This year will be the first for the College’s newest college house, which is appropriately named New College House.
There are approximately 75 first years, a few sophomores, 60 juniors and 40 seniors living in the New College House this year. Dean Hammer, don of the New College House, and Suzanna Richter, prefect of the New College House, are both striving to give this new house a personality of its own. As students get settled in, both hope the house will feel like a home for the incoming students and the upperclassmen who re-affiliated last year. With a new mentoring program instituted in the New College House, the upperclassmen will have the opportunity to help and guide the first-years.
“We are doing a lot to have them be leaders and share that leadership with the first-years,” Hammer said. “The seniors right now are planning a kick-off clambake to welcome the first- year students. I think they see opportunities here and I think they’re excited about those opportunities.”
Both Richter and Hammer envision great things for the house and its members.
“I think we envision the house as a place where the students can grow and transform,” Hammer said. “I think we envision the house as a site of performance, as a place where students are engaged in the house, whether it’s through discussion with each other, through live music, through their own musical, artistic, or dance performance. The idea is to make this a vibrant, lively place where students are doing or performing the ideas that they learn in the classroom. I think ultimately we’re hoping that the students have a sense of this place as a home where they grow up and where they learn to be leaders and learn to lead in the world.”
In an effort to establish that kind of community, they have organized what they call “First Thursdays” starting in October, which will be evenings that involve speakers and local performances, including student who are interested as well. Also, the House will present speakers, including Josh Fox, who will talk about his documentary called Gasland, which is about the use of natural gas in Pennsylvania.
What the New College House has to offer is not strictly for its residents. Everyone is welcome to participate in all of its events and to be a part of this new campus community.
The New College House is the only house on campus with Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. In order to obtain LEED certification, a building must conform to certain green building standards. The main example of the house’s sustainability is the four rain gardens, which are located in the front and back of the building.
“Instead of the water going into the Lancaster sewer system and being treated as sewage, which takes up a lot of energy,” Richter said. “It provides the garden with what it needs to grow, and the water will filter through the soil, working its way back into the water cycle. It completes the cycle in a much more environmentally friendly fashion.”
In addition to the rain gardens, the house has motion-sensor lights. The kitchen has a bamboo floor, as well as induction stoves, which use magnetism to heat the food without first heating the pots, which is much more efficient. The house, as well as the other four houses on campus, will have a bicycle in its common room that students can use to power appliances like cell phones, iPods, and laptops.
First-years moved into the house Friday. The incoming class seemed excited about its future in the New House.
“It’s nice, clean and very fresh. I’m excited to live here, mainly because I toured this house during MODE, when it was still under con- struction and I really wanted to live here,” said Carla Love ’15. “I feel so lucky.”
The upperclassmen also seem to be settling in well. Although upperclassmen are excited about the opportunities provided to them as members of the New College House, it was necessary for upperclassmen to re-affliate their house membership.
“I was in Ware last year. This house is obviously nicer and newer, but I will always be a Warian,” said Robert Diggs, a Hall Advisor and member of the New House government.