graphic of network of dots

House Cup Competition


To stimulate engagement amongst the UH students and create an additional support network for those in the program. Using various principles of community development theory to help guide the community building aspects of the House Cup competition, the idea is to promote activities that allow UH students to create relationships, find self ownership, build inclusivity, and get engaged.

The Houses

University Honors has a dedication to helping students navigate their way to success. Therefore in picking the house names, navigational stars were determined to be the best fitting theme. UH community members are grouped into 4 houses when they enter the program, based on their Gateway course. The houses are: House Denebola, House Altair, House Shaula, and House Eltanin. These stars are all used to have sailors throughout history navigate the seas, having their positions recorded in nautical almanacs. Like the stars they are named after, we believe the houses will help students navigate their way through a successful college career.

Denebola house shield

Denebola (Beta Leonis)

Named after the second brightest star in the Leo constellation. Leo, meaning lion, is one of the constellations of the Zodiac. Denebola is a younger star, at an estimated age of around 100 to 380 million years. It is 15 times brighter than our sun, and is surrounded by a circumstellar debris disk of cool dust.

Symbol: The lion is a symbol of strength, courage, loyalty, and wisdom. Lions courageously and fiercely defend members of their pride and may also be known for their spontaneity, intuition, and passion.

Altair house shield

Altair (α Aquilae)

Refers to the brightest star in the Aquila constellation and the twelfth brightest star in the night sky. Aquila is Latin for eagle, which is the shape of the constellation.. The star is currently in a nearby interstellar cloud of gas and dust known as the G-cloud. At only 16.8 light years from Earth, it is one of our closest neighbor stars, and is known for spinning rapidly on its axis (approximately 40% faster than our sun).

Symbol: The eagle is a symbol of patience, perspective, hope, and vision. Eagles do not accept the status quo, but rather reach higher to become what they are capable of. They are also known for self-discovery, creativity, and honesty.

Eltanin house shield

Eltanin (Gamma Draconis)

The second brightest star in the Draco constellation, but is referred to as the 3rd star in the constellation. It is one of two stars that represent the eyes of the constellation Draco the Dragon. The star Eltanin is 148 light years away from Earth, and was central to the confirmation of the theory that the earth moves around the sun.

Symbol: The dragon is a symbol of bravery, wisdom, vitality, prosperity, and hidden knowledge. Dragons are said to have self-confidence, to be committed to their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others, and to represent good luck and fortune.

Shaula house shield

Shaula (Lambda Scorpii)

The second brightest star in the constellation of Scorpius, also known as Scorpio of the zodiac. While Shaula appears to be one star, it is actually a triple star system that is the 24th brightest star in the sky. The name Shaula means “the scorpion’s stinger.”

Symbol: The scorpion is a symbol of self-reliance, healing, intuition, and living in the moment. Scorpions are adaptable, patient, and perceptive of the world around them. They are known for their ability to withstand difficult conditions and work diligently to reach their goals.


A large feature of the House Cup Competition is the opportunity for members to gain points for participating in activities and demonstrating good behaviors. The following chart lists activities and behaviors that promote the intentions of the program as described above.

Wellness (Students can only earn points for this weekly)
Physical Activity 5
Relaxing Activity/ Meditation 5
Participate in a Intramural team (bonus points available if with other UH students) 5
Participate in a wellness activity with UH 5
Academic & Career Support
Attend a professor’s office hours 5
Attend a tutoring or academic support session (GSS, Math Success, Keystone, Writing Center,etc.) 5
Attend a job/internship fair 5
Create resume or have resume reviewed by Career Center (also cover letter) 5
Attend any career skill building activity from the Career Center or your major/minor department 5
Attend a networking event 5
Attend a networking event 5
Campus Engagement
Attend an optional lecture or discussion 5
Attend a program/event by your RA, or hall/area council 5
Attend a UH event 5
Attend a UH Student Life Council event 5
Participate in an activity promoted by UH 5
Univ Honors Engagement
Follow @UnivHonorsUMD on Instagram 1
Participate in a UH Instagram Photo Submission 1
Participate in a UH Instagram Take Over 5
Attend Office Hours with UH Staff 1
Completed a UH survey 5
Nominate a fellow UH member for going above and beyond 5

Students can also submit activities outside of this list that they would like to be considered for House Cup points. Events that fall into the mission and purpose of the house cup program will be awarded points.

Point Submission

Points will be tracked by self reporting mostly. We are going to use the honor system for students to report their activities. A Google Drive form will be used for submission, with options for students to upload pictures of their activities for further verification. Points will be updated weekly and current point standings will be advertised on the University Honors Instagram account weekly, and periodically available in email notifications.

Link to the Google submission form.

Incentive and Prize

By participating in the House Cup and gaining points, students will be maximizing their understanding of UMD and the various opportunities available to them. They will also form close connections with other students in their House, developing relationships that will last a lifetime.

Points will be totaled at the end of each semester, on the last Friday of classes. The house with the most points will receive a prize. The prize for each semester will be determined by the Student Life Council and will be announced in the middle of the semester.

Questions or feedback? Contact Chelsea Bradford, Coordinator for Student Life or Kaleigh Mrowka, Assistant Director for Student Engagement.