Union College Office of Residential Life is a featured program with Reslife.Net.
The Minerva Program is the boldest of Union College’s living and learning community initiatives. It is a program that includes every student, faculty, and staff member in the community and rewards those who want to make the most of their living space.
The first floor of each living space contains a great room, seminar rooms, a full kitchen, and office space for faculty. The upper floors provide single and double rooms where sophomores, juniors, and seniors can apply to live in. Each Minerva houses an average of 40 students.
All incoming first-year students are assigned to one of Union’s seven Minerva Houses. These students are also housed in their regular living spaces according to their Minerva assignment so that there is already a base community.
Most students will take their first-year preceptorial (a philosophy class that promotes discussion amongst students) in a classroom located in the Minerva and all students have access to their Minerva House’s programming budget so that they can integrate educational programming into their first-year communities. The programming budget is managed by the Office of Minerva Programs, which works collaboratively with Residential Life to fund certain programs.
Each house also has its own governing council that is responsible for setting community standards and developing educational programs for the campus. These programs are open to the entire campus but are most often most frequented by members of the specific house implementing the program.
The seven Minerva Houses broaden students’ out-of-class experience both academically and socially. Every Minerva has its own student-run governing council, elected annually by fellow classmates and chaired by a faculty and student representative. Each also receives a generous budget to host special events. The Minerva Houses are managed by and for the Union community, receiving only supportive guidance from administration.
Submitted by Jared Zeidman, Residence Director, Davidson and Webster Hall at Union College