To Live or Not to Live: MC Houses


By Cal Bieler

Living in a campus house with your friends may seem like a dream come true. Coming home after classes to your own space. Staying up playing games, or watching horror movies. Not (entirely) having to adhere to quiet hours, or the need to pay the water bill. While all those things are– for the most part, true, there are so many things you wouldn’t even think about. Don’t get it twisted, there are plenty of upsides. You have a kitchen that you have access to 24/7. You don’t have to fight at least 50 other students over a washer or dryer. The bathroom situation isn’t as hectic as a resident hall. But do the pros outweigh the cons? 

To live in on-campus houses, also known as MC Houses or Themed Housing, the usual requirements are you must be an upperclassman, have at least a 10 meal plan, and with a themed house you need to have a service project based around your theme for each semester. 

Now to give you a proper opinion, the Violet House was willing to share their experiences of living in a MC House over the past year. The Violet House is the gender-neutral housing that was created as a safe space for transgender and queer students. Six people live in the house. 

When it comes to opinions on MC Houses, Jay McLaughlin made their point clear. “I think it’s a good idea in theory. In execution it’s… lacking.” Jean McKinney-Chance agreed, “I think MC Houses are a good way to bring together and build community. The overall idea is honestly very good, but in practice it’s proven more complicated.” S. Asher and Corvus Williams had agreed more on the lack of safety and security for houses. “I think in concept it’s a great idea to have like-minded people living together, especially in cases like the Violet House, where queer people have a safe spot on campus to live. However I don’t think there’s enough safety measures in place for the houses to keep us safe like we’re supposed to be.” Williams said. 

In terms of preparation, it was half and half. For everything you would expect for living in a house, everyone was set. For everything that has happened to the Violet House, how could anyone prepare for it? In the event that you haven’t heard the variety of issues that happened to the Violet House, small things like the faucet not having a good pressure, to having people trying to break in occurred. “I wasn’t prepared for all maintenance that was outside the realm of standard cleaning, like boiler or furnace issues.” McKinney-Chance stated. Asher added, “I was not prepared to have so much hate thrown in our direction and fear for my safety and my houses on a regular basis for a while.” No one was prepared to be hate crimed nearly every day. 

Perhaps community is what really makes a MC House, a MC Home. Everyone unanimously agreed that being surrounded by a like-minded community was the best part. “It’s nice being around a community of people that you can get along with. It’s nice… just not being alone.” Leia Barnes said. “Best part about MC housing would be the people I live with, they bring a sense of community that I needed.” Asher added. But even the power of friendship can’t fix a broken house. 

In this case, broken is both literal and metaphorical. “Worst part is that our house is falling apart even though it’s a recently purchased home. And despite putting in many maintenance requests, not a lot is done to fix some big issues.” Asher stated. McLaughlin commented “Getting dismissed when we have concerns about the house. I really don’t like freezing in the winter, or roasting in the summer. Cause tell me why my cat is sprawled out, panting on the floor.” As of currently, the heating/AC units barely function. When the cold snap happened the third week of Jan. the boiler had stopped working, and the house temperature had dropped to 40° F. A contractor was supposed to come out and look at it mid-Feb. No one ever came by. 

Even when the bar is on the ground, it still goes lower. With every issue of the house on everyone’s mind, and the constant stress of classes, having people harass you and try to break in was not easing anyone’s minds. “I do not and never have never felt safe in the house.” Williams said. “As a queer and gender non-conforming person, I am a frequent target of hate crimes and general harassment. Living in a house that is very clearly labeled, stating there a large amount of queer people living there made us a very easy target. People shout at us and rev their engines at us as we cross the street. I’ve nearly been ran over by someone trying to hit me with their truck, people come up to our house and bang on the door to scare us. And someone tried to break into the house at some point, which is one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever been through, as I had no idea whether I was going to live to see the next day come. Our safety is constantly undermined and even general maintenance and safety for the building itself is not up kept. Our house is literally falling apart and could do us a lot of harm if something were to happen.” 

After everything they have dealt with in the past year, it is no surprise everyone is hesitant on living in a MC House again. Barnes being a close exception, saying “It just depends on who it would be with. That’s really the biggest thing. If it was with someone I didn’t like, then absolutely not.” McKinney-Chance had said this was the most draining year, because of every complication with the house. Williams stated they would never return to MC Houses. “So many terrible things happened to me this year because of it. Things I’m never to be able to move past I reckon. I still think about the things that have happened to me earlier in the year and wonder how I even survived it all.” McLaughlin would return only if upkeep was done on the house, and if the issues with the house were taken seriously. Asher said they would only with the reassurance of a queer friendly environment, but would not because of the safety issues. 

As of the 2024-2025 academic year, the Violet House will no longer be standing, as every resident will be either graduating, not returning, or moving to various locations. There are still other gender-neutral housing options, like other MC Houses, and Harter Hall. While still up in the air, the Social Gaming House is projected to replace the physical location of the Violet House. 

While this article may seem very discouraging towards living in MC Houses, there are many experiences to have. Every house will have different situations, and this was just the experience of one house. No one house is alike, regardless of how similar it seems. If you know others who live in MC Houses, listen to their stories. There’s only so much a paper from a stranger can tell you. 


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