Carnegie Mellon University

It's time to get involved.

One of the best parts of living on-campus at Carnegie Mellon is that there are many ways to get involved and develop leadership skills that can be applied at the university and beyond. From formal leadership roles to opportunities for reflective conversations, there is a way for everyone to feel like they are part of their community.

House Traditions

Each residential community at Carnegie Mellon is unique. Over time, our communities have developed traditions that have endured from year to year. These traditions reflect the values of our communities, and engender a great deal of spirit and fun in the residence halls.

Donner House

Pohlees is an annual Donner tradition envisioned by a former resident, Justin Chua, and hosted in his memory. Pohlees transforms Donner into a community variety fair featuring food, games, crafts, and a coffee house stage where residents can showcase their musical, comedy and performance talents. Leading up to Pohlees is Whale Week, a week of programming celebrating all things blue! In 2017, Pohlees celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Hamerschlag and Scobell Houses

Each year, Hamerschlag and Scobell join together for Schlagmare. Ever October, Hamerschlag is transformed into a haunted house for the entire Carnegie Mellon community. Each year the house is designed, set up, and operated by the HamSco House Council and residents of the building. Hundreds of guests walk through Schlagmare each year.

Welch and Henderson Houses

Each spring, Welch and Henderson plan a garden party in the courtyard outside of WeHe for the community to gather and enjoy time together. WeHe also has a well-known campus mascot: a gnome! During orientation, that year's physical gnome statue is presented to the residents, along with their backstory and some fun facts about their adventures before arriving in WeHe. The gnome spends the year in the community lounge for all to see and enjoy.

Big Questions

Big Questions (BQ) is a hallmark first-year residential experience where students come together for six weeks to discuss life’s biggest questions with an RA, a faculty facilitator, and their peers. Students reflect on their experiences, build empathy and listening skills, and hone their values as they explore the answers to questions like: “what is beauty?” “why do we work?” “what is love?” and “what is the meaning of life?”

A Faculty Connection

We have had the good fortune to partner with amazing faculty members from across the university as facilitators for the Big Questions program.

  • Mark Stehlik (SCS)

  • Indira Nair (CIT)

  • Amy Burkert (MCS)

  • Karen Stump (MCS)

  • Nico Slate (DC)

  • Mark Stehlik (SCS)

  • Po-Shen Lo (MCS)

  •  Marlene Bherman (DC)

  • Barbara McKensie-Wood (CFA)

  • Carrie Hagan (BXA)

  • Gina Casalegno (DOSA)

  • Omer Akin (CFA)

  • Susan Polansky (DC)

  • Therese Tardio (DC)

  • Kunal Ghosh (MCS)