What is the "Right For Me" campaign? The "Right For Me" campaign is an initiative of the Residence Life Housing Selection Committee and the residents of Dante House, EcoHouse, Writers House, and Gender-Neutral Housing. As much as we welcome students to cultivate their own opinions about what life is like in Residential College Houses (Dante House, EcoHouse, and Writers House) or in Genesee Hall's Gender-Neutral Housing environment, we wanted to provide accurate descriptions of life in these communities. Students who live in each of these communities volunteered to talk to us about their experiences; their stories are available for you to read below.
In thinking about your housing for next year, we urge you not to simply dismiss EcoHouse, Writers House, and Gender-Neutral Housing as options because "that's where those students live". Instead, ask yourself, "Would this community be right for me?"
"I began my Geneseo career in Fall 2010, and that's when I moved into Writers House. Writers House is comprised of a bunch of geeks, and I mean this in an endearing way. It's as if we're all on the same wavelength. Writers House is a great environment for writing; some of us participated in NaNoWriMo, a National Novel Writing project which happens in November. I live on the 4th floor, and it's rare when I can't find an open door or someone to talk with. I even taught myself how to play the piano -- there's a practice room with a piano in Writers House. I've enjoyed my time in Writers House thus far; thanks for letting me share my story with you!"
-- Christine O'Neill, class of 2014, Writers House Treasurer
"I think that housing is what you make of it -- or don't make of it. Writers House can be part of your college experience, but it will not define your experience. Some people think that can only live the true freshman housing experience in a residence hall like Onondaga or Jones, but there is no definitive freshman experience. All students are different. The Writers House community provides a freshman experience, not just an alternative to a freshman experience. I've lived in other residence halls before. In Writers House, people tend to congregate in lounges more. Since all of us share an interest in writing, events are easier to organize. Making friends was not an obstacle for me, and others would describe me as a quieter person. I was able to meet people informally and through structured programs. I especially appreciate that Writers House is driven by the students who live there -- if you decide to join Writers House, you will not be entering a pre-defined community. We sometimes workshop our writing with each other, and we care about what our peers present to us. This sort of care also extends to the general way in which we live with each other in Writers House. Best of luck in choosing your housing for next year!
-- Kevin Muller, class of 2011, Lamron Managing Editor
"Living in EcoHouse has been a great learning experience, since I'm surrounded by motivated people. I have learned a lot from being around people who are conscious of the environment and social justice. It keeps these topics on my mind. I especially like working to educate people about these issues around campus. I mostly chose to live in EcoHouse to challenge myself to do more. Before, I was interested in issues of social justice (I went to the Farmers Market and recycled, of course), but I wanted to push it to a new level.
Being in EcoHouse has made it so that sustainability is part of my identity. Around friends, I feel accountable. I feel like I need to make sure I take shorter showers, turn off the lights, and even think about straws -- when I'm at the dining hall with friends, I realize I don't need a straw. My friends joke about this with me and notice that it's a part of my identity. I bring it with me everywhere. I also think about what I buy, about whether it could be made from things that I already have. I've become a much more conscious consumer.
I enjoyed the professor who visited EcoHouse from Ithaca College who talked about sustainability as three-dimensional: economic, ecological, and social. It was very interesting and good to realize that all three of these together create sustainability. They cannot be separated; it all has to culminate -- they have to happen together to make change -- and so we must think in all those fields.
I don't think living in EcoHouse has made me a change agent, but it has opened my awareness and made me more passionate about sustainable change, so I have become more of a sustainability change agent. I was always a change agent, so being here has not made me more of one, but it has definitely made me look at everything through a different lens."
-- Kristen Balschunat
"I helped plan EcoHouse in GEO (Geneseo Environmental Organization) to have a central area to live. This way, it would not just be an extracurricular thing -- we could put theory into practice and be immersed in the setting 24/7. Now for four months I have seen theory put into practice and it makes me proud. I learned so much in GEO, but now, living in EcoHouse, I'm surrounded by it. There are so many awesome ideas and we're forced to learn them -- in fact, it's not even conscious, it's just part of how you live. You integrate others' skills, such as me learning how to knit -- I wouldn't get this somewhere else.
