House Themes—Adventure, Food and Home Improvement
Geneva's six campus houses have long stood as an integral element of the neighborhood around Geneva. This year, to support the organization of each house as well as the intellectual, spiritual and social development of the students living there, they will all be observing a different theme. Topics like adventure, food, athletics and even home improvement have been enlisted to bring entire houses of students together in community.
Houses, like the apartments, are a residence choice for upper-class students. First-year students live in the residence halls—men in Pearce and Memorial, women in Clarke and McKee—to foster relationships between incoming students and to integrate them into the Geneva community.
“Food for Thought” is the theme for Richardson House. A Bible study will cover the fruits of the spirit, exploring the idea of “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” advocated in Matthew 5. Themes of physical food in culture will also be addressed, mostly through fieldtrips.
"We will explore digging deeper into the physical aspects of food by exploring different cultural or social cuisines," says Brenna Krygsheld, Richardson’s resident assistant (RA). She speaks for both the spring RA Sylvia Wright and for herself, saying, “Some programs we have tentatively planned: an awareness night for world hunger, a trip to the Strip District in Pittsburgh to sample different cuisines, and a trip to Lamppost Farms to explore organic food resources and Christian stewardship.”
The Patterson house “Let’s Get Down to Business” theme will focus on biblical manhood through book or Bible studies, focused discussion and “man-breakfasts.” The theme is in response to a trend away from true manliness in today’s society.
Nathan Dinsmore—RA for Patterson’s 13 men— explains, “Our culture does not seem to want young men to truly become men. It encourages them to remain adolescents as long as possible and, I believe, either makes them into effeminate weaklings or angry testosterone-driven brutes with no self control. The theme of Patterson House is intended to live out proper biblical masculinity.”
The Kerr House theme of “Home Improvement” will combine physical improvement with biblical construction analogies as found in Matthew 7, which discusses “building your house on the Rock” through intentional conversation and study of spiritual improvement, as well as learning some practical living skills.
Both long- and short-term projects will provide Kerr’s upkeep. “A long-term project is a daily or weekly activity, such as cleaning. This ensures that the functions of the house last longer,” RA Tim McCorkle says. “The long-term projects represent what our lives should look like in Christ—daily activities to keep us close to God. Short-term projects are larger projects that will fix, repair or replace something.”
The theme for Swanson and Barbato Houses, “Game on,” will focus on finding and understanding identity in Christ through athletics and the other areas of life. Jacob Bruker, the RA for both houses, cites two men in particular as role models: Tim Tebow, NFL quarterback and avid Christian, and Nick Vujicic, an Australian motivational speaker born without limbs.
Schoolhouse’s “Life as an Adventure” theme will build on the ideas of adventure and journey. The house has plans to work with Pisgah outings and books studies in order to converse on the adventure of life. The RAs in Schoolhouse are Gracie Arias and Colleen Champ.
As each house builds their individual theme, the RAs will reach out to every student to create an inclusive, coherent group in order to serve as pillars in support of Geneva’s community. Adventurous, culinarily-intelligent, home-improving pillars, to be specific.
–Adam Rowe ’14
“It was like God said, ‘This is my college, boy. It’s time that I intervene in your life.’”
Jared Bellan, Adult Degree Completion Program Graduate
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