About the College Houses
A distinctive feature of the Franklin & Marshall experience is the College House residential community. These are not run-of-the-mill dormitories, but lively hubs of intellectual, extracurricular and social engagement governed by the students who live there.
Facing an expansive common green popular for relaxing on warm fall days or sunny spring afternoons, the five Houses — Bonchek, Brooks, New, Ware and Weis — merge academic and residential life and form dynamic "third spaces" where students and faculty are encouraged to continue conversations begun in the classroom, lab or office, in the process adding an important and distinctive dimension to the overall living and learning experience at F&M.
Faculty dons and House deans provide a strong faculty and administrative presence to help guide students and student advisers through projects and challenges.
Enrichment Beyond the Classroom
All first-year students are assigned to their College House based on the interest they express for their first-year Connections course, a seminar-style learning environment.
The seminars set 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.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors also can choose the College Houses for their residences, which leads to a diverse mix of students, ranging in age and outlook, living and working together.
Faculty dons are the go-to people for House seminars, dinners with visiting scholars, and any ideas students might have about academic or social pursuits.
Students Making Their Own Way
Students in College Houses chart their own course for study and play.
Each house receives a substantial annual budget that students may spend on social programs, décor, academic and community activities, special projects and more. Students disburse these funds through House governments that draft their own constitutions. Here are a few examples of events our students have organized within their Houses:
- 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
Every F&M College House crest was developed by the earliest student residents of the respective houses. The best part about the College Houses, our students say, is that students are in charge of their living spaces and organized activities.
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