When The House Collective was first announced around this time last year, I couldn’t help but be thrilled. While I’m not by any means among the more social students on campus, there was something that sounded appealing about living on a hall with students both new and experienced in regard to CIU.
Over the course of this school year, the House of Dignity has proved itself to be diverse in not only individuals, but also in character. Dignitas is comprised of many young women on various degree tracks — Elementary Education, Music, ICD/ICS, Psychology, Communications, and Youth Ministry to name a few. In fact, Dignitas sent over seven young women to the H.E.A.R.T. program this spring 2017 semester. Amber Cromeenes, a Youth Ministry, Family, & Culture major, with a specialization in Adventure Education, strives to spend her summer in Wyoming with Solid Rock Outdoor Ministries (SROM) to learn about outdoor leadership.
The women of Dignitas are also involved in various extracurricular activities including Mu Kappa, Student Mission Connection, The Rambler, The CIU Players, the women’s soccer team, short films, and more. Ariel Vincent, another Youth Ministry, Family, & Culture major with a specialization in At-Risk Youth, was the director of The CIU Players’ production of The Matchmaker in the Fall 2016 semester.
Dignitas women also have various personalities. Interestingly, they appear to be different on each hall. Generally, Founders 2 is lively and energetic. These women are inviting — they will welcome anyone onto the hall with a cheerful shout. Freshman Naomi Balk often goes to F2 to get her social fix and hang out with friends. Founders 3 is comparatively quieter, filled with thinkers and entertainers in disguise. These women have a great sense of humor (and enjoy a good prank now and then), but also take pleasure in discussing deep topics in Scripture and life. These two halls, when put together, make a great team.
When it comes to competition, we take it very seriously. In the Fall 2016 semester, Dignitas stole the show at the first annual House Collective Throwdown event, where each house gathered together to put on a performance using an aspect of their house as the theme. Erica Williamson and McKenzie Sutton created “Disney Princesses Meet CIU.” They choreographed three large group dances for the grand finale of the performance. The house gathered together for rehearsals in Founders’ Lobby, creating a real sense of community. This is, by far, my favorite Dignitas memory thus far.
Overall, the House of Dignity, is about community during a rather stressful time in our lives. No one said college would be easy, and it certainly isn’t. From hot cocoa at house meetings to a camping retreat in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dignitas has been a fun, safe place to be. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and hang out with young women I never thought I would. I’ve had the ability to branch out and share my talents with others around me. I think it’s safe to say that the House of Dignity and the people in it have already made a positive impact on our lives.
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