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About Special Interest Communities

Applications for Special Interest Communities are now open! The deadline to apply is Friday, January 8 at noon EST.

Thank you for your interest in the Special Interest Communities living option! Below you will find more details about the SIC options, qualifications and membership information and the application process for students interested in living as members of a Special Interest Community.

If you are interested in applying to live in the Intercultural House (ICH), please fill out the ICH application on the Multicultural Affairs website

Questions about Special Interest Communities? Please first review information below before directing questions to Assistant Director of Special Interest Communities Cliff Jacobs.

List of Special Interest Communities

Application Development Initiative 

Application Development Initiative aims to channel the creative potential of Columbia students into concrete technical projects by providing resources, guidance, and an opportunity to learn outside of both the classroom and standard curriculum. ADI's mission can be expressed in a two word imperative: "Build Things." The ADI will serve as a hub for technical innovation on campus and a support structure for the developer community.

Casa Latina

Casa Latina is a safe and accessible space for Latinx communities and allies. Casa Latina's programming is centered on the universal education and celebration of Latinx culture with an awareness for social justice. We are a space dedicated to exploring the intersections of Latinx culture and identities. 

Greenborough

Greenborough aims to establish a community of students who develop creative and practical ways to live sustainability. We serve as a hub of environmental activism for our campus and the broader community.

Manhattan House

Manhattan House acknowledges the first people of this land, the Lenni Lenape, through the name Manhattan, which means "island of many hills." We strive to provide a community for indigenous students and their supporters that fosters pride in identity, understanding of indigenous issues, and relationships with both the campus and our Native communities. 

Muse House

Muse House is an SIC that focuses on sharing and learning about music in a fun community setting that provokes thought, discussion and inspiration! Their mission is to create an environment centered on diversity, self-expression, and collaboration.

Muslim Student House

Muslim Student House's mission is to provide a space for anyone to come and learn more about the Muslim community, as well as provide a safe space where the Muslim community can thrive on campus. 

Pan-African House

Pan-African House's mission is to educate the Columbia community on 'Pan Africanism.' Pan Africanism is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to unify and uplift people of the African diaspora. Pan-African House aims to institute programming that will raise awareness about Pan Africanism and build a stronger community. 

Potluck House 

Potluck House is a place to share. We come together to share art, music, space and ideas over food. We believe that food builds community. We need it. We want to share it. 

Q House

Q House is a unique residential community dedicated to providing a safe living environment for LGBT*Q students at Columbia University. Q House residents strive to foster a safe campus environment and engage the Columbia University Community in meaningful dialogue. In addition, residents seek to foster a creative environment of collaboration which focuses on the intersections of identities. To this end, Q House will sponsor events for the larger Columbia University community focused on building safer social and educational environments in which all students feel welcome. 

upLIFT House

upLIFT House is a vector through which we support, organize, and highlight FIrst-Generation low income students on campus and their experiences.

Writers House 

Writers House believes that writing tends to be a solitary activity. Writers House is a place where writers have both their own space to write, and a community of other writers to shelter and nurture them, like green tomatoes on your grandmother's porch.

Applicant Qualifications

  • Applicants must be enrolled at Columbia College or The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (or, in some cases, Barnard College) for full-time study and have guaranteed housing status
  • Applicants must be sophomores, juniors or seniors during their year(s) of residence and in good academic standing and disciplinary status
  • Applicants are expected to participate for a full academic year; plans to study abroad during the academic year may affect consideration of prospective residency, particularly if you intend on studying abroad in the fall semester
  • All residents are expected to participate as active members of the SIC House that they elect to live in
  • All residents are required to attend a Special Interest Community Welcome Session prior to move-in day; more details will be shared with all accepted students in the spring semester
  • All residents are also expected to move back onto campus early in August to participate in Special Interest Community Orientation programs; more details will be shared with all accepted students in the spring semester

House Member Expectations 

  • Move in early and attend SIC orientation in August
  • Attend a monthly house meeting with full participation by each house member
    • Please note that additional meetings may be required due to the nature/needs of a specific SIC as determined by house leadership
  • Assist in fulfilling programming requirements; participation in program planning will vary by community though it is suggested that each house member is required to serve on the planning committee of at least one house program
  • Exhibit strong involvement in the residential community and Columbia community at large
  • Assist with and/or provide support to house leadership to ensure that all administrative paperwork is turned in a timely manner and all administrative deadlines are met
  • Participate in SIC program assessment and evaluation processes
  • Actively engage and coordinate with the resident adviser (RA) of the floor and/or community
  • Participate in and support all SIC recruitment efforts
  • Have representation at all respective SIC House events/programs
  • Participate in creating a welcoming and vibrant community within the SIC
  • Follow-through with all expectations, as set by the assistant director and house leadership
  • Take initiative to address concerns that may come up in the suite and ask for help when needed from house leadership and/or Residential Life staff, specifically respective RA(s), hall directors and/or the assistant director
  • Be a positive role model of the community; house members are a reflection of their respective SIC as well as Residential Life, so it is an expectation that members treat all staff, faculty and peers with respect
  • Be welcoming to all members of the Columbia community, especially within the walls of the SIC community
  • ​Abide by all Guide to Living policies

Important Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline

The priority deadline to apply is Friday, January 8, 2021 at noon EDT.

The completed application must be submitted no later than Friday, January 8, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Application information will be reviewed by the assistant director of Special Interest Communities and will be distributed to the House leadership of the respective SIC Houses in which the applicant has applied. Applications that are incomplete in any way will not be reviewed. All candidates should expect to receive communication directly from the SIC House leadership for an individual interview if they should be considered by the SIC House that they selected as their preference.

Special Interest Communities Interviews

Interviews will be managed and coordinated through each individual SIC House in which the applicant applied. Applicants should expect to receive communication from SIC House leadership directly.

Notification of Acceptance

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance and placement by Friday, January 15, 2021.

House Selection Deadline

The deadline for candidates to confirm their house selection is Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Residential Life

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515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
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Call: 212-854-3612

Fax: 212-854-6815

Office Hours

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