Special Interest Housing


The Special Interest Housing Program provides a unique living opportunity in the College-owned houses.  The goal of the program is to offer students a chance to enhance their curricular and co-curricular interests while living with students with similar interests. The areas of interest have ranged from religious affiliation, ethnic and cultural expression, support for animals, music genres… the opportunities are endless!  These communities are required to offer service and educational programming for the Allegheny College community.

Groups must have an active advisor who is an employee of the college. The advisor serves as a liaison for campus resources, participates in mid-semester reviews, assists the group in application processes and provides support throughout the academic year. Advisors must agree to attend Advisor Training and two mid-semester check-ins. 


The Special Interest Housing program is highly competitive and groups will be evaluated on quality of application and vision for sharing their interests with the community at large. We suggest that you put a fair amount of energy and time into thinking about, planning, and writing your proposal. Ask your advisor to look over your proposal and provide feedback. 

Applications are reviewed using the following criteria:

  1. Quality of the proposal
    • well-written and articulated mission and goals
    • specific methods or action plan to involve the greater Allegheny Community and members
    • the degree of support offered by the advisor
  2. Need in the community
    • must address a need that is currently missing in the campus community
  3. Demonstration of programming and/or commitment to mission
    • If you are currently a special interest house or club, you must include relevant programming information and reflection on successes and challenges
  4. Priority will be given to upperclass students (juniors and seniors) for proposals requesting to live in college-owned houses.

Please note that all members of the community must be in good academic and conduct standing with the college. Students living in the house may not be on probation. Residence Life will check each student’s grades and conduct history. Those who submit the application must be planning to live in the house/pod, if approved. 

The occupancy of the house may not fall below 100%. The group is responsible for finding another member to fill the empty spot within 72 hours and work with Residence Life for the move process. If the occupancy of the house falls below 100%, and students are unable to fill the space, Residence Life reserves the right to relocate all members of the house to another location on campus and the new space is not guaranteed to be with the student’s current housemates.  

Students approved in the Special Interest Housing Process are not eligible to go through the Room Selection Process. In order to be approved for a house, you must have 100% occupancy when the application is due and throughout the application and approval process.


The selection committee reviews proposals submitted by students and makes selection and placement decisions based on the information provided in the proposals. You may be contacted to come present in person and answer questions. 

If selected for a special interest house or community, you are agreeing to have your group’s information (including address) available to the Allegheny Community. Access to programming funds will require a submission of a request form that outlines the activity, expected audience, and funds needed. These funds are not guaranteed. 

Additionally, there will be no storage in the houses over the summer break. Any items left in the houses that are not standard college items (college-supplied furniture, appliances, etc.) will be disposed of at the end of the contract term (this includes houses that are approved for multiple years). There may be limited funds available to groups who are in need.

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