Themed campus living communities to be announced next week

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    Residential Services will announce the groups accepted in the create-your-own Living Learning Community program by Monday, allowing students to create themed living areas on campus.

    Living Learning Communities, wings in which upperclassmen who share common interests or values can live together, were implemented at the beginning of the 2008-09 school year. Currently, Carter and Samuelson halls are the only residential halls with LLCs.

    Overall, seven groups and more than 100 students applied. The created LLCs will open at the beginning of the 2009-10 school year.

    Themes include creativity and the arts, patriotism, and teamwork and community service.

    Rachel Siron, hall director for Carter and Samuelson halls, said the accepted groups will live either in the Tom Brown/Pete Wright apartments or in the Carter and Samuelson halls, where the current LLCs are. Students will not have to pay more in order to join an LLC, she said. Each building in the apartments will contain one floor for a created LLC, leaving room for students not in one to sign up under the normal housing signup process, Siron said.

    She decided to expand the current LLCs at a national conference last October, where she learned that other campuses allowed their students to create their own communities, Siron said.

    “We want students to go through this experience, learn about their themed area, build a community with people around them and essentially, learn something in the meantime,” Siron said.

    Communities must put on events relating to their theme during the school year, and each member is expected to help with the planning and execution of the programs, Siron said. Members are encouraged to go to at least two to three events during the year, Siron said.

    David Cooper, associate director of residence life, said the LLC’s will receive the same amount of money all halls get at the beginning of each semester to put on activities. The LLC’s can receive extra money for any activity that goes over budget but must get approval from Residential Services before doing so, he said.

    “We will explore all options to make it happen,” Cooper said. “If it’s in reason, we definitely want to make it happen, especially if it is student generated.”

    Lauren Skidmore, a residential assistant at Wright Hall, said she thinks the LLCs have benefits for both hall directors and residential assistants.

    “It’s cool because you know exactly what to program for and you already know what your residents like,” Skidmore said. “So, you know their interests and you can better relate to them.”