Each community places an emphasis on researching and addressing a specific issue in society. The community must have a faculty or staff advisor who is committed to playing a key role in the learning experience of the group. Individual members of each community are expected to be active participants in the intellectual, emotional, and interpersonal discourse involved with program participation.
As part of the community’s action plan, students engage in a service-learning project working with a local agency. Service-learning projects go beyond volunteering; rather it provides a chance to form a deeper understanding of how service impacts a community and how that experience influences self-perceptions and the college experience as a whole.
The service-learning component should have clearly identified learning goals as part of the overall learning experience. These goals should be evaluated on a regular basis in collaboration with the faculty or staff advisor to determine how effective the service activity is in furthering the understanding of the community’s issue as well as to refine the service to meet the community’s overall learning goals.
Each Living & Learning Community should meet with their proposed community service agency to determine how feasible the service experience will be in meeting the Charter’s learning goals. The Civic Engagement Office can assist groups in identifying local agencies and developing achievable service goals.
Charter proposals focused solely on completing service projects will not be selected as a Living & Learning Community. Service projects should be an integrated part of the Community Charter proposal, but should not be the primary emphasis of the Living & Learning Community.
Living & Learning Communities may consist of a minimum of 4 students and a maximum of 12 members. Housing will be in New Hall. Each Community is responsible for filling every space allotted to their group with a member of the Community. A double room will not be assigned to only one member of the Community.
If a Community loses a member at any point in the academic year, the Community must fill the space with another Community member (current or new) within two weeks. Spaces that go un-filled will be assigned at the discretion of the Office of Residence Life.
Members of each Living & Learning Community are expected to participate in all the activities outlined in their Community Charter. Participation in the Living & Learning Communities program also includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Submission of a Monthly Report outlining what the group has learned during the block, how the group has utilized their advisor as part of their learning experience, and what plans are in place for the following block(s)
- Taking part in research initiatives to assess the program’s effectiveness
Failure to meet program requirements may result in reassignment of individuals or an entire group to available space on campus. Additionally, individuals will be penalized during the following academic year’s room draw. Reassignments will be made at the discretion of the Office of Residence Life. Individuals or groups who fail to meet program requirements will be formally warned by the Living & Learning Council and be given an opportunity to improve their performance during a specified probationary period.