APU themed housing got a facelift this year. The special housing in Alosta Place where students can live among others with common interests now has two new houses: Leadership and Student Action, which replaced music and arts and Global Village, respectively.
“We’re constantly growing with what the student population is interested in and what works best, so it is a process of growing and improving each house accordingly,” said Madison Lian, assistant resident director of themed housing.
Lian, who is the assistant resident director over both Leadership and Student Action this year, explained that themed housing is unique in the way it functions.
“Often we throw around the buzzword ‘community,’ and this is that in action,” Lian said. “These are those really close-knit communities that are happening and people can invest in because you can do them year after year after year.”
Each house has a house adviser, usually a returning member of the same housing the previous year, and has previous experience being a RA. The HA acts as a resident adviser would and is in charge of the community of students, ranging from sophomores to seniors, in addition to meeting with a small group of students from the house that acts as a student leadership council.
“You have the draw of many different people in different walks of life, because as we know we all change dramatically throughout our years in undergrad, and you have the enthusiasm of some and the wisdom of others coming together under common interests to fellowship and grow together,” said Lian.
Additionally, each theme house hosts its own Student Leadership Council, which is modeled after the Living Area Council program in the freshman dorms.
“Now the house adviser has a group of students within the house that are helping, like an LAC kind of would, to direct the house, to help lead the house and [the HAs] meet with them in addition to meeting with an ARD over theme housing every week,” Lian said.
Even with their own themes, HAs and SLCs, themed housing tries not to be exclusive in its membership. Other residents not part of the themed house live in Alosta Place as well; each themed house hosts community and campus events that are open to all, too.
The world of themed houses changes each year depending on demand. Greenprints, a sustainability house that used to exist in Alosta Place, was discontinued due to a lack of student interest.
In addition to the shifts in the Student Action and Leadership houses this year, there are plans to include incoming freshman in themed housing in the future. This would encourage a four-year commitment and investment in a specific community.
Students with ideas or an interest in themed housing should talk to the Office of Residence Life to get involved.
“We are always looking for what students are interested in becoming invested in,” Lian said.
Outdoor Adventure House
Partnered with the Outdoor Adventure organization, OA housing is for students who actively love the outdoors. This house plans outdoor events such as camping or hiking, and even includes trips to Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Park.
“It’s really just being an intentional community that just loves the outdoors and loves that aspect of life, but wants to grow personally in addition to doing those things,” Lian said.
Discipleship housing works with the the campus pastor’s office and caters to students interested in discipleship and working toward figuring out exactly what that means on a day-to-day basis.
“This is for students who [are] interested in discipleship specifically, but also in growing spiritually, and people who are interested in potentially affecting the spiritual atmosphere of the entire campus,” Lian said. “They are there because they want to grow in their relationship with God; they want to grow as a community as part of the body of Christ to encourage one another, to pray for one another, to understand more of who that is as a small community.”
Student Action House
The Center for Student Action works directly with the SA house to help and work with students interested in studying abroad, learning social justice or doing missions work.
The leadership program pairs with the Leadership house to help mold, shape and develop student leaders on campus. This is mostly done by having a different learning focus each week or month, such as authentic leadership or developing faith in leadership.
“This house is for developing yourself as a leader and understanding that leadership is so much more than a title that we carry — it’s in your character,” Lian said. “It’s also to help people focus on an initiative they want to get involved in lead one another and the student body in doing, whatever that initiative may be to improve the campus or Alosta Place or the community at large.”