Theme houses to be alcohol-free next fall


Photo by Coby Berg

by Coby Berg, Staff Writer

Starting next fall, policy changes will affect Simpson College’s theme houses, including one that will require all the houses to become alcohol-free.

The changes were first outlined in a campus-wide email sent out in late February that also included information about housing applications for next year.

Under the “Theme House Information and Requirements” portion of theme house applications, new language was added stating alcohol will not be allowed in the houses.

Currently, the theme houses do not have Community Advisers within the residence as in other Simpson housing, meaning they have no oversight from Residence Life.

The absence of CAs in the houses makes it challenging for the college to know what is happening in the theme houses.

The new changes aim to improve the quality of living in the theme houses and to help with safety, which has been a problem in the past, according to Dean of Students Luke Behaunek.

“For the four of these houses, specifically, I believe it comes down to two things. One is the safety. We don’t have the CAs in these areas, and they also have a larger footprint per person,” Behaunek said.

Behaunek also said he didn’t see the need for alcohol to be present in the areas which were made diversity and inclusion.

Residence Life has plans to hire a new student position that would oversee programing events that happen at theme houses.

“With the new position of programing assistant that will be in three of the four theme houses, that position won’t necessarily have responsibility for addressing or enforcing policies within the houses,” Behaunek said.

This position differs from a CA because they aren’t in charge of enforcing policy like a CA and would receive different training than the CAs do. He said they won’t necessarily monitor the houses but oversee programming events the houses hold.

Three of the four theme houses will have a programming assistant living in the house next year, Behaunek explained.

“Next year, we will provide some programming funds and resources along with the programming position within the house to hopefully achieve more of the education outcomes we hope occur,” he added.

With the new policies in place, the college seeks to balance safety and overall enjoyment when it comes to living in the theme houses.