Queens College House Plans Collection
Contents of Collection
This collection documents the origins, organization, and activities of Queens College house plans, social organizations that were active and popular in the campus from the 1950s to the 1970s. It includes textual materials like membership booklets and newspapers that depict the history of the house plans and profile the unique characters of the different groups. Also included are party programs and invitations, ticket stubs, and group photographs that show the social activities and theatrical efforts the house plans organized. There are also membership buttons, pins, and sweatshirts that reveal how the house plans identified and promoted themselves in the campus.
- circa 1956-1971
Language of Materials
Materials entirely in English.
Conditions Governing Access
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Conditions Governing Use
Reproductions may be provided to users to support research and scholarship. However, collection use is subject to all copyright laws. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
House plans were social organizations for men or women that were active and popular in Queens College in the late fifties to the early seventies. Conceived to be more inclusive alternatives to fraternities or sororities, house plans did not require pledging or a large budget to join. Any student can apply to one or many different house plans. Any student can also start one by organizing fifteen students, getting a faculty advisor, and forming a constitution. And while many house plans did rent houses or apartments, those houses or apartments were used as meeting and recreational places and not as residence for its members.
House plans originated in the 1930s at City College and then spread to other campuses. While it is not clear when exactly house plans began at Queens College, there were enough house plans in the campus by 1947 that representatives from several of them formed the coordinating body called the Central House Plan (CHP) that year.
By the late sixties, there were over five hundred house plans in New York City. Besides Queens College, they were in other CUNY campuses like Brooklyn College, Queensborough Community College, and Hunter College. They were also in other New York institutions like Long Island University and Pace College, as well as schools in other states, like UCLA, University of Connecticut, and University of Pennsylvania.
In 1966, Queens College hosted a meeting of representatives from house plans in other campuses. It was in this meeting that the Metropolitan House Plan Association (MHPA) was formed and the Queens College CHP President Richard Branciforte was elected president. Like the CHP, the MHPA was conceived as a coordinating body for house plans in various campuses in the entire city.
About sixty house plans were active in Queens College at that point, and several more were formed within the decade. Organizing and hosting dances, sports events, theatrical and musical shows, charity drives, and field trips, house plans provided their members “a unified program of social, recreational, athletic, and cultural activities for their members.” For many alumni of this period, house plans led them to political and social engagement, creative expression, deep and lasting friendships, and, for some, romantic relationships and even marriages.
No pledging required: Open houses. Queens: The Magazine of Queens College, 21(1), 12-13.
3.5 Linear Feet (one records carton; one document case; three flat boxes; and one freestanding trophy)
House plans were social organizations for men or women that were active in Queens College and other CUNY campuses in the 1960s. This collection includes a variety of Queens College house plans memorabilia like pins, buttons, and photographs. It also includes print ephemera like party programs and invitations, ticket stubs, and newspaper clippings.
Arrangement of Materials
Materials have been arranged into series based on the different house plans. Central House Plan, the coordinating body, is listed first and the different house plans are listed in alphabetical order.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
In the summer of 2018, a campaign to solicit memorabilia of house plans members was initiated by the Office of Alumni Relations. This initial batch of materials formed the basis of an exhibit at the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library in fall 2018 in conjunction with the Homecoming Festival. A second solicitation for materials resulted in additional donations over the spring and summer of 2019.
List of Donors
- Mark Aaronson
- Ellen Adalman (née Hecht)
- Renee Addario (née Rzesniowiecki)
- Eileen Backofen
- Don Blauweiss
- Paul Cohen
- Michael Criss
- Bernard Dworkin
- Daniel Feldman
- Joel Friedman
- Susan Glaser
- Maxine Golding (née Osdoby)
- Sandra Greene
- Ivan Hametz
- Marilyn Hametz (née Weinstein)
- Allen Hausman
- Peter Horne
- Michael Kail
- Nikita Koulichkov
- Reva Levy (née Rand)
- Susan Lipton (née Yagoda)
- Carol Minov (née Berg)
- Barbara Patigalia (née Roth)
- Bobbie Phillips (née Rothman)
- Marie Sacco (née Franchina)
- Anita Saffran
- Richard Schecter
- Norm Schwartz
- Rhea Schwartz (née Bernstein)
- Susan Smolin (née Marmor)
- Ellen Weingart (née Moses)
- Marshall Wise
Materials from multiple donors have been integrated by the archivist into a single collection for ease of access.
- Queens College House Plans Collection
- Patricia Reguyal
- January 2020
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