Ware College House Dean Utsav Schurmans meets with students to discuss plans for a M&T program in Ware and expanding the college house’s entrepreneurship residential program.

Credit: Lin Zheng

Being built over a century ago has not stopped Ware College House from keeping up with technological trends.

Ware College House Dean Utsav Schurmans wants Ware to become a “hub for technology.”

Next year, incoming students in the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology will be able to automatically receive a room in Ware if they choose. M&T students who select Ware as their first choice will be guaranteed a spot, according to Schurmans.

The idea originated with Ethan Aaron, a Wharton and Engineering junior and Residential Adviser in Ware. “This will be a great opportunity for the incoming [M&T] freshmen to surround themselves with an additional community of students and advisors that are ready to support them in any way possible,” Aaron wrote in an email.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for both Ware College House and the M&T program,” he added.

However, unlike a traditional residential program, the M&T students who decide to take up the offer will not live in one single hall, but rather throughout the college house.

January Stayton, administrative director of the M&T Program, said the M&T office was originally not very receptive to the idea, but their position has changed with time.

“We want students to meet people from all four schools,” Stayton said, citing diversity of experience as important to students in the program.

They were also not welcoming to the idea because they thought all M&T students would be living in one single hall, but Schurmans made clear that the students would not be clustered in one spot within Ware.

In addition, Stayton said the M&T office polled current M&T students about their feelings towards the initiative and the reactions were positive.

Those who were polled believed the Quad was very suitable for freshmen because of its social atmosphere and community, Stayton said.

With that, Schurmans’ initiative to bring more of a technology-focus to Ware was a go.

However, a conglomerate of M&T students may not equate to a more technology-inclined community.

“M&T students are not necessarily technically oriented. Some of us lean more towards business in addition to those leaning towards technology. Interests are not necessarily convergent between M&T students,” Wharton and Engineering freshman Steven Xing said.

In addition, Schurmans is planning on expanding the entrepreneurship residential program from 23 to 50 members next year. The floor will also be renamed as Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The name change comes from the desire to integrate diverse fields together.

According to Schurmans, the program saw a lot of interest, with over 140 applications last year. Only 23 students were accepted into the residential program. Schurmans thought it was only natural to expand the program.

To further expand the presence of entrepreneurship and technology in Ware, Schurmans also reached out to Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs about giving talks in the college house.

He is also in preliminary talks with PennApps to hold their biannual hackathon in Ware College House.

According to one of the PennApps hackathon organizers, Engineering junior Amalia Hawkins, Ware is one of the several locations they are considering for a hackathon.

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