Latinx Special Interest House Approved for Fall

Rachael Franchini ’19, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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A new special interest housing option will be available as “an inclusive and open space for Latinx[-]Identifying Dickinsonians” in fall 2019, according to a post made by the Latin American and Caribbean Club (LACC).

Jasmin Turcios ’21, who is the director of community for LACC and part of a group of students who spearheaded the effort to have the house, said “we really as a community need a space.”

“In terms of Latin America and the Caribbean there’s just a ton of different cultures spanning across that general region,” Turcios said. “…[B]ut there are some commonalities in the majority of us speaking Spanish or having certain dances we all know how to do, so I’m just excited to have a space like that where we can come together and do those things.”

The Latinx House is “rooted” in LACC, according to Turcios, who said that the space will be used as a place for events and general meetings as well as housing for five residents at its 529 W. Louther location.

Gabriella Farrell ’21, director of organization for LACC, called the Latinx House “important” as a space of community for Latinx-identifying students. 

“[I]t will not only embody a “special interest” but a community of people and its place on this campus. We hope that this house will not only be used by residents, but by other students, especially Latinx students, who want to feel comfortable in an inclusive space,” she wrote.

“A lot of people got hope from seeing the X House happen,” stated Turcio, referencing the special interest house that was approved last year for students to celebrate and cultivate black culture, according to a post by the X House Instagram page.

Turcios said that “we actually got a lot” of applications to live in the house even though the announcement of the house is still very new. 

Sage Ober, assistant director of residence life, stated that the process of applying for a new special interest house, begins in late November or early December. 

“I can often meet with [students interested in creating a special interest house] to talk through that process,” stated Ober, “but really it’s just a written application as well as a roster of interested students.” Students also need support from a faculty or staff advisor before turning in the finalized application in February. 

“About the process of making it happening,” said Turcio, “it was like ‘we’re totally going to get this’ and then there were a few bumps along the way in getting an advisor and I guess just the wait in and of itself…. We had to come to consensus about a lot of things [while] trying to make the application as inclusive and well-written as possible.”

Ober stated that the process of approving special interest housing requests has a “pretty good success rate” if the proposal is “well thought-out and has support.” Other elements such as what is available to offer as a house that year and the class years of interested students also factor into the decision to accept or reject a proposal. 

Students interested in the process of creating a special interest house are encouraged to reach out to Ober.