A new mandate will allow program houses to throw one social event or concert for every mission-based program up to three times each month. When the Office of Residential Life initially informed its student staffers of a ban on social events in program houses for the academic year, heads turned in dissatisfaction. After hours of debate and persuasion, the two sides came together on a new policy permitting the use of program houses as concert and party venues for the fall semester.
“The new policy regarding musical events at program houses stemmed from a concern throughout last year that events at some of the program houses that were open to all students were more often related to music than their mission,” Director of Residential Life Fran Koerting wrote in an email to The Argus. “Houses were being seen as musical venues more so than for their missions. We value what program housing offers to the student experience, not only for the residents of those houses, but for the educational opportunity they present to all students to learn about topics related to their mission by attending one of their programs, and saw this new policy as a way to shift the focus back in that direction.”
Individual houses have a mission statement suited to their specific theme that can be found on the Office of Residential Life’s website.
“After speaking with the house managers, we agreed that this could be accomplished while having as many concerts or parties as mission-based programs, but not more,” Koerting wrote. “At the same time, we encourage students to attend the programs that they sponsor, to learn about something they might not otherwise have been exposed to, and they are very welcome at them.”
Houses must comply with hosting at least three mission-based events a month to remain in good standing with the University. There is no limit on concerts or parties that are related to the mission of the house. These new guidelines are still in a trial period and will be reevaluated once the semester concludes.
“We do not anticipate this new policy having a negative impact on student social life, as there was only one house last year, which held more than three musical events per month, and it only happened twice during the year,” Koerting wrote.