Skip to main content


SubFree provides a community for students seeking to live in an environment free of alcohol and drugs. The theme community was created so that students who prefer to live in a substance-free area could do so with the support and respect of their peers. Your RA will provide a variety of social events focusing on education, wellness, and other needs. All students in this theme are committed to a substance-free residential experience.

“My favorite thing about being in the SubFree Theme Community is having people to hang out with on a Friday or Saturday night when everyone else is going out. We’ve had a lot of fun nights watching Netflix, eating Oreos, and playing board games. So if you’re a first-year looking for a group of friends that will be with you for the rest of college, this is definitely the place for you!”

1st Gen

1st Gen provides an extra layer of support for first-year students who are the first in their family to attend college. In partnership with the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI), the 1st Gen theme community is dedicated to maximizing student success by creating a support system within the community that facilitates the development of helpful relationships between residents and U-M staff and faculty. Through offering intentional academic support and personal development programming that addresses college transition, 1st Gen will help students make the most of their Michigan experience.

  • The formal definition of a first-generation college student at the University of Michigan is a student whose parents did not complete a four-year college degree.
  • Residents of 1st Gen regularly attend events like the First Generation Open House, First-Gen Symposium, Community Dinner and more put on by the First Gen Gateway.
  • Signature Theme events also include a 1st Gen Faculty & Staff Mixer, 1st Gen Grad Student Networking opportunity, and 1st Gen Fridays biweekly newsletters.
  • The community’s themes and activities are customizable depending on the needs and desires of the participants.

“I just love that I was able to meet and bond with people who can understand my biggest struggle with college, being a first generation student. I think knowing that I have access to a whole community to create memories that parents could not tell me about makes this journey a whole lot easier.”

“Living in the 1st gen Theme Community is something I highly recommend. This is a huge campus and coming to it for the first time can be extremely intimidating. Making friends and feeling accepted is something everyone wants, living in this Theme Community really helped with that. You live with people who share a similar background as you, which makes connecting to them an ease. People followed the ‘open door policy’ everyday, inviting others into their room with welcoming smiles. The RA for 1st Gen also reached out to us with special events and beneficial resources. It has definitely been a great experience living in this community, so if you are considering it you should follow through and join!”

Multicultural Housing Community

Multicultural Housing Community (MHC) is designed to facilitate intentional and deep communication and understanding among students of diverse backgrounds and identities. Students experience how to be accountable to their inclusive community. The community meaningfully engages in social justice education and restorative justice practices within their community and thinks critically about how these values manifest in the residential community, on campus and globally.

Social justice is a way to promote diversity and inclusion within the community through education and community engagement. We strive to recognize the global society and diverse communities that our students makeup and by doing that, create inclusive communities. Restorative justice practices engage community members in conversations about harm and collective accountability. The restorative framework emphasizes respect, relationships and responsibility.

  • MHC is a partnership between Michigan Housing and Diversity and Inclusion. Residents can look forward to participating in regular dialogues about diversity and inclusion, gain skills in planning and facilitating diversity and inclusion programming and participating in signature events.


The Innovation Theme Community provides a collaborative living-learning space for residents interested in social innovation and entrepreneurship. Partnering with optiMize Social Innovation  department in the College of LSA, we create a supportive community for you to build skills, pursue passions, and take action. Ranked in the top 10 nationally undergraduate entrepreneurship programs, U-M offers entrepreneurial opportunities for students of many backgrounds and areas of study.  Through creative exploration of wanting to make a positive impact and applying the notion of asking yourself  “Why Not Me?!” ,  this community will focus on providing guidance to residents as they navigate the entrepreneurial network to make the most of their Michigan experience. Residents in the Innovation Theme Community will be asked to enroll in a 1-credit course offered by optiMize (not a requirement but highly recommended).

“My favorite memory is being able to bond with the engineers and business students on my floor and be able to talk about projects we were working on. We are able to push each other to achieve new heights and push past harder obstacles.”

“Being in a community like this is pretty fun and it really helps cheer me up when I’m feeling a little down. Also, a lot of the people in my hall share similar career interests to me, which is really neat! Next week I’ll be going to a Hackathon at MSU with a few friends in the hall, and if I didn’t join Innovation, I probably would never have even heard of the hackathon.”

