Cultural Housing at Carleton College
One of the goals of the Office of Intercultural and International Life (OIL) is to create a sense of community among the students we serve. One of the ways we achieve this is through the Cultural House Community. OIL oversees four houses, each with a different mission that provides students with a safe and inclusive space to call their own.
The Cultural Houses are designed to provide a culturally safe space for students of color, international students and their allies willing to contribute to an environment that facilitates academic and personal success. The Cultural Houses provide a variety of educational, cultural, and social programs related to specific cultures and issues, while simultaneously providing a cultural comfort-zone. All Carleton community members are encouraged to participate in all programs and meetings held at the houses: Asia House (Asian cultural house), Freedom House (African-American cultural house) and La Casa del Sol (Latin@ cultural house).
For more information, please contact the OIL office.
Asia House (Hall House)
ASIA House strives to provide support and foster community for students who hold identities they feel resonate with the house name, and/or students who are passionate about advocating and educating around issues and topics connected to Asian culture. Asia House is an extension of the Office of Intercultural & International Life, therefore part of the mission is to create purposeful programming that will provide educational and social opportunities for students to learn and explore Asian and Asian American cultures and related topics. All Carleton community members are invited to participate in ASIA House programs.
Freedom House (Williams House)
Freedom House strives to provide support and foster community for students who hold identities they feel resonate with the house name, and/or students who are passionate about advocating and educating around issues and topics connected to the African Diaspora. Freedom House is an extension of the Office of Intercultural & International Life, therefore part of the mission is to create purposeful programming that will provide educational and social opportunities for students to learn and explore the African Diaspora and its various cultures. All Carleton community members are invited to participate in Freedom House programs.
La Casa del Sol (Hunt Cottage)
La Casa del Sol strives to provide support and foster community for students who hold identities they feel resonate with the house name, and/or students who are passionate about advocating and educating around issues and topics connected to Latinx culture. La Casa del Sol is an extension of the Office of Intercultural & International Life, therefore part of the mission is to create purposeful programming that will provide educational and social opportunities for students to learn and explore Latinx cultures and related topics. All Carleton community members are invited to participate in La Casa del Sol programs.
Intercultural Center (Stimson House)
Stimson House serves as the programming center for the Office of Intercultural & International Life. Programs hosted at Stimson are open to all students, faculty, and staff. On a day-to-day basis, Stimson House is a safe space for students to come together to relax, socialize, meet, and study. Our hope is that Stimson House will also be a place where students can have informal but meaningful interactions with students from diverse backgrounds. Housing options in Stimson House are reserved for the resident advisor (RA) and student peer leaders who work for the Office of Intercultural & International Life.
2021–2022 Applications are now open
The Office of Intercultural Life oversees the selection process of House residents. Applicants are expected to complete an online application and submit any additional supporting documents to OIL. Selection of house residents for the upcoming year will be made on an individual basis. House placement is held annually for all house slots. OIL aims to fill placements for Fall Term first. If you are going to be abroad for Fall Term, please still submit an application, as you have the possibility to be placed in the Cultural House community upon your return if there is availability. If you are placed in a Cultural House for Fall Term and will be participating in a Winter Term Off-Campus Studies program, you will not be guaranteed your Fall Term housing placement in the cultural houses for Spring Term.
Once all applications have been received, the committee will review them and select individuals to be invited in for interviews. Interviews will be scheduled for early April — watch our calendar and email list for specific dates. Interviews will be semi-structured and will last approximately 20 minutes. Students who are invited for interviews will schedule an appointment with Bruce Yang (email@example.com). After the interviews have been completed, a list of finalists will be compiled and notifications will be sent out to all students who participated in the application process by April 21st.
Please note, if you are requesting a housing accommodation, it may not be possible within a specific interest house. Meeting the occupancy need is the primary priority for Residential Life. Student preferences are considered but cannot be met in all cases.
The following descriptions are of the leadership roles within each cultural house. Each role can have more than one occupancy, meaning that there can be co-chairs and co-leads depending on the number of residents per house and number of residents interested in a role. However, the number of residents per lead role cannot exceed a total of three residents; and the number of residents in the chair role cannot exceed a total of two residents. In addition, all residents, regardless of the role they occupy, are expected to work collaboratively and in support of one another.
This role consists of either a chair or two co-chairs. The resident(s) in this role is responsible for (a) overseeing the rest of the house leaders and their responsibilities as house leads; (b) providing support and working closely with each house lead; (c) working closely with RAs and the professional supervisor of the houses; (d) ensuring that lead(s) are completing tasks within deadlings; (e) troubleshooting house maintenance and facilities issues that emerge; (f) facilitating interpersonal issues within the house that may emerge; (g) ensuring that leaders are meeting bi-weekly with the professional supervisor overseeing all of the houses; and (h) ultimately, creating a house environment that is respectful, appreciative, and celebrative of all residents within the house, and across the cultural houses.
This role consists of up to three leads. The resident(s) in this role is/are responsible for (a) being the cultural and historical expert of the house, as it relates to the identities that are represented within the house; (b) obtaining cultural and historical information about the identity that the house is intended to serve (from a range of credible sources); (c) sharing this cultural and historical information with the rest of the house members; (d) working with the activities lead, and other leads to develop meaningful events/activities that will help create awareness of these identities for the rest of the campus community.
