Trustees Approve Creation of LGBTQIA Affinity House

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During its fall meeting on September 22, the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees approved the construction of The Triangle House for the College’s LGBTQIA students. The vote affirmed the Board’s commitment to the Affinity House, which was previously stated at its June 7, 2013, meeting.

Located at 4 North Park Street, The Triangle House will be a 27-bed facility with a two-bedroom apartment for an adviser. The project will reconfigure eight townhouse-style rental units currently on the site into one integrated house.

Located at 4 North Park Street, The Triangle House will be a 27-bed facility with a two-bedroom apartment for an adviser. The project will reconfigure eight townhouse-style rental units currently on the site into one integrated house. (Photo by Corinne Arndt Girouard)

“The Triangle House will be a welcome addition to Dartmouth, and a tangible sign of the Board’s commitment to increase the diversity of social, intellectual, and residential options on campus,” says President Phil Hanlon ’77. “It is also part of Dartmouth’s continuing commitment to having a campus that is inclusive, respectful, and engaged.”

Located at 4 North Park Street, The Triangle House will be a 27-bed facility with a two-bedroom apartment for an adviser.

“By engaging our students outside of the classroom, Living Learning communities such as affinity houses further enhance the core mission of the institution by tying what we learn in the classroom to who we are, what we do, and how we live,” says Dartmouth’s Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson.

The project will reconfigure eight townhouse-style rental units currently on the site into one integrated house. The renovation will include the construction of a communal kitchen, bedrooms, and space to accommodate academic programs and social activities. The construction cost is $3.6 million and work is slated to begin in October 2013 for occupancy in fall term 2014.

The Triangle House’s name carries historic and cultural meaning, explains LGBTQIA adviser Reese Kelly. “LGBTQIA communities often use the upside-down pink or black triangle in reclamation of and reference to the badges gay male inmates were forced to wear during the Holocaust.”

Additionally, he says, “The sides of the triangle represent for us the three key learning objectives in the program: community, knowledge, and action.”

Academic programs at The Triangle House will focus on issues that pertain to the historical and contemporary experiences of LGBTQIA people (LGBTQIA stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and allied) by promoting the development of thoughtful and responsible scholars, activists, and community leaders. It will foster honest dialogue about sex, gender, identity and expression, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships as a means toward community development and understanding.

The project has incorporated student input throughout the process and has generated significant support and interest from alumni, including the Dartmouth LGBT Alumni Association.

The Triangle House is among more than a dozen Dartmouth Affinity Programs—educationally focused residential spaces that are built around an academic or special interest. These programs strive to provide a living-learning experience for residents who commit to the purpose of the program. Students apply to participate in these communities, which can be housed in a section of a traditional residence hall or in a free-standing house.