Leadership house move may affect membership

A change in living arrangements this fall will affect students living in the Leadership House, a residence hall on campus.

The Leadership House will move from Theta Hall, a single-occupancy residence, to Eta Hall, a double-occupancy.

This move comes as a result of Theta, Mu and Lambda residence halls closing to conserve resources, said Louis Reich, Residence Hall Association president.

“The Leadership House started in 1996. Basically, it was a group of intrepid students that really wanted to grow and develop their leadership skills through community service, social activities, on- and off-campus events and organizations, as well as their own academic avenues,” said Colton Faza, Student Government senator and member of the Leadership House.

Lauren Kaplan, a member of the Leadership House and a graduate student studying curriculum and instruction, said the Leadership House is trying to recruit more members amid the move, which she is afraid will affect students’ willingness to live there.

“Doubles kind of tear people away from moving to the house, since some are so used to living in singles,” Kaplan said. “When you’re an upperclassman, you don’t really want to share a room with someone else.”

Members of the Leadership House have been pleased with their experiences and tout its benefits.  Though the move would change the living arrangements for students, the principles of the program remain.

“We’re basically the only Leadership House that exists in the country,” Kaplan said. “We’re the only one and we’d really like to stick around.”

Faza said that the House helps students connect with one another.

“Students develop a really close relationship with each other in the Leadership House,” Faza said.

The community has improved recently, said Jerry Collins, director of Undergraduate Studies and housemaster for the past three years. The housemaster, who is usually an administrator or professor, serves as a mentor to the residents of the leadership community.

“Since I’ve been a housemaster, we’ve started to engage in a true living-learning community that is geared around academic pursuits combined with experiential opportunities for the Leadership House,” Collins said.

Collins said he feels the Leadership House is a worthwhile experience for those who are interested.

“The students that have participated in leadership studies in the Leadership House are, by far — through their own testimonies — citing the fact that it’s one of the most rewarding experiences they’ve had,” Collins said.