Theme Houses

Are you interested in making art, music or an inspired meal? Learning more about different religions and faiths? Promoting literature, sustainability or social awareness?

If so, consider Union’s 13 theme houses, on-and off-campus residences where like-minded upper-class students live together for the purpose of embracing and promoting a common theme. These unique, self-directed living environments provide campus wide programs throughout the year. The houses, all co-ed, range from apartments of seven students to houses of 20 students or more.

At capacity, theme houses accommodate 130 students who are selected through an application, and GPA review process. One student in each house takes on the responsibility of house manager. In addition, the manager or another house representative sits on the Theme House Consortium, a student governing organization. Together, managers and consortium representatives plan internal events. Each house must also host at least three events each year that are open to the campus community.

ARTS House

Established: 2005
Focus: Art and creativity
Location: 201 Seward Place 
# of students: 10  
ARTS House is designed to create an environment that fosters creativity and imagination. Its programs speak to the mission of bringing awareness to all artistic endeavors on campus. 

Bronner House

Established: 1985
Focus: Multicultural
Location: The John Smith House, adjacent to Admissions Office at Grant Hall
# of students: 15  
Bronner House strives to raise awareness of the diverse cultures and ethnic groups that make up the campus community. Also known as a multicultural center, it is located next to Breazzano House and the Office of Admissions at Grant Hall. Coming together in a family atmosphere, residents learn about each other’s cultures and backgrounds.

Culinary House

Established: 2008
Focus: Cooking and food
Location: 319 Seward Place
# of students: 8
Culinary House was founded by students who love to cook. House members believe that food can act as a catalyst for social interaction, and they strive to forge connections among students through food.  

Dickens House

Established: 2008
Focus: Literature
Location: 315 Seward Place
# of students: 8
Dickens House residents celebrate their love of literature and learning. Named after 19th century English novelist Charles Dickens, the house hosts events based on literary works, themes and questions.

Europa House

Established: Early 2000s
Focus: Central and Eastern European cultures
Location: 209 Seward Place
# of students: 7
Europa House residents are dedicated to raising awareness among the Union community about the cultures and languages of Central and Eastern Europe, and to providing a place for students to use a second language outside the classroom. Residents are not required to speak a foreign language or have European heritage.

Iris House

Established: 2008 
Focus: LGBTQ community
Location: 301 Seward Place 
# of students: 8
Iris House is the first Union College residential space dedicated to concerns of the LGBTQ community. It aims to provide a comfortable space for LGBTQ students and student allies, and to raise awareness about historical and contemporary LGBTQ issues. 

Music Culture House

Established: 2005
Focus: Music
Location: 32 Union Avenue (across the street from Union tennis courts)
# of students: 7  
Music Culture House is a small community of musicians and music lovers who are interested in broadening their musical tastes, fostering musical abilities and enhancing the culture of music on campus. 

Ozone House

Focus: Sustainable campus living
Location: 1294 Lenox Street
# of students: 15 
Ozone House promotes environmental awareness while serving as an example of sustainable living. Residents work together to create a sustainable and fun atmosphere. The house founded the Ozone Café, and members work closely with various campus departments to offer sustainable options for Union.

Religious Diversity House

Established: 2009 
Focus: Religion and spirituality
Location: 215 Seward Place 
# of students: 7
Religious Diversity House brings together students for open discussion and dialogue. It creates campus wide programs around religious holidays, lectures on various faith traditions and other opportunities to raise awareness of different traditions and faiths.

Tech House

Established: 2013
Focus: Technology
Location: 325 Seward Place 
# of students: 8
Tech House was established by students who wanted to create a space for the
appreciation of technology in a social and cultural context. Residents of Tech House have 
a devotion to understanding the advancements in the use and development of technology. 
Residents of Tech House are also aware of internet sub-culture and the concerns of safety 
in a digital age.

Symposium House

Focus: Political and social discourse
Location: 233 Seward Place 
# of students: 12
Symposium House was one of the first theme houses on campus, offering dinner and discussion with a focus on political and social awareness. Residents foster an intellectual forum in which faculty and students can openly converse and cultivate a social atmosphere based on discussion, dialogue and honesty.

Thurston House

Established: 1996
Focus: East Asian culture
Location: 207 Seward Place
# of students: 8   
Thurston House promotes awareness of East Asian issues and culture. It hosts discussions with faculty members, East Asian cinema and other programs open to the campus community. The house continues the strong tradition laid forth by History and Political Science Professor Emeritus Donald Thurston, who created the College’s East Asian Studies program at Union and was a frequent faculty member in residence on terms abroad in China and Japan.

Wells House

Established: 1995 
Focus: Community service
Location: Behind the Admissions Office at Grant Hall 
# of students: 20 students   
Wells House serves the community through volunteer work on campus and in Schenectady. Each house member is required to complete 20 hours of community service a term.