Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Cultural house partying seeds sub-free rumors

<lass="page layoutArea" title="Page 1">

Rumors that Freedom House (Williams House) and La Casa del Sol (Hunt Cottage) were to be converted into sub-free interest houses recently sparked outrage among various communities on campus.

Cultural houses, created to provide people of color with safe spaces and communities on campus, have been a part of Carleton since the 1960s.

Although Martin Olague, assistant director of OIIL (Office of International and Intercultural Life) confirmed that Casa and Black house would not be sub-free, he did express grievances about the party life of cultural houses.

“When we select people to live in the house, we’re looking for people that will keep with the house mission of being a welcoming, opening environment,” Martin said. “If we kind of know that someone is more interested in partying than living in the house for the mission, we try to steer clear of that.”

Other students expressed reservations about living in these cultural houses as well.

“We had people purposely not apply to Casa because they thought of it as too much of a party house,” Martin said. “All the people who were sad that we were allegedly cracking down on partying are those who didn’t apply to live in the house and also didn’t want to live there.”

Joy Kluttz, assistant director of OIIL said, “We’ve had many students say they love Casa and love to party there, but wouldn’t necessarily want to live there.”

Both assistant directors expressed that partying is not necessarily a negative aspect of the houses, but that this should not be the primary focus of those chosen to live in the communities,

Lori Barrientos Sanchez ’18 notes that partying in cultural houses is an important way of promoting community building and socialization, especially among interests groups on campus.

“While alcohol isn’t an integral part of student life, it is still something that characterizes life here at Carleton.

“If Casa were to become sub-free, I personally feel as though an important component of the people-of-color community here on campus would disappear,” she said. “Sports teams have their parties/ progressives, queer party is done each term, etc.

“While Casa is not the only cultural house, it has the one most conducive space and atmosphere. It’s an important environment to upkeep for students of color who otherwise feel uncomfortable at parties where other people of color aren’t around.

“I myself have been in a room as the only person of color, and it was not the best feeling. A non sub-free Casa would mean a place where students of color could go and have fun or party, while not being overtly aware that they are the only people of color in the room and not feeling self-conscious.”

Francisco Castro ’18, who will be living in Freedom House next term, expressed a similar sentiment.

“As a freshman of color, Black House was great to have a place to party with people with whom I shared a similar cultural background. Even though my social circle has expanded to other communities on campus, I still find myself enjoying parties with the people-of-color communities a whole lot more because we share so much in common.

“I think it is great to provide that safe space for the community to party together. Additionally, it’s been really amazing seeing white people or other people that would have otherwise not interacted with the people-of-color community get to know each other and bond at these parties.”

Mayte Aldrett ’18, who will be living in Casa next term, also expressed her objections to a sub-free house.

“I felt that I was going to have fewer people visiting that side of campus, which made me apprehensive of living there,” Mayte said. “I was hoping that living in a cultural house meant always having an open door for those who needed an inclusive and welcoming area. Sub-free seems to make people think that the environment has become more exclusive.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *