Beginning in the Fall 2022 semester, Light House, Community Engagement House, Earth House, and Russian House will be relocated due to the construction of the new science building. Light House will be moved to 227 Pine St., Community Engagement House to 43 Home Ave., Earth House to 63 Pearl St., and Russian House to 210 Cross St. The current buildings that are home to Light House and Community Engagement House, both located on Lawn Avenue, will be demolished to make way for the new science center. Russian House and Earth House, which are both currently situated on High Street, will be too close to construction for students to live peacefully. 

c/o Andrew Lu, Contributing Photographer

c/o Andrew Lu, Contributing Photographer

Director of Residential Life (ResLife) Maureen Isleib explained that numerous factors, including sufficient size and facilities, were considered when deciding to where the four houses would be moved.

“In identifying potential spaces, we looked at the locations of various properties as well as the size,” Isleib wrote in an email to The Argus. “We also looked at common space and number of bathrooms. Current house managers, and residents, provided input on the final selections.”

After meeting with Isleib, Area Coordinator Stephanie Lewis, Head Resident (HR) Julia Nacario ’22, and Russian House House Manager (HM) Kiryl Beliauski ’23, it became clear to HM Nicolina Czekaj ’22 that 63 Pearl was the most suitable location for Earth House.

We talked about how the floor plan in 63 Pearl is very similar to the floor plan of the current Earth House at 159 High Street,” Czekaj wrote in an email to The Argus. “Both houses have two living room spaces, a similar amount of bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Furthermore, the house at 63 Pearl also has a garden, just like the current Earth House.”

Czekaj expressed that because she grew up surrounded by nature, she feels especially close to Earth House’s mission of environmental justice and sustainability. She also emphasized that, because of the motivation and passion of Earth House’s residents, she believes that the house can thrive in any location.

“Being HM of Earth House has allowed me to meet super passionate, driven, and inspiring Wesleyan students who I know will continue to do great things during the rest of their time at Wes,” Czekaj wrote. “Hence I don’t think that moving locations will impact the house mission at all, as I strongly believe that Earth House and its mission attracts passionate and hard-working students, regardless of locale.”

Additionally, Czekaj noted that the characteristics of Earth House’s new home at 63 Pearl would not hinder its engagement with the on-campus community, but rather encourage a continuing culture of activity.

c/o Andrew Lu, Contributing Photographer

c/o Andrew Lu, Contributing Photographer

“I actually find [63 Pearl] to provide a more intimate and cozy environment than the current house does,” Czekaj wrote. “And it only took me a few minutes to walk from the house to Usdan. And though the new house is a bit smaller than 159 High, I think that with some rearranging of the furniture, the inside of the house will still be spacious enough to allow students to carry on Earth House traditions such as concerts and other campus-wide events.”

Light House HM Charissa Lee ’23 expressed concerns about the destruction of residential spaces, especially considering the increased size of the class of 2025. Though she acknowledged the necessity of a new science building for the creation of new communal spaces and classrooms, she is unsure whether or not these additions are worth it.

“I still think [new construction projects] are necessary investments for the future expansion of the University, but we need to recognize that everything’s a trade off, and [question] to what extent are we sacrificing student experiences for a new building,” Lee said. “Wesleyan is over-enrolling and they’re also breaking down residential spaces. So the issue of having too many students and too few beds is gonna be exacerbated next semester.”

Despite the relocation of these four program houses, the combined number of beds between them will stay the same at 39.

c/o Sam Hilton, Assistant News Editor

c/o Sam Hilton, Assistant News Editor

“Light House will be reduced from 8 occupants to 7,  Earth House will be reduced from 11 residents to 10, Russian House will increase from 10 to 12 occupants, and Community Engagement will remain at 10 residents,” Isleib wrote.

Lee explained that the destruction of Light House’s current location exacerbated the conversation about whether or not to discontinue the house. As one of the less popular program houses on campus, the recruiting responsibility has fallen on Lee to fill the house and keep the community going. However, Lee is committed to the mission of Light House.

“To a large extent, you can have a thriving Protestant and Catholic community, even if they don’t have a house,” Lee said. “But I think the element that a residential space brings is that intimacy that you don’t get at weekly meetings. You can have as many religious services, Bible studies, [and] prayer meetings that you want to have, but living with other people brings in a separate dimension of support that you wouldn’t necessarily get from a prayer group.”

Additionally, Lee explained the importance of a Christian living space on campus because it provides a safe space where students of faith do not have to defend their beliefs to others.

“Being a student of faith at Wesleyan is very difficult because a lot of people don’t understand why you believe in God, and living in a space where that is not being questioned is very comforting,” Lee said. “Some people might not…be able to have those conversations in constructive ways and you don’t want that kind of…conflict in a residential space.”

Despite the less than ideal situation created by the planned construction, Lee pointed out that everyone is doing their best with what they have been given at the end of the day.

“ResLife is really complicated and I don’t think a lot of people understand that,” Lee said. “People shit on ResLife all the time. I shit on ResLife all the time. But I also know that their job is really hard. They have limited space and they have to put students in houses…. And it’s very unfortunate that they’ve become the recipients of a lot of the hate and frustration, but also where else do we direct that frustration to?”

This sentiment was echoed by Czekaj, who is hopeful that the program houses scheduled for relocation will not be negatively affected.

“All in all, I didn’t really feel like there was much of a choice for the new Earth House location,” Czekaj wrote. “However, after visiting, I do think that 63 Pearl will be a great spot for next year’s Earth House residents.”

Islieb advised that students interested in living in Light, Community Engagement, Earth, or Russian House next year can find the floor plans located on the ResLife website.


Anne Kiely contributed reporting.

Kat Struhar can be reached at

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