Theme Houses

Theme Houses for 2021-2022

Empowering Young Minds

Coordinators: Aaliyah Moore, Aisatou Barry, and Faith Nwando
Residential Fellow:
Christina Davis, Interim Associate Dean for Bobcat First and Intercultural Education
Nash House

Our mission of this house stems from our experience as first-year womxn of color, attending a PWI, and residing on campus. We faced challenges such as being misjudged & belittled; ultimately making us feel like we don’t belong so we hid our true personalities. Until we found each other. Our purpose is personal, we want to create a house that offers an inclusive and empowering space for womxn of color and/or marginalized gender identity by building a community and sharing our intersectionality experiences. It is essential that the womxn of color on campus are able to feel a sense of belonging and have a place where there are other womxn who share similar experiences on campus. We also want these young womxn to leave college knowing that they created a family and are ready to go out into the world and dominate many jobs that are usually dominated by men or women who are not a BIPOC. By empowering young minds through this house, we build confidence, self-esteem and become respectable womxn of color at Bates College.

Intercultural Diversity

Coordinators: Kush Sharma and Marcos Pacheco Soto
Residential Fellow:
James Reese, Associate Dean of Students for International Student Programs
Wilson House

This house advocates for building a comprehensive supportive community system for international, first-generation, and the overall student community at Bates College. It will serve as an instance for the college population to engage in insightful conversations about diversity, citizenship, and intercultural experiences. 

Based on the principles of antiracism, anti-xenophobia, diversity, inclusion, and access, we also envision this house to be a space that works as a host to a school-wide conversation about decolonization a process of deconstructing colonial ideologies of the superiority and privilege of Western thought and approaches.

Environmental Justice and Awareness

Coordinators: Nash Holley and Betelihem Stevens
Residential Fellow:
Tom Twist, Sustainability Manager
Chase House

The purpose of this theme house is to provide a living space for those who are passionate about the environment, and those who are willing to put in work to fight climate change and protect outdoor spaces. We additionally hope to change the culture of the Bates College community for the better to promote a mindfulness of the environmental impact of everyday actions. 

The Environmental Justice and Awareness House will contribute to the Bates community by challenging our community to take a look at environmental justice from outside of a whitewashed lens. We are committed to self-educating and providing our community with the resources needed to have a more intersectional approach to achieving justice while dealing with environmental issues.

Theme House Applications have closed for 2021-2022. Please check back in Spring 2022 for information for the 2022-2023 academic year.

For years Bates has offered the opportunity for students to engage in theme house living, in which students propose a topic for a compelling living-learning environment.  Approved proposals are assigned a residential building where the students reside for the year in order to explore the chosen topic in depth.  In theme houses, students espouse to live the experience of their theme in practical terms, with an expectation of sponsoring events to share their knowledge so that the entire community can benefit.

Information on Theme Houses

Are there the same theme houses every year?
No, theme houses can change every year. Current theme houses have the ability to reapply with the same theme as long as they are in good standing. Students propose and coordinate all theme houses. The physical location of each theme house can also change.

Do you need to complete a HouseCat application if you are interested in living in a theme house?
Yes, all students taking classes in the fall semester, whether they plan to be living off-campus, or on-campus in a theme house, suite, or any other type of housing must complete an application via HouseCat.

I am interested in living in a theme house. How should I find out what options will be available?
Theme House Coordinators will be looking to make potential rosters in March. They will advertise in Bates Today and on campus. You may also propose a new theme house if there is a theme you are passionate about. Contacting current theme house coordinators and class Facebook pages are also a great source of information.

Can I live in a Theme House when I come back from abroad or a leave?
Theme House Coordinators often have a preemptive roster for the winter semester that accounts for students that are planning to go abroad. You should contact coordinators to see if they have spaces available. Any student living on campus in the fall who changes their study abroad will remain in their current room for the remainder of the academic year with the affected returning students housed through the winter housing process.

Theme House Process Dates

Friday, March 5, 2021 Theme House Applications open
Mid-March 2021 On-Campus Housing Applications open via HouseCat. All students must fill this out for fall housing. Proposal information available at the Office of Residence Life and Health Education and online
Friday, March 26, 2021 Proposals are due at 4:00 p.m.
Week of March 29, 2021 Proposal acceptances sent via email to coordinators
Friday, April 9, 2021 Resident assignments and contracts due from coordinators at 9:00 a.m. Coordinators must make sure every individual on the roster has filled out the HouseCat application.

Information for Theme House Proposals

How do I propose a new Theme House?
Please use the Theme House Proposal Template for information on submitting an abstract and then complete a theme house proposal which can be submitted here. We encourage you to expand upon this template.

What’s the role of Theme House Coordinators?
The Theme House Coordinators are responsible for programming, community standards, coordinating with the Residential Fellow, and filling the house roster. The Theme House Coordinator Expectations outlines the expectations and responsibilities for this role.

What’s the role of the Residential Fellow?
Student proposals for Theme Houses are required to have a faculty or staff liaison, to lend expertise to the topic and help guide the work of the students in the house. The Residential Fellow Agreement outlines the expectations and responsibilities for this role.

When will we know if our house is approved and what building we have received?
The coordinators will be notified of the status of your proposal via email during the week of March 29th, 2021.

Additional Theme House Coordinator Information

Assigning Rooms
If a theme house is approved, coordinators will be given a floor plan to make a finalized roster of the names of all residents who will be living in the house and the specific rooms they will occupy.

  • Coordinators must fill every space in the house.
  • Each resident will need to sign an agreement to fulfill the requirements for the house and agree to reside in their assigned room number for the fall semester at a minimum.
  • Students are not allowed to move rooms within a theme house during the year.
  • If you are unable to find enough people to live in the house at any time after your theme is approved, then your house may be revoked.
  • All students must complete an application via HouseCat in addition to being included on the roster.
  • After the final list of residents for your Theme House is submitted, any student listed as a member of that house will automatically be removed from all housing room selection processes and be manually slotted into the spaces you have designated. Please communicate this to all residents of the house.

Dissolving of Theme Houses
The Office of Residence Life and Health Education reserves the right to revoke an approved Theme House upon consultation with the Residential Fellow for reasons including lack of interest in the theme, violations of the Code of Student Conduct, disruption to the community, or failure to fulfill all meeting/programming requirements.