History of the Public Affairs Residential College

The residential unit at 1838 Chicago Avenue that originally housed the Public Affairs Residential College was completed in the fall of 1980 as part of a $23 million South Campus project that included the construction of Jones Fine and Performing Arts Residential College, West Fairchild, 1835 Hinman, and more. Originally, the building was the home of the Residential College of Commerce and Industry (CCI), but in 1991 it was used to establish the Public Affairs Residential College, making PARC the most recently established residential colleges on campus.

Under its first Faculty Chair, Professor Charles Thompson, PARC provided students a home which offered extended learning opportunities outside of the classroom, as well as enriched interaction with faculty. The focus on public affairs, however, has not come without controversy. In 1994, for example, PARC attempted to sponsor a Fireside discussion on the subject of “Holocaust Revisionism,” which sparked protests across campus, leading to the event’s eventual cancellation after controversial intervention by the Vice-President of Student Affairs.

Under the guidance of current Faculty Chair Lane Fenrich, the focus of the residential college has expanded to include “public affairs” of all sorts, from the more standard social/political debate to almost every other subject imaginable.

During the 2015-2016 school year, PARC was relocated to 650 Emerson Street, formerly known as the North Mid-Quads, while the original PARC building went through renovation. After it was deemed that the new building provided an overall friendlier and more welcoming environment for students, the Executive Board voted to remain in the building for future years. This is PARC’s current location.

PARC Constitution

PARC's Constitution is embedded below: