Program Houses Help Students Pursue Their Passions
All Cornellians, including freshmen, may apply to live in program houses, the majority of which are located on North Campus. The houses allow students with an interest in a particular theme to live together.
Akwe:kon (pronounced “A-gway-go”) is dedicated to Native American heritage. Its 35 residents share an interest in Native American culture, family and community. Many Akwe:kon members take part in an annual smoke dance and pow-wow, which also draws members of the greater Cornell and Ithaca communities.
Ninety-six students with a passion for the environment can choose to live in the Ecology House. Typical events include environmental discussions, hikes and kayaking trips.
The Holland International Living Center, more commonly known as HILC, is home to foreign students as well as those interested in global, political, economic, social and cultural issues. Members of HILC have the opportunity to learn about other countries without leaving Cornell. Some of the center’s programs include international affairs discussion groups, ice-cream hour and talent shows.
Music lovers at Cornell can choose to live in Just About Music, known appropriately as JAM. The 144 residents range from students who enjoy listening to music to students who sing or play musical instruments. Members of JAM can take advantage of the house’s pianos, drum set, CD library, practice rooms, concert stage, recording studio and weekly listening parties.
The only program house situated on West Campus is the Language House, located in the Alice Cook House. The Language House is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors hoping to become fluent in Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish. Members watch movies, celebrate holidays from their target language’s countries and take trips to cities such as Montreal or New York City.
Fifty-seven students interested in Latino culture live in the Latino Learning Center, or LLC, located in Anna Comstock Hall. Each week, in an event called “Café Con Leche,” students discuss issues facing Latino people across the world.
Students hoping to learn about other cultures may decide to live in the Multicultural Living Learning Unit, known as McLLU and pronounced “McClue.” This program house is located in Clara Dickson Hall, a freshmen dormitory. Members of McLLU celebrate diversity by holding presentations and festivities centering on their assorted backgrounds.
With 190 residents, Risley Residential College for Creative and Performing Arts is one of the largest program houses on campus and has its own dining hall. Risley is also home to recording and video-editing studios. Some of the programs Risleyites host each year include concerts, shows and art exhibits.
Ujamaa — pronounced “oo-ja-ma” — is home to 140 students who share an interest in black history and culture. The name Ujamaa comes from a Ki-Swahilian word that roughly translates to “a community that works together as a family.” The house also focuses on advancing the academic and professional goals of its residents. Ujamaa’s members engage in discussion, hold dances and work with many off-campus social-action groups.