When I arrived in August, I wasn't expecting what I found. To see the hall decorations and all the creative ways of being sustainable made me really excited. I expected R.A.s not to be that into it, but it wasn't that way at all. It's been really cool.
When I think about it, I have a special role on campus as an EcoHouse resident. I'm on the main page of the Geneseo web site talking about EcoHouse. I have to live up to it. If I bought a bottle of water -- I just wouldn't do that. Or if you're printing, like, 1000 pages, people notice. They would point it out and say, 'There's that girl from the video. What a hypocrite.' I'm held accountable and that gives me motivation to be sustainable."
-- Yael Massen
"I like the students who reside in Dante House; they are friendly and accepting. I love the Honors, international, and general student combination. I like to be around people with different backgrounds. My high school was not very diverse, so that is a new experience for me. Most Dante House students also don't indulge in behaviors which impact our community negatively. Dante House is one of the smallest residence halls on campus, which makes it easier for us to know each other personally. I would definitely recommend Dante House to incoming freshmen."
-- Adam Shafik
"People in Dante House respect each other and care for each other. Some of my friends who live in different residence halls complain that it's loud even after quiet hours. This never happens in Dante House -- we respect each others' needs to study and sleep."
-- Jase Stahlecker
"I have made a lot of friends in Dante House. During the first weeks of school, I walked into Dante House and found that people here are very friendly. I like how everyone is close here. People socialize with each other a lot here. I also like the lounges and the kitchen. I wish I could move into Dante House."
-- Amanda Trantel
"If you want a good balance between academics and fun, Dante House is for you. Because Dante House is smaller, you get the opportunity to know everyone. The small student to R.A. ratio allows for personal attention and guidance. People here are friendly and respectful of quiet hours; it's a good environment in which to study. Although Dante House is furthest away from classes, I like the simple building structure. It feels like a family living in here."
-- Matthew Fitzgerald
"I have friends who are guys and friends who are girls. Last year, in Onondaga, I hung out with them. In Genesee, though, I get to live with them. Living with members of the opposite gender has been a new experience. It has taught me how people get along, and I've learned lessons that I wouldn't have otherwise. I would recommend Gender-Neutral Housing to everybody."
-- Julie Williams
"Genesee is freaking awesome. To be honest, most of my friends are girls. It's great to be able to live with my friends. The community in Genesee is very supportive and encourages discussion and exploration of gender issues. To me, Genesee is not much different from other residence halls, but I can see how it might be different for students whose gender identities are non-traditional. In Genesee, students are not required to identify a gender, and they can be comfortable about who they are. I haven't heard about any negative aspects of Gender-Neutral Housing."
-- Brandon Shufelt
"The environment of Genesee Hall is fantastic. People are open and approachable -- especially those who live in Gender-Neutral Housing. The residents of Genesee Hall embrace Gender-Neutral Housing, too, even if they don't live in a gender-neutral suite. I live in an 8-person suite with 5 girls and 2 guys. It is different living with guys, but in a good way. We sort of balance each other out and, for us, it seems to work pretty well."
-- Silvia Roma
Gabri Rice, EcoHouse
Jeff Nathanson, Suffolk Hall
Vishu Rajput, Dante House
Kevin Muller, Writers House
Christine O'Neill, Writers House
Yael Massen, EcoHouse
Kristen Balschunat, EcoHouse
Julie Williams, Genesee Hall
Brandon Shufelt, Genesee Hall
Silvia Roma, Genesee Hall
Matthew Fitzgerald, Dante House
Adam Shafik, Dante House
Jase Stahlecker, Dante House
Amanda Trantel, Suffolk Hall