Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Enrichment Beyond the Classroom

The best part about the College Houses, our students say, is that the students are the ones in charge of their living spaces and organized activities.

Members of each House decide on a government structure, draft a constitution and elect leaders. House dons (in-house faculty advisers) and prefects are on hand to guide students who want to pursue special projects. Dons act as the point people for House seminars, dinners with visiting scholars and other intellectually themed pursuits, while prefects help residents identify the right resources for projects and are always available to discuss a personal or academic issue.

First-year seminars are held in the Houses, too, setting the pattern for the year to come—a vibrant intellectual life that doesn’t restrict learning to the classroom. Students choose from first-year seminars ranging from general academic courses in chemistry, music composition, Russian history, human genetics and the like, to more specific areas of study, such as Civil War fictions, Zeno’s paradoxes, underworlds and afterlives, and more. In the past five years, residents of F&M’s Houses have hosted or financed:

  • Formal dances
  • Meals for the homeless
  • Theatrical productions
  • Play-reading discussions
  • Dinners with artists, authors and business leaders
  • Pizza parties, bagel breakfasts and field trips
  • Faculty-student publications
  • A campus-wide “yard sale” to raise money for a local nonprofit
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