FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Photograph by Daniel Tian, ’18, Slivka Resident

Have more questions about Slivka? Feel free to email Rachana Kolli, President of Slivka’s Executive Board for more assistance.

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What is a residential college?

A residential college tends to be more community-oriented than most typical residence halls. Some residential colleges are themed based on students’ area of study, such as Slivka, which is the Residential College of Science and Engineering. In a residential college, there are more building-wide activities and events than a typical res hall, and these events determine who is allowed to return the following year. Generally, the goals of the residential colleges are to enrich the intellectual, cultural, and social lives of their students and to help them develop lifelong habits of learning and responsibility. There are eleven residential colleges across campus. For more information about the residential college system, please visit the RC website.

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What makes Slivka unique?

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Perler Beads, an old favorite among Slivkans. Photograph by Daniel Tian, ’18, Slivka Resident

Slivka’s theme is Science and Engineering, but we have residents from all Northwestern schools. What makes Slivka unique is our love for creative events and the innovation we bring to the residential college system. As the residential college with the most events, highest upperclassmen retention rate, and highest rate of freshmen applications, Slivka has a lot to offer, no matter what year you are or what your major is. We hold lots of fun events, ranging from making foam swords to learning how to run a restaurant. For more information about our events, visit our events page. In addition, having a large number of sophomores, juniors, and seniors makes Slivka different (and better) than the other residential colleges. Upperclassmen are a great resource to ask for advice regarding classes, professors, campus events, and Northwestern life in general. This makes Slivka a great place to study and live, because you will almost always find somebody who has taken a class you are considering, or who is part of a group on campus you are interested in. Finally, Slivka is the newest hall on campus. Our facilities are extremely nice, and our rooms are larger than the rooms of many others on campus. Click here for more information regarding our facilities. Additionally, we have a facilities committee that maintains the quality of our building and makes sure everything is running smoothly.  

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How do I get into a residential college?

Slivka is one of eleven residential colleges on campus, each with their own unique community. To apply to live in a residential college as an incoming student, you must fill out a specific set of questions on the housing contract, accessible through the housing website. Each college requires its own set of questions that vary year to year. Most will ask you to explain why you want to be a part of the res college community, and what draws you to the particular res college. You may apply to more than one res college, but you will be asked to rank your preferences. Slivka is one of the more competitive res colleges to get into on campus, thanks to its excellent facilities, convenient location for those wishing to live on North campus, and of course its welcoming community. Click here for more information on Northwestern’s residential college program.  

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Can I be involved in Slivka activities without living in Slivka?

Sort of. As an NU undergrad, you have the option to pay a smaller fee to become a “nonres” for a residential college of your choosing. This means that while you do not live in said residential college, you are still invited to attend events and receive email notifications. In addition, Slivka nonreses are able to receive points for attending Slivka events. Earning enough points can guarantee a nonres a room in Slivka for the following year, without having to go through the application process again. To become a Slivka nonres, you must submit a brief application to the Slivka executive board, which can be accessed here.

For more information on Northwestern’s nonres program, click here.

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I keep hearing all these terms used about residential colleges. What do they mean?

Residential colleges have some unique qualities and events specific to RCs. Here are some terms used frequently in the RC system.

Firesides – Firesides are informal lectures put on by faculty, students, and Evanston community members to speak about topics or interests of Slivkans. Slivka typically has 2-3 firesides per week.

Munchies – Munchies in Slivka are a weekly event in which social committee prepares food for Slivkans. Slivkans come to recreational (rec) lounge to eat and hang out.

House Meetings – House Meetings are meetings in which exec members inform Slivkans of upcoming events and activities. In Slivka, house meetings are typically held every other Sunday night at 8:30pm.

Fellows – Fellows are Northwestern faculty and staff members who are associated with a residential college. Each RC has its own fellows, and faculty/staff members can be a fellow in multiples RCs. In Slivka, fellows are invited to brunches and off-campus dinners, where they can interact with students in an informal setting.

College Staff – The college staff of an RC consists of a Faculty Chair (faculty member), Associate Chair (faculty member), and an Assistant Chair (graduate student). These three individuals work with the executive board and other residential colleges to help with events and make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Points – Points are used to determine housing for the following year. Each RC has a different system of housing points, but in Slivka, each event you attend is worth one point. Then, at the end of the housing year (end of winter quarter), the number of points you have (adjusted for your academic year) determines the order of housing selection for the upcoming year. Points are also a good way to keep track of Slivkan activity in the building.

RCB – RCB stands for the Residential College Board. It is in charge of managing the residential college system, which houses approximately one-third of on-campus residents of Northwestern. RCB offers a number of fun and engaging events each quarter to encourage student networking across RCs.

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What are some typical Slivka events?

Slivka holds a variety of events hosted by six different committees of the executive board: Academic, Faculty, IT, Philanthropy, Publications, and Social. Each committee has a slightly different character in the types of events it holds. For example, Academic events tend to focus on professors and their research, while IT events tend to be activities made up entirely by students. You can see many of our recent events on the home page. For information about other typical events, visit the events page.  

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Who plans Slivka events?

Many of the positions on the executive board are responsible for holding events. These exec members each have a committee that helps them plan and run events. Committees typically have 3-10 members, and each committee tends to have a unique character that it brings to its events. For more information about the executive board and their committees, visit the executive board page.

Why do Slivkans stay in Slivka?

“I love the community and that we do events like clay creations and perler beads – it’s like reliving my childhood.” – Claire Loe

“I love the two sides of Slivka: we can be really nerdy, but we are also really good at things like IMs. Nobody expects Slivka to be football champions.” – Nnenna Nwagbo

“Slivka is unique on campus because of the people who live there and the community they create. It is a building full of intelligent, hardworking individuals who come together to learn and have fun in creative (and usually wonderfully nerdy) ways.” – Scott Beck

Which RC is the best?

Slivka! Click here for proof.