“I am so thankful to have been part of the innovation community! It is a great space to gain a close connection with people in your first year of college and create amazing memories together” – Architecture Major

Sustainable Living Experience

Sustainable Living Experience (SLE) is dedicated to providing an inclusive and immersive environment for students to develop lifelong leadership in sustainability and environmental justice. SLE welcomes students regardless of academic focus and aims to foster a culture of sustainability across all of campus. Towards this end, SLE integrates sustainability programming and learning opportunities into the first year college experience and functions as a community of engaged learners and sustainability leaders. The cornerstones of SLE community programming are:

  • Sustainable Community
  • Experiential Learning
  • Engaged Citizenship

SLE offers residents unique learning, leadership and engagement opportunities. Previous SLE programs have included:

  • Educational trips such as retreats and service learning
  • Mini-grants for sustainability projects
  • Campus Farm visits and workdays
  • Food preparation workshops in the community kitchens at Oxford Houses
  • Sustainability trivia and other social events
  • Designing and maintaining the SLE perennial edible garden
  • Opportunities to return as student leaders within SLE

Questions about the program? Visit the SLE Web site. Program components are subject to change based on public health recommendations.

Adelia Cheever Program

The Cheever Program’s legacy was originated by Noah and Adelia Cheever in the late 1800s for University of Michigan students. Striving for generosity, diversity, community, friendship, personal wellness, and leadership, Cheever’s home evolved into a University Co-Op for women and later into a Theme Community at Helen Newberry.

Current students in the program embody the spirit and traditions of Cheever alumnae. Such traditions include three committees: Global Perspectives, Women in Leadership, Wellness, Cheever Chats (bi-weekly group discussions and programming), organizing annual events such as the Cheever Legacy Night, Culture Night, Galentine’s Night and much more! Returning Cheever members are eligible to rejoin the community as a Cheever Scholar, or Cheever Mentor, to incoming Cheever members. See below for more information!

Expectations for incoming students

  • Participate in programs and weekly Cheever Chats
  • Assist community members in program planning
  • Serve on at least two Cheever committees

Expectations for returning students

In honor of past benefactors, the Adelia Cheever Board of Patronesses, and fellow Cheever alumnae, the Board awards
scholarships each year to sophomore and higher students in the program who meet the following qualifications:

  • Active participant during the first year in Cheever (attending events, involved in program planning, supporting community members etc.)
  • Apply for the Adelia Cheever Scholarship as well as:
    • Obtain a cumulative 3.0 GPA by sophomore year
    • Interview with Board of Patronesses
    • Serve as a peer mentor for first-year Cheever members
    • Assist with ‘Cheever Chats’

Living Business

Living Business offers Ross School of Business first-year students a residential community that champions the goals and values of Ross. Living Business aims to create a strong cohort of Ross advocates that represent diverse backgrounds and interests, and who are highly engaged throughout their time at Ross.

Student residents have access to community programming that encourages them to think meaningfully about the school’s mission to “build a better world through business.” Residents will also gain an enhanced academic experience, a supportive community, and professional skill development by networking with alumni and local entrepreneurs and engaging in off-campus experiential learning. Residing in the Living Business Theme Community is a unique opportunity for first-year students to connect with their cohort in a non-academic setting, while taking advantage of co-curricular activities that further their familiarity and involvement with Ross.


LiveWell is a community open to first-year students who are passionate about living a holistically well life. Livewell believes that holistic wellness is a part of each student’s unique success at the University of Michigan, and that every student deserves equitable access to wellness. By participating in LiveWell, students will engage in conversations around holistic wellness via the wellness wheel (below) and develop strategies for personal and community well-being in college and beyond.

Residing in LiveWell offers residents opportunities to learn about nutrition, the intersection of wellness with diversity and inclusion and how to practice self-care while at college. LiveWell is a place to meet peers with similar interests and where residents have access to curated resources for living a holistically well life while attending the University of Michigan.

Transfer Year Experience

The Transfer Year Experience (TYE) is a community designed to support the transition of transfer students from their previous institution to the University of Michigan. TYE allows transfer students access to a community where they feel immediately at home, learn to navigate campus resources and build intentional and lasting connections.

Living in a community of other transfers, residents of TYE are able to quickly connect over shared experiences and learn from each other’s individual strengths.