This role consists of up to three leads. The resident(s) in this role is/are responsible for (a) developing events/activities to fulfill the trimester expectations from OIL (please refer to the section on programmatic expectations); (b) working closely with cultural/history lead to ensure that events/activities are meaningful to the house identity(ies); (c) working closely with the marketing/publicity lead to ensure that potential participants are aware of opportunities provided by the house; (d) working closely with the events/activities lead from other houses to develop cross-cultural-house-collaborations; and (e) keeping track of all participants involved in the events/activities.
This role consists of up to three leads. The resident(s) in this role is/are responsible for (a) ensuring that they are aware of all of the events and activities of the house; (b) promoting and communicating events and activities to potential participants; (c) creating meaningful posters (Once a trimester) that represent the various aspects of the identities represented within the house to be selected and posted across campus by OIL.
Students living within a Cultural house commit to creating inclusive, accountable, and respectful spaces in and outside of the house environment. Students represent OIL, which requires that they understand and adhere to campus policies and community standards. Residents are expected to participate in house programming and intentional effort towards community building.
Cultural House Responsibilities
Maintenance of the House
Living within a small, interest community requires frequent communication regarding how certain spaces are used. House Chairs and their leads should create their own systems that allow equitable use and treatment of shared spaces such as the kitchen, bathrooms, basement, living room, and lounge spaces. All residents are expected to participate in regular upkeep of the house as it is often used as a programming and meeting space. House Chairs should communicate with their Resident Assistant to learn how to complete a Facilities Work Request if there are larger maintenance concerns that require attention.
These meetings are essential in order to continually update and check in with all house residents. There will be a minimum of four house meetings per term. These meetings are required by all residents to attend unless a medical, family, and/or academic obligation occurs. House Chairs are responsible for keeping track of these meetings and reporting them to the professional supervisor from OIL.
These meetings should cover:
- Programming ideas from all residents of the house
- Programming updates: Delegating duties and planning
- Housing concerns: Maintenance, community building, programming, mental health, etc.
- Updates from OIL
Note: At each House meeting, attendance will be taken and house members who miss multiple meetings outside of academic obligations will be considered for removal from the community.
Individual Meetings with OIL Staff
Each house member is required to meet bi-weekly with the designated Supervisor from OIL. If more than one meeting is missed, consideration for removal from the house will be addressed.
This is an important aspect of all cultural houses where the events and activities lead, and the rest of the residents are all expected to do their best in establishing, maintaining, and developing meaningful relationships with other residents in the house. These efforts can include and are not limited to sharing creative ideas for creating connections within the house, sharing a meal with one or more resident(s), participating in a within house and/or broader campus activity with other house residents, and/or supporting each other through challenging times.
As part of community building, residents will also determine as a group to define their own set of responsibilities with each of the houses.
Social Events/Gatherings/House Parties
Social events and parties may be held in the cultural houses so long as the rights of other residents and neighbors are respected. Although these events may be held, the reputation of the house will not be defined by such gatherings. Social event hosts and the occupants of the house hosting the event are responsible for the behavior of their guests and for ensuring that all applicable College regulations and OIL expectations are respected.
- If these rules are violated and/or if the supervisor from OIL sees fit, a house can be designated as substance-free for the remainder of the term or academic year.
- If the substance-free designation is violated, house members involved will be immediately removed from their placement in the house.
House Chairs and are responsible for informing the professional supervisor of the lack of attendance of residents at house meetings, house members not fulfilling their leadership roles as required by the expected programming of the house, and any conflict or disturbance in the community that they are aware of.
- House Chairs will also inform OIL of any programming outside of OIL-specific required programming a week prior to executing the event.
- Bi-Weekly meetings are scheduled by directly communicating with the professional supervisor through email. House chairs are expected to ensure that bi-weekly meetings are scheduled by doing reminders during their house meetings.
Cultural Houses are expected to provide programming and foster community while continually ensuring that all house goals are met throughout the academic year. House residents are required to assist in the planning and participate/attend all mandatory programming.
The mandatory programming requirements include:
- OIL Block Party (Fall Term)
- Joint Programming: OIL/TRIO/GSC Collaboration
- International Festival (Spring Term)
- A minimum of 1 academic event center on house charter
- A minimum of 1 social event open to the community
- A minimum of 1 house event dedicated to house residents doing community building
- A minimum of 1 house event dedicated to attending a campus event as a House (Non-OIL Event)
- A minimum of 4 house/community meetings per term. These meetings are required by all residents to attend unless a medical, family, or academic obligation occurs.
Removal of Residents
Any member of a house in violation of any of the resident expectations can be recommended for removal from the house. Recommendations for the removal of residents will be based on several factors, which include but are not limited to:
- Degree of seriousness (injury to others, illegal use of drugs, sexual misconduct, theft, burglary… etc.)
- Frequency (repeated behaviors), and/or
- Cost (amount of money) of violations
Violations are reported and reviewed by staff from Residential Life and OIL. Based on the nature of the violation(s), the staff will determine the appropriate course of action.
- First violation(s) will result in a house meeting and verbal warning.
- Second violation(s) will result in a house meeting, verbal warning, reflection paper, and temporary probation from activities that were associated with the behavior(s) of concern.
- Third violation(s) will result in the recommendation for the removal of resident(s) involved.