E. Academic Interest Houses

 

In 1991, the Residential Life Committee, the Student Government Association, and the Community Council recommended creating, in addition to the existing foreign language houses, a limited number of academic interest houses. Academic interest houses are houses in which residents pursue a common academic interest and share the fruits of that interest with the campus community.

1. Purpose

The purpose of academic interest houses includes:

a. promotion of the academic interests;

New space for queer studies is one student’s legacy

On a typical Thursday evening, senior Christine Bachman is busy hosting students at the Queer Studies House, a residential academic interest house with a focus on queer studies. These evenings are called “Thursday Teas.” Sipping tea and eating cookies, Bachman and the four other residents of the house start informal conversations on a variety of topics related to queer studies, an emerging interdisciplinary field that critiques traditional norms of sexuality and gender. Sometimes, as many as 30 or 40 students stop by for these gatherings.

“Students get to know and relate to each other on a personal level that in turn enables a safe, open, varied discussion about issues of difference,” explains sophomore Catarina Campbell, who frequently attends these gatherings.

As co-president of the Middlebury Open-Queer Alliance (MOQA), Bachman was one of the three chief architects of the proposal for the Queer Studies House. The proposal was approved by Community Council last year.