RLHS adds selective Living/Learning community

Residence Life and Housing Services will add the University's fifth Living/Learning community to campus next fall. The new group, known as the Leadership and Civic Engagement Community, will be located in houses O and P in Kilgo Quadrangle.

The LCEC will be based around community service, intellectual discourse, leadership development and interaction with faculty, according to an RLHS website devoted to the community.

"It's important to me that students stay involved in this personally, so it's hard for me to say what activities might be part of the community," said Paul Naglieri, residence coordinator for Kilgo Quad. He added that he would like to see the community's activities be primarily student-driven.

A cornerstone of the community will be a pair of six-week, non-credit seminar courses offered every year. Next year's fall course will attempt to improve dialogue about social, political and economic issues confronting the country. The spring course will address leadership in a multicultural society and will include a service-learning component.

Naglieri said he approached Deb Lo Biondo, assistant dean for residence life, with a proposal for creating the leadership community. He said Lo Biondo and other senior RLHS officials were already interested in starting such a community and decided to place the LCEC in Kilgo after Naglieri's offer.

Naglieri will be reading the applications and choosing members for the group in coming weeks. Although the LCEC has between 10 and 38 beds available, he said he expects a maximum of about 15 applicants for next year.

"A good number would be 25," Naglieri said. "If we had 12 this year that would be OK. The program is meant to be experimental."

He admitted there had been little advertisement for the new community.

"Marketing for the group has been pretty sparse," Naglieri said. "We've mostly been concentrating on the first-year population through e-mail."

The deadline for applications was originally set for Feb. 15, but was later pushed back to Feb. 20. The application states that once they join the community, students are expected to foster cooperation and dialogue, develop community-building skills and cultivate a deeper sense of social consciousness.

After Chi Psi and Delta Tau Delta fraternities were granted sections in Edens Quadrangle in January, RLHS officials said no more selective living groups would be given housing until the housing process had been revamped.

In the coming months, an RLHS task force will examine residence spaces on West Campus and analyze which spaces are best suited to accommodate selective living groups. The findings of the force's report, due in July 2006, will be used to reassign selective group locations.

The LCEC, however, is not subject to the same restrictions as selective groups because it is a living and learning community, said Marijean Konopke Williams, director of housing assignments and communications for RLHS.

"The living/learning communities aren't being considered as part of the selective community assessment," she said. "Most living/learning communities have some type of academic theme to them and have different expectations attached to them than selective living groups."

The leadership community, however, will be unaffected by the changes to housing arrangements because of an RLHS rule proscribing the presence of selective groups facing Main West Quadrangle. The ban does not apply to living/learning communities, however, and the new group's housing will face the central quad.

RLHS added three new living/learning communities for the Fall 2005 semester-a first-year Performing Arts Community, housed in East Campus' Pegram Dormitory; the Baldwin Scholars Program, located in Crowell Quadrangle; and the two Wellness communities, one on each East and West campus.


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