February 15, 2010

Since its founding, Telluride House has modeled itself after the democratic ideals of its founder, industrialist-philanthropist L.L. Nunn, including three central goals:

Intellectual Inquiry

We strive for rich and fruitful intellectual exchange in both formal and informal settings. In addition to the discussions and debates that permeate daily life at the house, housemembers participate in up to three formal academic events per week. Such events include special lectures and workshops from leading Cornell faculty and visiting guests of the house. Each housemember presents a one-hour speech on a topic of personal intellectual interest every year, a unique opportunity to have speaking skills and introduce ideas to vigorous interdisciplinary consideration. We also organize larger events open to the Cornell community, and hold an intense and exciting three day seminar at the end of Winter Break.

Democratic Self-Government

From employee coordination to event planning to budget oversight, Telluride House is run entirely by its members. The center of our governmental process is our weekly housemeeting, where we discuss resolutions on issues ranging from magazine subscriptions to house procedures to our larger role and purpose as a community. Each housemember also serves on a committee, usually rotating each semester. Our committees generate and carry out the proposals passed at the housemeeting, and are charged with the day-to-day maintenance and administration of the house. This significant responsibility offers many opportunities for leadership and personal development.

Community Living

Housemembers often name the lasting bonds formed in  our intense experiment in community living as the highlight of their Telluride experience. The heart of our community is perhaps the dinner table, where we gather each day to share, joke, debate, and just relax. Conversations often continue late into the night, or even throughout the year. Parties, movie screenings, and winter marshmallow roasts offer a multitude of opportunities to form lasting and rewarding friendships.