Drury expands academic-themed housing options for upperclassman

Drury University is known for its tight-knit and personal environment, and now juniors and seniors have even more opportunities to live on campus in spaces tailored directly to their academic passions as interest-group housing expands.

“As students get older, they often seek more a more intimate living environment than a residence hall typically offers, but some still crave an educational component in their housing,” says Holly Binder, director of housing for Drury. “These housing options are a perfect way to marry a living environment with a student’s education.”

Currently, Drury offers several interest-group residences, including the Humanities House, Summit Park Leadership Community and the Rose O’Neill House for students interested in women and gender studies. In the fall, Drury will open a Foreign Language House, which will provide an opportunity for native and non-native French and Spanish speakers to live together.

Students, faculty and staff mingle at a barbecue hosted by residents of the Humanities House last year. The house is one of a grown number of unique on-campus residential options for upperclassmen with specific academic interests.

Students, faculty and staff mingle at a barbecue hosted by residents of the Humanities House last year. The house is one of a grown number of unique on-campus residential options for upperclassmen with specific academic interests.

Students interested in these housing options must fill out an application in order to be selected, which requires students to answer several essay questions about their interest in the housing option and meet general academic prerequisites. Theses residences also require students to participate in additional activities throughout the year that are related to their interest.

For example, the Humanities House residents host events throughout the year and contribute regularly the “Human, All Too Human” blog; Summit students lead in-depth service projects of their choosing throughout the year; and Rose O’Neill residents have recently founded a student organization dedicated to women in the liberal arts.

The newest addition to the growing interest-specific housing options is the Foreign Language House. Hannah Cook, a junior French, English and writing major, was immediately interested in applying and was recently selected to live there next academic year.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to live with others who are as interested in foreign languages as I am, as well as a chance to get more involved in the department,” Cook says. “I am most excited about living with other people who speak the same languages I do (besides English) and using this opportunity to hopefully help grow the foreign languages department at Drury.”

Not only do these housing options help students dive deeper into a specific discipline, they also serve to showcase the benefits of a liberal arts education.

“I think learning a foreign language helps with so many things, including improving your native language and cultivating a sense of respect for other cultures, which is invaluable,” Cook says.

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By Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and writing major at Drury.