Penn State Harrisburg

Housing and Food Services now offers Special Living Options for incoming freshmen

Themed housing at the college accommodates the diverse interests of students.

Themed housing at the college accommodates the diverse interests of students.

To accommodate a growing student population with a diverse array of interests, Housing and Food Services at Penn State Harrisburg now offers Special Living Options (SLOs) for all incoming first-year students. Two themed houses, Sustainability House and Discover House, are accepting applications for the fall 2017 semester.

According to Michael Melnyk, associate director of student engagement and residence life, themed housing has always been part of the vision for the Harrisburg campus. And with enrollment numbers on the rise and an increasingly diverse student body, SLOs are just one of many new resources available to students.

The new housing options are located on the second and third floors on Juniata Hall and offer programming specific to each theme. Sustainability House, designed to engage students in a multidisciplinary study of environmental sustainability, offers seminars, courses, and community and social events for residents. Students are required to enroll in the SUST200 course in the spring and complete 8 hours of community service each semester.

Sustainability House programming is centered around a year-long project addressing sustainability initiatives on which students will work in small groups, attending project workshops and guest lectures periodically throughout each semester. These projects will be presented during the Penn State Harrisburg Earth Day celebration. Project groups will be mentored by Dr. Shirley Clark, associate professor of environmental engineering, and Dr. Richard Ciocci, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Discover House is designed for students who are undecided in their major or have not identified a career path. A four-part exploration series held each semester and sponsored by Academic Advising will familiarize students with available resources and academic tools while also exposing them to potential careers and majors. Weekly study sessions will be held with peer mentors, and residents are required to meet individually with mentors and Discover House advisors several times each semester.

Applications for SLOs are being accepted online through OrgSync. Criteria for admission is a first-year standing and demonstrated interest in either environmental sustainability or career exploration.   

Additional information and applications can be found on the Housing and Food Services website.