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Honors house doesn’t ‘card at the door’

Many have passed the quaint, Tudor style house on 12th Avenue at some point during their time at Ohio State without ever stepping inside or even realizing what all it can be used for.

According to the OSU Honors and Scholars website, the Kuhn House was originally built as a home for the sixth president of the university, George Rightmire, and his family. Construction on the home was completed in 1926 and cost about $72,000, which the university paid for.

In 1972, the University Residence moved off campus and the house became home to university offices, including the College of Administrative Sciences, now known as the Fisher College of Business, according to the OSU Honors and Scholars website.

The Honors and Scholars staff moved into the building in 1987, and the house underwent extensive renovations in 1991 and 1992, which included the addition of student and staff office space, a conservatory, a workroom and new seminar and meeting rooms.

Although the house is a centrally funded building, meaning that the university’s operating budget accounts for maintaining it, the last major renovation, which took place in 2003, was paid for entirely through donations, said Cheria Dial, associate director of the University Honors and Scholars Center.

Events are held at the house throughout the year, and are not solely limited to Honors and Scholars students. The center services all Honors and Scholars students (there are about 9,000) regardless of whether they actually enter the Kuhn House.

Dial estimated that about 3,000 students actually set foot in the house during any given calendar year.

Dial said some of the biggest events at the house include the “Honors Scheduling Bonanza,” the involvement fair and the open house that is held on move-in day.

Other events draw in less of a crowd, but make for a great experience.

Lori Meyer, a second-year in industrial engineering, said her favorite event was a fireside chat with OSU alum, Patrick Randerson, who is a CIA analyst. At the chat, held on Jan. 25, Randerson discussed such things as how college students should prepare for a job in the CIA, what to expect with the application process and the atmosphere of the CIA work environment.

Dial said there is a lack of communication with students about events that are going on. She said the main form of communication is e-mail, and many students just don’t take the time to read them.

The Honors House is discussed at the beginning of the school year and also at Honors orientations, but many students either forget or just don’t think about it throughout the year, she said.

Dial mentioned the idea of possibly using a mass text messaging system in the future that students could sign up for to receive notifications of events that are taking place.

She also said it will be easier to communicate with future Honors students because the university is doing away with special, all-honors orientations. Therefore, the staff will be able to speak with smaller groups during the summer before students begin at OSU.

Claudia Carrelli, a first-year in engineering, said she went to the open house that was held on move-in day but hasn’t been back since then.

Mari Foisy, a second-year in landscape horticulture, works at the Honors House.

“If you need a quiet place to study, come to the house,” Foisy said. “It’s quieter than the library.”

Foisy said the house is not just used for hosting structured events.

Dial said the house is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During these times, students can use the house for studying, watching TV or movies, or can even reserve the kitchen for baking. The house is closed on the weekends aside from structured events and open houses for incoming students.

“I had no idea that it provides a quiet place to study, let alone that we could go there to bake,” Carrelli said.

When asked if events are open to non-Honors and Scholars students, Dial chuckled and said, “I like to say that we don’t card at the door. Students are welcome to invite their friends. We’re definitely open to having new people at the house.”

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