Open House: Gender Learning Community

Three members of Open House pose for a photo outside of Phillips Residence Hall at the Open House Convocation

Phillips Residence Hall | 30 residents (all double rooms with private baths; coed mixed floor)
Sponsored by the Gender and Women’s Studies Department | $200 learning community fee

One of the most exciting parts about coming to college is finding your true self. In addition to this, it’s also a pretty incredible opportunity to meet and make friends with people from all different backgrounds. Open House, the gender-learning community at UW-Madison is a vibrant lakeshore community of students, staff and faculty dedicated to examining gender and sexuality. Open House is a place to build community and explore the diversity of the human experience. Students enjoy a tight-knit environment and unique programming, like open mic, movie and game nights, and mentorship from faculty and staff across campus.

Residents of the community have the opportunity to take a one-credit seminar that discusses contemporary media, including, films, TV programs, cartoons and music videos. In this seminar, you will be able to discuss how the media constructs, negotiates and transgresses norms and identities. Coming to college, you probably did not think that you would be watching Lady Gaga music videos for class, but Open House makes that a reality. Students from all genders, sexualities, and racial/ethnic/cultural backgrounds/disciplines are invited to learn in Open House’s welcoming and inclusive space within the beautiful Phillips Hall.

Program Goals:

  • Discuss how language and media promote particular gender norms and expectations
  • Research the history and current issues of LGBTQ people
  • Examine the power and privilege of particular social groups and the crucial role of allies in making change
  • Understand one’s own identity formation


Contact: Emma Zeldin (Program Coordinator)

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"Open House is a place where I could finally be free to express my true self without fear of judgement. I am so grateful for the friendships I have made here."

Dannira Kulenovic
West Allis, WI