With the school year half over and the housing lottery only a little more than a month away, next year’s Theme Houses are now accepting applications. Students lucky enough to get a spot will live with a group of like-minded students in Bates owned house on either Frye Street or Wood Street. Each theme house must have a variety of class years and genders. Additionally, each house will provide several events both for students living in the house and for the Bates Community as a whole. Themes this year include the Last Homely Theme House, the Arts House, and the Writing House.

First up is the Last Homely Theme House, organized by Katie Van Patten ’17 and Sidney Parham ’17. Overseen by Katie Vale, Vice President of Information and Library Services, the house aims to provide a Chem-free environment with a geeky twist.

BATES STUDENT: Who should live in the Last Homely Theme House?

Katie Van Patten and Sidney Parham: We hope to attract students who enjoy having fun but don’t want partying to be the center of their social lives.

BS: What are some of the activities your house will host?

KVP and SP: Expect board game nights, Laser Tag in Ladd Library, home-cooked dinners, Dungeons & Dragons games, craft nights, and more!

BS: Why have a theme house? What are your goals for it?

KVP and SP: Our goals are to provide a quiet, friendly place for students to live and to strengthen the substance-free community at Bates. We have seen that a lot of students aren’t interested in going to parties or drinking on weekends, but still want to be part of a community of friends. The Last Homely Theme House hopes to provide that community.

BS: What about students who aren’t living in the Last Homely House? How does this affect them?

KPV and SP: We plan to offer events open to everyone on campus. In addition, we hope that the house will help bring together students that are less interested in drinking or partying on weekends.

The Arts House is coordinated by Leah Sturman ’17 and Tristan Brossy de Dios ’17, and Professor Hiroya Miura of the Music Department is its supervisor. The house aims to provide a creative environment for those who both create and appreciate art.

BS: Who should live in Arts House?

Leah Sturman and Tristan Brossy de Dios: Really anybody, whether they are artists themselves or simply appreciate it in any of its forms. Not everyone majors in art or music; we even have some math people living here.

BS: What are some activities that Arts House will host?

LS and TBD: We’re hoping to run a few workshops with various mediums (taught by some of our residents) in addition to the occasional jam session and open house art show.

BS: What are the goals for the Arts House?

LS and TBD: We want to give Bates artists the opportunity and space to work together across different fields of the arts, draw in the larger Bates community both to view the work of our residents and to work with and learn from the talented people who have applied to live here, and provide a forum for experimentation with art forms not widely appreciated. It’s a space for dialogue on important sociopolitical issues often avoided in classes or other official contexts.

BS: Why are you renewing the Arts House? What’s new and different?

LS and TBD: The Arts House has been around for years now, but we’re trying to take it in a slightly new direction this year with more emphasis on the artists themselves and the work they produce. We definitely want to preserve the open and exploratory vibe the Arts House has had in the past, but we’ll also be striving to provide a forum and teaching space that connects Bates artists with each other and with their campus audience.

BS: What about everyone who doesn’t live in the Arts House? Why should they care?

LS and TBD: I like to think the Arts House has always been a welcoming space on campus, and we’ll certainly be continuing that legacy. Next year we’ll be expanding upon that and inviting people not just to make art with us, but to engage themselves and learn something new.

And finally, the Arts House would like the Bates Community to know, “we like to pet squirrels.”

The Writing House did not respond before deadline, but is another option for Batesies to live in a community of people with shared interests.