What is a Theme Community?

Theme communities allow students with similar interests to live together and participate in programs that cater to their academic, social, and personal interests and needs. Students living in these communities have opportunities to take part in unique, fun experiences with their peers while interacting with OWU faculty, staff, and student leaders. Theme communities give students the opportunity to engage in activities both on campus and in the greater Columbus community that enhance the overall collegiate experience.

All students, regardless of major, identity, or background, are strongly encouraged to indicate interest in a particular Theme Community on the housing application, which can be found in the Res Life Portal. All you need is your passion to make living in your theme community a successful and enjoyable experience!

Why should I join a Theme Community?

Theme communities are designed to help enhance the residential life experience for all participating students while connecting them to academic and extracurricular involvement. Students who choose to participate in a theme community enjoy:

  • Intentional interactions with OWU faculty, staff and administrators
  • Connections with student leaders and peers
  • An increased level of involvement and sense of community at OWU
  • Engagement in activities related to their Theme Community topic

Types of Theme Communities offered at OWU

First-Year Theme Communities - OWU Residential Life offers 9 theme communities for incoming first-year students that cover a wide range of interests. These communities can be connected directly to an academic program or be formed around a specific area of interest.

Upper-Class Theme Communities - If a group of returning students desires to live together in one of our residence halls around a specific theme, we encourage those students to contact Residential Life at reslife@owu.edu to begin conversations about developing their theme community.

Upper-Class Theme Communities

Transfer Community

This community offers students new to the Ohio Wesleyan community, but familiar with the college experience, the opportunity to live with other students who are transferring to OWU.  This allows students the opportunity to develop a network of peer support while also living in a residential community with other returning OWU students.   

Location: Stuyvesant Hall

First-Year Student Theme Communities

Business Community

This community offers the opportunity to develop a network of peer support with other business students, learn about possible career paths in the business world, and explore internships and resume-building skills, and attend events designed to help students succeed in business-settings

Location: Smith Hall West

Partners:  Department of Economics and Business

Environment & Sustainability

This community is for students who want to work with fellow students, faculty, staff and community members to make OWU and Delaware (and beyond) a better, greener place. It is for students who aspire to living sustainably, support environmental causes, and care to change the world. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with sustainability-related organizations and work on sustainable projects on campus and in the city of Delaware

Location: Smith Hall East

Partners: Department of Environment and Sustainability

Global Living Community

The Global Living Community provides both international and domestic students the opportunity to learn about cultures other than their own, explore opportunities to travel globally during their time at OWU, and learn what it means to be a global citizen.

Location: Smith Hall East

Partners: International and Off Campus Programs Office

Honors Community

This community provides an atmosphere that allows students to integrate their social, co-curricular, and academic life through vibrant programming and connection to the OWU Honors program. Students in this community can expect an environment that challenges and supports them to explore their own educational journey. Students who graduate high school with a 3.5 GPA are eligible for this community.

Location: Smith Hall East

Partners: Honors Department

Leadership Community

The Leadership Theme Community brings together students interested in leadership development activities and exploration. Residents will have opportunities for self-discovery, connections with students with similar interests, and engagement with current student-leaders on campus.  Recognizing that everyone has leadership capacity, this community is open to all, regardless of past leadership experience.

Location: Smith Hall East

Partners: Leadership Development Office

Service Learning Community

Service Community

Service learning is a core mission of OWU. Students who wish to take part in this theme community will be able to engage in service learning projects on campus and the local Delaware community. Residents will have the opportunity to grow as service leaders on campus and learn how to become an active global citizen.   

Location: Smith Hall East

Partners: Community Service Learning Office

Visual & Performance Art Community

Students involved in this community have the opportunity to live with and learn alongside other students from the arts community. They will be able to attend performances, support one another’s shows, and create art together!

Location: Smith Hall West

Women in STEM Community

This community focuses on creating an enriched learning and living environment for Women in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields of study. Students participating in this community will have the opportunity to strengthen their understanding of STEM in an environment that fosters academic development through the exploration of the field of science and provides a nurturing atmosphere for personal growth.

Location: Smith Hall West

Partners: Department of Botany and Microbiology & Zoology

Department Contact Info


Office of Residential Life
Hamilton-Williams Campus Center #213
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015