Memorial Hill and the athletic fields covered by snow under a blue sky

Closing February 12th at 9:00 am

Hello Mammoths!

We hope that you had a restful break!  We are excited to see you all back on campus soon! We are writing to share that the Theme Community applications for the 2024-2025 housing selection process are open! We have included information below about the theme communities, how to apply, and the relevant deadlines. We hope you will consider applying and contributing to these vibrant communities!

The Theme Communites for the Fall Semester are:

Asian Culture House (Morrow)
*Brooks-Vigil Community (Tyler)
*Dar al-Islam (Resdience Hall A)
Charles Drew Memorial Cultural House (Drew)
French House (King)
German House (Porter)
Humphries Food Co-Op (Humphries)
*International Community (Mo-Pratt)
La Casa the Latinx Culture House (Newport)
Marsh Arts House (Marsh)
Russian House (Porter)
Spanish House (Newport)
Sylvia Rivera Community (Moore)

Students can find more information about these communities at the end of this email or by looking here.

In addition Housing & Operations is pleased to expand our Intentional Living Community Opportunities.  Students can also apply to live in Substance Free Living, Quiet Housing and Single Gender Housing.  Descriptions of these communities can be found at the end of this email.

Applications are live and will be available until 9:00 am on Monday, February 12, 2024. Theme Community Applications for the 2024 - 2025 academic year can only be accessed through Part One of the Theme Community Application. Part One of the application asks applicants to rank all communities they intend to apply for in order of preference.  Links to individual theme community applications can be found at the end of Part One of the Theme Community Application. Both parts of the application must be completed to be considered for a spot in communities. More information on the selection process can be found here.

Please watch for communication by email, Instagram, and the Daily Mammoth for information about open houses and other opportunities to learn more about these housing options. If you have any questions, please email us!

Thank you,

All the Best,
Residential Engagement & Wellbeing

Theme and Intentional Living Communities 2024-2025 Academic Year

Asian Culture House was established to enhance awareness of all Asian cultures and to promote cultural diversity on campus. The House is open to all students. In fact, it is vital to the success of the House to include people of all nationalities and cultures who are interested in Asian culture. Students are not required to be Asian or to speak an Asian language. Any and all those who possess an interest in Asian culture are strongly encouraged to apply. Sincere interest, strong commitment, and enthusiasm are most sought in applicants.

Brooks-Vigil Theme Community. This community serves students interested in Native and Indigenous culture and studies.  The Brooks-Vigil floor will support and celebrate Native, American, Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, Native Hawai’ian, Native Alaskan, Freedmen, First Nations students and those involved in Indigenous studies across Amherst College. The community will provide a space for students to build connections with each other while learning about Indigenous life and customs.  

The Charles Drew Memorial Cultural House is named in honor of Charles R. Drew ’26. Dr. Drew was an outstanding surgeon who discovered the chemical method for preserving blood, and later became the director of the first American Blood Bank. The mission as a house is to sponsor events that will celebrate the achievements of black people and explore the cultures of Africa and the Diaspora at large. This house was founded as a space where members of the Amherst community can engage in intellectual debate, social activities, artistic expression, and all other endeavors, which highlight Africa and the Diaspora and the accomplishments of its diverse peoples.

Dar al-Islam. The name of this community means “House of Islam” in Arabic. The theme community serves Muslim members of the Amherst community, including those who are active in their religious practice, those who were raised religious or in a religious household but are no longer practicing, those who identify with Muslim culture without faith practice, and those who are still exploring their relationship to Islam. In addition, this community serves non-Muslim students who are interested in learning about the spectra of Islamic faith traditions, practices, and cultures.  The fundamental aim of the community is to provide a comfortable, inclusive, and non-judgmental space for students who are interested in the spiritual, religious, and/or cultural practice and exploration of Islam.

The French House is an academic theme house. It was founded to create a residential environment for students interested in developing and exercising their skills in the French language; to provide a forum in which all Francophones at Amherst College can engage in activities conducted in French that are related to the French language and francophone cultures; and to establish an organizational structure that provides opportunities for interested members of the College community to familiarize themselves with various aspects of French language and francophone cultures.

The German House, located in the Porter residence hall, provides its residents with an environment that encourages and facilitates the speaking of German and the exploration of the culture of German speaking countries. German House residents also automatically become members of the German Club, a campus-wide SFC-sponsored organization.

Humphries Food Co-Op House exists as a co-operative environment for community-oriented individuals. Members work together responsibly to maintain the house, to provide meals, order foods, organize campus and house events collectively. Residents are chosen through a random lottery of interested individuals.

International Theme Community. This community fully embraces and celebrates the diversity brought by international students. The community provides a welcoming environment for students of international experience that allows them to explore their own and other resident’s heritage and culture.  The International Theme Community welcomes international students and students interested in international cultures, experiences, and perspectives.

La Casa the Latinx Culture House was founded to provide a residential environment and base for the promotion and expression of Latinx cultures. Inherent in this promotion and expression is an understanding that the history of Latinxs is a complex issue that unites and separates various groups of people in the United States. To provide a safe space for such expression and promotion as well as bring together those students who have a demonstrated interest in celebrating and enhancing the awareness of Latino cultures through various activities within the college community.  La Casa was founded with the strong belief that such awareness and celebration is not confined solely within the boundaries of Amherst College.

The Marsh Arts House exists to provide a supportive working atmosphere for student artists, and to foster the presence of arts on the campus.  A student living in the Arts House has access to the space for producing and displaying work, the monetary resources of the Arts House Fund, and the support of other student artists living in the Arts House. By giving student artists these resources, the Arts House facilitates the creation and exhibition of student art, both in the House and throughout the Amherst community.  The Arts House seeks artists working in all medias and disciplines who are interested in producing and displaying extra-curricular work. The Arts House also encourages artists to collaborate with one another at all levels of the artistic process, from inception to exhibition.

Quiet Housing - Students who live here recognize the shared responsibility on the part of all residents to consistently give priority to quiet academic pursuits. Students must maintain a quiet living environment 24 hours per day Sunday through Friday. Non-quiet hours are established by the residents at the beginning of the year and generally occur during the weekend.

The Russian Culture Theme House exists for students who want to learn about Russian culture through its language and who want to make Russian culture more prominent on campus. Residents of the Russian House are expected to speak Russian with each other in the house as much as possible and to take advantage of the presence of the native/heritage speakers (native/heritage speakers and advanced language students are expected to take some initiative, particularly with residents more hesitant about their speaking skills).

Single Gender Housing -  A floor in a residence hall that is designated for students sharing the same gender identity.

The Spanish House provides its residents with a supportive and enthusiastic environment that encourages and facilitates the exchange of the Spanish language, and promotes the Hispanic culture. The House also seeks to enrich the life of the campus by serving as a forum in which all Spanish-speakers at Amherst can engage in activities that are conducted in Spanish, and are related to the Spanish language and Hispanic culture.

Substance-Free Living - Students who live in this community have an appreciation for living in a manner that focuses on a student’s overall well-being. Students living in these areas may choose to engage in limited alcohol consumption outside of the floor, but must act responsibly and not return to the house under the influence. Students living in this community will not have alcohol, prescription medication not prescribed to them, or other drugs (including tobacco) in their room.

The Sylvia Rivera Community is named to honor latinx trans movement worker and Stonewall veteran Sylvia Rivera, the Sylvia Rivera Floor is a community dedicated to maintaining an affirming and celebratory living environment for LGBTQ+ people. Its namesake fought to uplift those left on the margins of the larger gay liberation movement, namely queer and trans people of color. Her work coalesced in many forms, and perhaps most visibly into STAR House, the first homeless shelter for queer and trans youth. This floor follows Sylvia’s legacy in providing space for LGBTQ+ folks to live and build community together, in all the beauty inherent in the diversity of gender and sexuality.