Listen to a conversation between a student and an employee in the student housing office.
Hi. I'm a first-year student here, I-I live in the dorms, and I... well, I like where I'm living now... it's convenient and quiet, but I'm starting to think about where I want to live next year.
Good idea. As a second-year, you'll have more freedom to choose a place that suits your needs.
Yeah, and I want to make sure that, well, that I apply in time to get what I want.
And, um, a friend was telling me about these, uh [upspeak—not quite sure of terminology] common interest houses on campus...?
Yes, we have a language house, a life science house, a music house—
Yeah, the music house! That's the one I'm interested in. But, um, I'm not a music major; I do play an instrument, but I'm a history major.
Oh, that's not an issue. You see, that house isn't just for music majors. It's for anyone who's interested in music.
But... isn't that everyone?
[laughs] Well, maybe, but the house has a performance area and practice rooms.
So people who choose to live there need to be open to the possibility that there's always going to be someone playing something—an instrument, the radio... even at odd times.
You're pretty much always going to hear music there. That might bother some people.
Doesn't bother me. And I'd love to have a place to practice my saxophone without worrying about disturbing people.
Well, it does sound like it might be a good fit for you. And the house also functions as a social club.
I know they do activities, but I don't know much beyond that...
Well, for example, every month I think it is, there's an informal concert... any house resident can perform.
And remember the big jazz festival at University Park last month?
Of course! It was amazing—the music was great! [musingly] Um, I-I didn't connect it to the music house.
Not many people do. Anyway, they put on a whole range of other activities as well—someone at the house could give you more information about those.
So, how do I... uh, what's the process for getting a room there?
You need to fill out an application form and send it to the house director. The form's on the housing department's Web site.
But don't get your hopes up too high—they can only accept about thirty percent of the students who apply.
Oh wow, I had no idea...
So, for your application... it needs to include a personal statement.
You know, why you're interested in living in the house, how you might contribute to the group.
There are guidelines on the form. That statement's really important because it's basically how they decide who to accept into the house.