The Interhouse Committee
The Interhouse Committee of the California Institute of Technology exists for the purpose of allowing communication between the eight Student Houses towards the solution of common problems. Specific charges of the IHC include organizing Rotation, overseeing Interhouse sports and Discobolus, and selecting the student members of the Faculty-Student Committees. The IHC acts as a representative and liason for all members of the House system to Caltech administation and faculty. The committee consists of the eight house presidents, plus a chair and secretary. View current members.
The House System
Unlike most other colleges and universities, Caltech does not have either fraternities & sororitites or dormitories. What does exist is a House System that tries to combine the best aspects of both. In the 1920's, Caltech had a system of fraternities (it was a male only school until the late '60's). All the students either lived in a fraternity or in some other kind of off-campus housing facility. A group of students did extensive research on the best living accomadations for the undergraduates of Caltech. They visited various schools and eventually developed a system of housing that employed both the freedom of dormitories and the camaraderie of fraternities. In the early 1930s, the four South Hovses (Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, and Ricketts) were built and the fraternities voluntarily disbanded. As more and more students were being forced to live in the dumpsters behind the Hovses, it became necessary to provide more on-campus student housing. Thus, in the early 1960s, the three North Houses (Lloyd, Page, and Ruddock) were built. Avery House was added to the House System by a decision in 2004.
Over the years, each House has developed its own traditions, customs, and government. Each House has its own personality which is greatly dictated by the people living there at the time. Meals and various other "food" oppurtunities are served in the House dining room. Dinners (or lunch or breakfast depending on what phase you're on) are family style and waited by students who have an affinity for dumping food on people. The Hovses have their own courtyards, libraries, and lounges. Each House sponsors social events, parties, and activities unique to a given House. In general, people spend their four to eleven years at Caltech in one House. The Caltech experience can be very intense, but the Student Houses make it bearable.