Last evening faculty and students gathered in Flora Rose House to celebrate the newest addition to the West Campus housing system. The Flora Rose House is the fifth and final house in West Campus and West Campus Housing initiative.
Despite its completion last year, the Rose House will now be officially entered into the West Campus House System. The West Campus Housing Initiative was finished under budget and two years ahead of schedule.
President David Skorton attended and commented on the occasion: “In addition to celebrating [the opening of] Flora Rose ... we are celebrating a new Cornell where [the West Campus Housing system] is not just a vision or a dream, but is a reality." 
The dream stems back to 1983, when Prof. Isaac Kramnick, government, recommended the creation of an upper level undergraduate housing system that would integrate faculty and students and the processes of living and learning. Fifteen years later, Kramnick’s idea blossomed into the West Campus, five-house program. According to its website, today the West Campus System is a product of faculty, student and staff input. “This housing initiative for upper level undergraduate students has been designed to bridge intellectual residential life, particularly through informal faculty-student interactions.”
At the opening of Flora Rose, Kramnick expressed his happiness and pride in the initiative’s completion.
“This is a wonderful day for Cornell,” Kramnick said. “An abstract vision has come to life. What was once a concept and a vision for students and faculty is finally realized in spaces that are beautiful and majestic. Right now I am proudest of my role in creating the West Campus house system.”
The West Campus initiative intends to facilitate faculty and undergraduate relationships. Kramnick recounted how 10 years ago, it was uncertain whether faculty members would be interested in participating. Those reservations were proven unfounded as today there are around 150 professors working with the houses. Each of the five houses has 30 House fellows (faculty associated with the house), a Cornell professor who serves as the house professor and dean, an assistant dean and graduate resident fellows.
Prof. Shirley Samuels, English, who is also the Rose House professor and dean of Flora Rose, likened her job to an intellectual cruise ship director. “I recruit faculty to be associated with the house. These faculty help to increase the aspect of learning within the house.”
Prof. Suman Seth, science and technology studies, a house fellow at the Rose House, described his reasons for getting involved with the West Campus housing system.
“It is fun to hang out with undergraduates,” Seth said. “In lectures you don’t know what life is like at Cornell. Cornell undergraduates are truly interested and this is genuinely a great forum to talk and meet them.”
Bernardo Aguilera is a graduate resident fellow at the Rose House. “Graduate resident fellows share the experience with the undergraduates and try to help them,” Aguilera said. “Basically we are the contact person between students and the dean of the house. We are here to guide them.”
Sidra Irfan ’10, a resident of Flora Rose, emphasized the communal and supportive aspect of the Flora Rosa house. “It’s awesome here. It is a really nice community,” Irfan said. “Everyone is there for each other. If you need someone to talk to, there is a support system.”
Samuels and Alan Mathios, dean of the College of Human Ecology, spoke of the late Professor and founder of the College of Human Ecology, Flora Rose, the house’s namesake.
“It is inspiring to see how much impact Flora had. One person can start something that has a life of its own,” Mathios said.
Samuels praised Rose for making a name for herself 100 years ago against the odds. “She succeeded and is a testament to the possibilities Cornell provided then and still provides today. I want to thank her for her work, inspiring the name of this house and enabling us to be part of this community.”