A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Tuesday as part of the formal opening of iHouse, the new living and leaning community in New House 1.
This semester, the residents of iHouse include seven freshmen, five sophomores, seven juniors, and two seniors with 14 different nationalities represented, said iHouse Graduate Resident Tutor Tsitsi I. Gora G. The upperclassmen moved into iHouse from other parts of New House, MacGregor House, and McCormick Hall.
During the ceremony, the 484 Phi Alpha Foundation presented iHouse with a check for $50,000, according the iHouse treasurer Guy-Richard Kayombya ’09.
“It shows the expectations that MIT has for us,” said Isaac W. Lozada ’10, an iHouse resident who said he was impressed by the number of MIT faculty who attended the opening ceremony. “Now I have some pressure to be more involved and make the iHouse dream come true.”
Lozada said that he joined iHouse because he thought the idea was interesting. “We’re coming here to try something new ... and to expose ourselves and MIT to international issues.”
Mary Masterman ’11, another iHouse resident, said she found out about the residential community during Campus Preview Weekend. “I’m very interested in other cultures and helping people in other countries,” she said. According to Masterman, iHouse is going on a retreat to New Hampshire in two weeks to discuss the house constitution and projects for the house.
Gora said that one of the issues the constitution will address is the “nature of social membership.” “The idea is to have social members who are part of the community even if they don’t live here,” Gora said.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for me because I’m interested in architecture and urban planning and there are lots of international development projects in these fields,” Gora said.
iHouse resident Zachary M. Addison ’11, who spoke at the ceremony, said that he has traveled to Namibia, Kenya, and Costa Rica to look at development projects. Living in a “unique, diverse environment … is something quite different and new for me,” Addison said.
Steven J. White ’11 said he is interested in international development because of “the moral issue of people living in poverty” and is “interested in living with people with similar ideas.”
Gora said that there are lots of ideas for iHouse to explore and implement. “It’s a good time to be at a place like this,” Gora said. “I’m looking forward to an exciting year.”
Guests at the opening ceremony included Wesley L. Harris and Sandra B. Harris, the New House Housemasters, D-Lab instructor Amy Smith, and other MIT faculty.