, Healthy Hut, Writing House, Sewanee Fire Department House, Spanish House, French House, German House, and Italian House. As one can see, there is a theme house for every interest in the Sewanee population. Even if you do not live in a house, you can still go to its functions. Students in themed houses sometimes cook together, but naturally they can all go to McClurg as well. However, they live with the added benefit of sharing a house with people who share a common interest.

The Green House hosted many activities this past academic year, including pickling vegetables, concerts with faculty and student performers, and all things “eco-friendly.” Students at this house also take shorter showers to conserve water, and participate in many activities that help the environment, as the members are passionate about “going green.” Jacob Straessle’s (C’18) favorite event this year was the first annual Oktoberfest 10K. He loved that over fifty people ran it; there were over 400 craft beers at the after party, and the diversity of attendees. On the other hand, a house like the Bairnwick Women’s Center (Wick) has many activities throughout the year like panels about feminism in Sewanee, and “Tuesday Toasts” to celebrate the accomplishments of students. Sydney Peterson (C’18) has met inspiring men and women from programming this year and could not be more proud of the feminist events that the house has brought to campus.

Another house, the Sportsman House, hosts fishing and hunting activities and tournaments throughout the year, including events like their annual Super Bowl party, so people with these interests have a place to converse and hang out. Right next door is The Gender and Sexual Diversity House, and it embraces people of all sexualities and backgrounds as a place free of judgment and full of acceptance. Further from central campus is the Healthy Hut, which hosts events like bread making, juice cleanses, and other educational events that focus on health. Near the townhouses, the Writing House often brings students and professors together to share a love for poetry, letter writing, among other activities. A member of this house, Eliana Perozo, (C’18) believes, “The Writing House has created a social environment that extends further than Greek life.” She loved their performance night this year because it had diverse performances from stand up comedy to A cappella.

The Sewanee Fire Department houses the Sewanee community’s firefighters. These young men and woman are volunteers who live with one another, and fight fires whenever called. Anderson Clark (C’18) appreciates the opportunity to be a student firefighter at a university firehouse that is run by a large number of students. He enjoys living in a house filled with people he can come to for anything.

Lastly, the Community Engagement House is filled with students who care about service work, and want to have “Coffee and Conversation” with students and faculty, “Porch Light” events, and other engaging activities. David Prehn’s (C’16) favorite “Coffee and Conversation” was with the director for the Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace, Charles Whitmer. Whitmer is a community member who created a direct conversation about social justice issues in the region, and he made the conversation go beyond the Sewanee gates. The Community Engagement House blends students and professors in a social setting unique to the Sewanee campus.

Sewanee’s themed houses allow for students to unite in a setting that caters to their interests. The houses are inclusive to people that do not necessarily live in them as well; so, these living facilities provide a sense of community.