New honors houses unite upper- and underclassmen

By Murphy Obershaw, A&E Editor

Honors students have been divided into four groups referred to as “houses,” which organizers say is an attempt to build community between those in the program, especially between upperclassmen and underclassmen.

The houses, Za Shaukûm (Fellowship), Magnus Cerebrus (Big Brain), Good Vibes, and Menti Inquisitoire (Inquisitive Minds) are composed of 20-25 honors students from different grades, majors and interests.

Around 80 honors students are now each part of a house, and though they won’t live together, the members of each house will grow in community with one another by attending events and competing for points.

Emily Simon, assistant director of the honors program, said that the idea for the honors houses came from a conference that she and Kelly McFall, director of the honors program, attended last year. There was a presentation on honors houses, and Simon got to talk with students about their experiences with them. After, Simon and McFall decided to incorporate Houses into the Newman honors program as well.

At Newman’s honors orientation, the houses were introduced, and the groups were assembled. Each honors member was secretly assigned a number, and when a house picked their number, the student became a part of that house.

Freshman Hope Strickbine said it was funny seeing who ended up in what house and how the houses responded.

“Probably one of my favorite responses just in general was Za Shaukûm...somebody from their house brought this samurai sword and then went around and knighted everybody in their house. It was really funny,” Strickbine said.

Honors students have always needed to attend events and meetings, but with the houses, now they can get house points for the events they attend. Students are supposed to accumulate six points each, but they can get more for attending even more events. Informational meetings are one point while bigger events, like their tailgate before the Chiefs game or their fireside chats, are worth more.

Karen Do, the leader of Menti Inquisitoire, said that the house with the most points may win a prize at the end of the year. She said the friendly competition between houses is a way to encourage students to participate more and attend more events.

“We also do have extra points to give out to students that we see are doing good things in the community, anyone that deserves a shout out, that kind of thing,” Do said.

The House with the most points so far is Good Vibes. Good Vibes also has the student with the most points right now: Strickbine.

PHOTO: Leanne Vastbinder, Opinion and Online Editor