Affinity Housing Process
By offering affinity and theme residential living options, Illinois Wesleyan University
continues to offer students opportunities to learn together outside the classroom.
The opportunity is made available to groups of students who share a vision, a commonality
or interest. By living together in campus housing, theme and affinity groups have
an opportunity to learn and grow together, while accepting the privileges and responsibilities
that come with occupying block housing settings. Interested groups of students are
eligible for theme living if they meet the identified criteria, including having a
mission, a predetermined roster of students committed to living within the theme community,
and a community proposal for the goals and intentions of their group during their
year-long occupancy in their certain area.
Theme and affinity living is designed to increase the range of housing options available
to all students. It allows students to experience the benefits and rewards of living
in a smaller community, while ensuring equitable access to residential resources.
Theme and affinity living is an option for interested groups whose mission is consistent
with the goals and purposes of Illinois Wesleyan University and whose ability to enhance
that mission will be increased by the opportunity to live together.
Theme and affinity living is potentially made available in two of IWU’s small halls,
by floor, or by building. Groups interested in bidding for theme or affinity housing
should contact Margaret Schroeder via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for the application.
Illinois Wesleyan University has supported theme living since 1990 with the designation
of Kemp Hall as the International House. Each year, before the campus wide housing
lottery assignment occurs, students are given an opportunity to commit to living within
a theme/affinity community through an application process. Interested groups of students
can propose their theme/affinity housing primarily for the small halls with limited
consideration for other specific spaces on campus. New charter proposals for the upcoming
academic year are due before the housing lottery begins. Representatives from each
interested group can schedule an informational session with an Area Director before
they apply to answer any questions and provide guidance with the application process.
Once submitted, applications will be reviewed by members of the ORL team. In addition
to the application, representatives are asked to give a 5-minute presentation on their
proposal. Theme or Affinity Charters will be granted on the quality of the proposals
submitted, and assigned to living units. You will be notified of the status of your
application 72 hours after your presentation. Students selected to live in theme areas
will be exempt from participating in the housing lottery process as they will be pre-assigned
housing within a particular theme community.
In order to be individually considered for allocation of a theme living area, the
members of the proposed group must be comprised of individuals who have lived on campus
for two semesters and are eligible for the housing lottery as indicated by University
housing policies. In addition, the proposed theme group must meet and agree to the
- The proposing group of students must be able to provide a roster of interested housing
applicants. The number of housing applicants should reflect the occupancy of the desired
housing unit. Proposing groups should also provide a number of alternative students
(5 – 10% recommended) to fill the roster in case accepted community members are unable
to ultimately live in the community.
- The proposed group must demonstrate a commitment to the Illinois Wesleyan University
community through proposed outreach/service activities, such as volunteering for local
service organizations, or sponsoring speakers and programs on topics of interest to
the IWU community intrinsic to the respective theme community.
- Theme communities whose occupancy falls below a 90 percent threshold level at any
point in time will be subject to removal from the residence hall and its members to
re-assignment so that another interested group of students may be placed in the residence
Enhancement of the Campus Co-Curricular Experience
Groups living within theme/affinity housing must make a commitment to welcome other
members of the Illinois Wesleyan University community into their common area spaces.
This should be done at least once a semester in a manner intended to benefit the campus
community. This could occur as a meal or potluck, a speaker, study break, or social
or educational gathering. This requirement is intended to help foster a greater sense
of campus community, to provide students interested in theme/affinity communities
an opportunity to observe them in action, and to make campus members feel welcome.
In addition, once a year, the Office of Residential Life will sponsor an open house
in each of the small halls for housing selection purposes.
Each hall has a programming budget that is based on the number of students living
within the hall. Theme/Affinity communities will be supplied with a projected budget
for the academic year. The hall/floor will have access to programming funds, however,
hall/floor spending must be approved by the greater community as a whole. Area Directors
are ultimately in charge of allocating funds, so communication is essential.