Interest House Community: Find your friends here, and work on a self-expression manifesto!

May 20th, 2018 was the day I moved out of the Writing House. I made a post on social media before leaving to remember the days I spent here, “Goodbye, Wriho. Goodbye.”  Seriously, I knew I might never have a chance to live in a house like this one again—how could you possibly find a small house that had fourteen typewriters in the 21st century? How could you find four strangers who shared your interests to be your housemates and then befriend them? Both the intimacy between house members and the nurturing environment for self-expression made Wriho (short for “The Writing House”) the most transformative community living experiences for me.

 When I lived in the Writing House, no one ever used the typewriters though we were in awe of their very existence. All we did was typing and typing on our laptops. During house dinners, we would watch The Handmaid’s Tale together or talk about our house programs. The last program we held was “make postcards and send them to your friends before summer vacation”. I remembered we had $150 budget left for our last program since the first three programs didn’t cost us a lot. Then we decided to buy all the desserts from Patisserie to give students a real treat before finals. 

Interest house community at Whitman College began in the 1970s. It is open for non-first-year students who want to meet like-minded fellows and actively engage in relevant events. Now we have 11 interest houses on campus, each one with a particular field: the Asian Studies house, the Community Service house, Das Deutsche Haus, the Environmental Studies house, the Fine Arts house, the Global Awareness house, La Casa Hispana, La Maison Francaise, the Multi-Ethnic Center for Center for Cultural Awareness, Tekisuijuku, and the Writing house. As you may tell from the names, many houses focus on a foreign language and culture, so it will also be an ideal environment if you are dedicated to learning a new language.


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