House System at the California Institute of Technology

House System At The California Institute Of Technology

House System at the California Institute of Technology

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The House System is the basis of undergraduate student residence at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Caltech's unique House system is modeled after the residential college system of Oxford and Cambridge in England, although the houses are probably more similar in size and character to the Harvard University house system. Like a residential college, a House embodies two closely connected concepts; it serves as both a physical building where a majority of its members reside and as the center of social activity for its members.

The Houses resemble fraternities at other American universities in the shared loyalties they engender. Unlike in fraternities, however, potentially dangerous "rushing" or "pledging" is replaced with the week of "rotation" at the beginning of a student's freshman year, and students generally remain affiliated with one House for the duration of their undergraduate studies.

Freshmen go through a process known as Rotation during the first week of classes, leading to their eventual House assignment by way of a matching process. This process has rules associated with it to try to give freshmen a chance to choose between the Houses in an unbiased way. These rules are located on the...
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