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Undergraduate Student Life

Special Interest Communities

Special Interest Communities (SICs) offer a unique residential experience by allowing sophomores, juniors, and seniors to live and explore common interests together. This living arrangement also creates opportunities for students to connect with faculty, administrators, alumni, and community leaders.

SICs are advised by a faculty member selected by the SIC and the Associate Director for Special Interest Communities and Faculty Initiatives from the Office of Residential Programs. The faculty adviser is knowledgeable in the subject area and serves as a resource. The Associate Director provides programmatic guidance and is a link to the residential community.

Special Interest Communities

  • Casa Latina exists for the purpose of providing a safe haven and accessible space for the Latin@ communities and allies. Casa Latina's programming is centered on the universal education and celebration of Latin@ culture with a focus on social justice. We are a space dedicated to exploring the diversity of our Latin@ culture and identities.

  • Community Health House addresses issues such as health inequities, mental health, and reproductive rights through events that take place on a monthly basis. We host, organize, and support a variety of community-based health events around campus and in New York City. Ultimately we seek to promote a dialogue about public health topics that are relevant and we perceive as not being sufficiently addressed in the local community.

  • Metta House provides a positive model of healthy, vegetarian, and sustainable living by creating an environmentalist and humanitarian living space. Metta House seeks to establish a judgment free space where students with dietary restrictions, whether medical or personal, can come together to cook and support each other as well as share ideas and methods for maintaining a diverse and cost effective vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. Metta House aims to create an open and compassionate community in order to promote harmony within and among the larger community. 

  • Pan-African House is dedicated to teaching the Columbia community about the history and current struggles of all people of African descent. This includes raising awareness of political, social, racial, and even personal issues that exist within the Pan-African community. Also, the Pan-African house aims at providing a sense of community for all Columbia students who are interested in Pan-Africanism or would like to learn more. We aim to show that the Pan-African identity is not one-dimensional, but extremely diverse so that this diversity is then celebrated.

  • Writer's House provides a collaborative environment for writers. They host readings, workshops, and talks related to various genres including poetry, prose, screen-writing, playwriting, creative non-fiction, and journalism. On a day-today basis, members of this community provide criticism and support for each other as well as provide an enthusiastic audience for their respective works. Writer's House hosts events open to the larger community. Many of these events taking place in the greater New York City area. This community facilitate accessibility to the Columbia literary scene by encouraging communication among different on campus groups and by also co-programming for writing related events. Writer's House also strives to provide a network for internships and publishing opportunities outside of the immediate Columbia community.

  • Potluck House is a place to share. We come together to share art, music, space and ideas over food. We believe that food builds community. We need it. We want to share it.

  • GreenBorough cultivates campus awareness of environmental issues through action, education, and collaboration. We challenge ourselves to explore creative, sustainable, and practical changes in our everyday lives and encourage these choices on campus. We commit to making a lasting impact in our local community through environmental volunteerism and activism.
  • Jazz House tipping their hats to the rich jazz tradition that has existed for decades not only in the greater area of Manhattan, but in Harlem specifically, Jazz House aims to create a living environment that will help aspiring scholars and musicians foster connections and actively engage with what many consider to be “America's indigenous music.”
  • Q House is a unique residential community dedicated to providing a safe living environment for LGBT*Q students at Columbia University. Q House residents strive to foster a safe campus environment and engage the Columbia University Community in meaningful dialogue. In addition, residents seek to foster a creative environment of collaboration which focuses on the intersections of identities. To this end, Q House will sponsor events for the larger Columbia University community focused on building safe and comfortable social and educational environments in which all students feel welcome.
  • Students for Substance Free Space aims to provide an environment conducive to a substance-free lifestyle for its members, to educate the Columbia community about the benefits of such a life-style, and to provide alternative, alcohol- and substance-free events for the Columbia community

  • Wellness House is a group of students who dream of building a campus community where students don’t just have to pretend like they’re “fine”, but can talk about what it truly means to be well. Our devotion to helping students discover personal ways to achieve balance and holistic well-being in their lives at Columbia extends not just to members of our own organization, but to those in the larger campus organization as well.

  • Columbia Pre-Health is a group aimed at creating a community of upperclassmen, to guide younger students and offer advice. We strive to create a supportive pre-health community, in which all pre-health students can share their success and stresses and offer each other support. Support can include academic guidance, forming useful connections, or simply serving as a listening ear of a thoughtful friend. We also share a significant commitment to community service as well as pledge to try to promote a sense of engagement and love of medicine. We wish to encourage more Columbia students to become health care professionals and inspire more passion in the pre-health community.

  • Creative Commons exists to share ideas, interests, and common values through teaching and learning. We hope to cultivate a sense of community by connecting Columbia students through collaboration and education through diverse forms of creativity, and extending this community to the greater New York City area.

  • Manhattan House acknowledges the first people of this land, the Lenni Lenape, through the name Manhattan, which means "island of many hills." We strive to provide a community for indigenous students and their supporters that fosters pride in identity, understanding of indigenous issues, and relationships with both the campus and our Native communities.

  • Application Development Initiative aims to channel creative potential of Columbia students into concrete technical projects by providing resources, guidance, and an opportunity to learn outside of both the classroom and standard curriculum. ADI's mission can be expressed in a two word imperative: "Build Things." The ADI will serve as a hub for technical innovation on campus and a support structure for the developer community.

Questions? Ask the Co-Advisers to the SIC Program:

Nathan Johnson

Associate Director for Special Interest Communities and Faculty Initiatives





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