Artist’s rendering of a theme house expected to open next fall and house a fraternity at Clarkson University
By JIMMY LAWTON
POTSDAM – Two fraternities will be the first residents of Clarkson University’s new "theme houses," designed to place students with common interests under one roof.
The massive Adirondack style mansions will house 20-22 students each and are located in a wooded area on campus near the water tower.
Kathryn Johnson, Vice President for University Outreach and Student Affairs said a total of nine houses are planned, with the first two expected to open in fall 2013 and third to follow close behind.
She said Sigma Chi and Sigma Delta will be the first student organizations to take advantage of the new accommodations, but added that the theme houses won't be restricted to fraternal orders.
"Those are the organizations that have come forward first, but its for any group that has a common interest or theme," she said.
Johnson said the Greek organization were a natural fit, because they are formally structured and have a long-standing history at Clarkson.
"There is a pretty serious undertaking get one of the houses. You have to have a lot of committed individuals in the group," she said.
As time goes one, Johnson said she expects students with similar interests or possibly some of the schools more than 80 clubs may move into one of the houses.
"I am anticipating that once these first two to three houses go up, they are going to be very interested. It's pretty exciting and unique opportunity."
Johnson said the homes will bolster a sense of teamwork and responsibility for the students.
"Clarkson students are very team oriented and love to work in groups. It reinforces the concept that even if students are studying different majors they can share common interests and come together," she said.
Johnson said the theme houses aren't an entirely new concept. She said themed floors and themed sections of existing residence halls already exist on campus. The new houses however offer students a larger and more independent take on the old idea.
"It's a very exciting time for all of us at Clarkson especially my staff who worked with the students this project," she said.
The first two house are expected to open in the fall semester.