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What is the house system like at Dartmouth? Do you live with your house?

A: Image of Gabriel Gilbert '23; he is wearing a black aloha shirt with a red leaf pattern that runs from his shoulder down the left half of his shirt.

The house system is an amazing part of Dartmouth that you're automatically enrolled in when you arrive, and it shapes where you'll live, activities outside campus, and connects you with tons of different people. Understandably, it can be a bit confusing, so as a '23 who was fairly active with the house system without taking on any leadership roles, let's talk about how the house system affects the Dartmouth experience.

According to my upperclassman friends, the house system took on some really new developments when the class of 2023 arrived on campus, which means that my friends and I were able to really reap the benefits. And lucky for us, that usually meant Tuk Tuk Thai dinners. I miss them so much!

I am a member of West House, which is one of several houses at Dartmouth. Your house lives together for the entirety of your Dartmouth career, and will affect your housing — being in West House means West House housing, likewise for East Wheelock House, School House, and the rest of the crew. The exception to this rule is people who decide to live in a Greek house or with a Living Learning Community, the latter of which was my case. I lived in the McLaughlin Cluster during my freshman year with the Humanities LLC, but I was a member of West House, so most of my friends lived in French and Judge in the River Cluster. Additionally, your roommate(s) are always a member of your house. 

As far as community goes, your house will put on several events each term. This could be a dinner catered by a local restaurant, a board game night, an ice cream social, or even an off-campus adventure. During my time alone, West House has planned and paid for my housemates to go to New York City and Boston. One of my friends had even planned on going to Puerto Rico because his house was paying for him to do so during spring break! Your house will run open events that you get to attend and enjoy, free of charge. 

And if you're not a varsity or club athlete, the houses run intramural sports that compete against each other in a variety of sports — basketball, ice hockey, and soccer, just to name a few. It's a really fun pastime and a great way to blow off steam, can't recommend it enough!

Hopefully this clears up some of your questions, and feel free to read some of the wonderfully crafted posts on the blog about even more specific aspects. As you can tell, I'm a big fan of the house system for the alternative vein of entertainment it adds to campus. I loved it as soon as I arrived, and I'm sure you will too!

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