Special Interest Housing

Manya Sankaran on Saturday, 01 June 2019.

A brief glimpse inside SIHs (Special Interest Houses)


Hello everyone! As you all probably know college can prove to be a very tough transition for some students, no matter how close or far you are from your hometown. Students who cannot commute, usually live in residence halls or in apartments close to campus. It can be quite daunting living in a completely new environment with a plethora of unfamiliar faces. Special Interest Houses (SIHs’) are a great way to get involved and learn about the many things that RIT has to offer both on-campus, and off. They can also provide a great sense of community for students that are looking for a home away from home as they pursue their studies.


Applying to an SIH whether you are an incoming student or currently enrolled here at RIT is quite easy. If you are an incoming student, when you are on the housing website, you will be asked if you would like to apply to be a part of an SIH. Depending on what you answer and which SIH(s’) you select, you will be asked to briefly answer a set of questions for each SIH. Since each SIH has a select number of rooms/spots on-floor, you will get notified via email as to whether you got a spot on-floor. Whether you are accepted on-floor or not, you can always apply to be a member of an SIH, even after you have begun your studies here. All you have to do is send an email to the specific SIH requesting to become a member.


There are a total of 7 SIH’s. Each SIH has its own unique style and personality. While each SIH is a little community of their own, they often come together and interact to form a larger community. If you are interested in any particular SIH, you can find more information on each specific SIH through the following link:  



As someone who lived on an SIH for two years before moving out of residence halls, I can definitely attest to the sense of community it provided me with, especially during my first year. It also taught me about the many opportunities that RIT provides for its students, some of which I would have never found if it hadn’t been for older members that I met through the SIH community. 

During my two years in Residence Halls, I lived on the House of General Science (HoGS), located on the second floor of Colby Hall. While I was a part of HoGS, I held positions that I was able to use to beef up my resume, and I got involved in multiple projects for Imagine RIT which is a university wide science festival held in April of every year. The SIH community is also a great way to make lifelong friends and expand your network of connections. I not only got involved in projects with HoGS, I also made friends with many students from the other 6 SIH’s. One of my closest friends and peers, is someone I met from another SIH who was in the same major as I was. 


While each SIH is geared towards a specific interest, they all have many students from many different majors and interests. There are many ways to get involved on campus and SIH’s are just one of the many clubs/organizations that have helped me gain lifelong colleagues and friends throughout my time here. SIH’s are not for everyone but I implore you to dig deeper and get involved in some way during your time here at RIT!