Getting connected in Clovia House

Clovia House in Manhattan Kan. (Archive photo | Collegian Media Group)

Alpha of Clovia is a 4-H cooperative leadership house near Kansas State’s campus. Women who are undergraduates taking 12 or more credit hours are welcome to apply to live in the house.

When selecting women for the house, preference is given to those who were 4-H members for two or more years, but it is not required that members have a past in 4-H, according to the Alpha of Clovia website. Members are selected through an application and interview process.

“Being from Michigan, I wanted to come to K-State and shower myself with people who had the same interests as me,” Madysen Eady, freshman in animal sciences and industry, said. “We all have a common background, and I love all the friends I have made in my first year.”

Scholastic achievement is an important part of Clovia’s requirements; a minimum GPA of 2.65 is needed for initiation and full membership. To maintain this requirement, there is a 24-hour study room in the basement of the house in which women have a quiet and relaxing place to study.

Each woman in the house is assigned a variety of duties throughout the semester with first-year members having 4 hours of duties per week, and then that time requirement lowers by one hour each year one has lived in the household. This cooperative living lifestyle teaches the women responsibility and gives each other the chance to work together.

Living at Clovia offers women the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of social events including a spring formal, a fall barn dance and homecoming activities. Community service activities are also completed by a majority of the girls.

A new member will go through a semester-long period of training in which they learn all about the house policies, sisterhood and Clovia history. A new member will also receive a “big sister” to help guide her through not only initiation, but the ways of college itself. Big sisters and their “littles” usually become lifelong friends.

Every Wednesday night there is a dinner a meeting that follows in which matters are decided within the house by the group and officers, who are elected by house members.

“There is more to college than just books,” Nancy Little, Alpha of Clovia housemother, said. “Clovia gives women the opportunity to learn responsibilities, get involved in social gatherings and make lifelong friendships.”

A housemother has her own apartment in Clovia to provide support and guidance to the women as well as attend all of the house events. Alumni advisors, who participate in house activities, are also available for support.

Laurin Wagner, senior in industrial engineering, said she has lived in the Clovia house for two years and is now serving her second year as an associate.

“Clovia is a house full of strong, supportive, hardworking women that have a positive outlook on life and continue teachings of 4-H in their daily lives,” Wagner said.