Living Learning Communities growing in popularity

By Colton Fitzjarrald

Living Learning Communities provide opportunities for collaboration and connection with peers, faculty and staff centered on shared interests.
Living Learning Communities provide opportunities for collaboration and connection with peers, faculty and staff centered on shared interests.

Living Learning Communities are what Novo Collegians call LLCs, or dormitories that bring students together under a unifying theme. Residential Life has announced new LLCs and changes to others for the 2019-2020 academic year due to their increasing popularity.

New College will have a new LLC on campus beginning in the Fall 2019 semester that will serve students who share an interest in activism. The Community Organizing LLC will be a place where those who consider themselves humanitarians can gather and work collaboratively to address some of the issues facing the greater Sarasota community. The Outdoor Adventure and Wellness LLC experienced the most growth in the past year and will now be split into two units: the Outdoor Adventure LLC, and the Health and Wellness LLC.

Each LLC has a full-time administrator and a faculty sponsor who work with students to create programming that enhances the residents’ academic, professional and personal experiences. The faculty sponsor hosts themed events and workshops in collaboration with the students, and acts as a mentor to residents. The communities provide a place where students can make friends with people who have common interests, form peer mentor and social groups, and explore New College.

The growing popularity of LLCs is likely due to the unique academic, social, and residential experiences its residents receive based on their specific theme. “One of the unique aspects of LLCs is that the program content is different for each LLC,” says Sean Brueggemann, the residence hall director at New College. The Pride LLC, for instance, is a place for students who identify as LGBTQIA+ to form connections. The LLChas a program that explores the history and culture of the LGBTQIA+ community through events like film screenings, guest speakers, and soap making.

The Sustainable Living LLC is another popular community. It caters to students who want to learn more about sustainability and how they can incorporate it into their lives. The sustainable living students created the Food Forest, a communal garden with a variety of fruits and vegetables, and they work to reduce waste on campus. Students who want a quiet place to come home to after a busy day can join the Quiet Community LLC, which is a designated dormitory on campus for 24/7 peace and quiet.

The cost to live in an LLC is surprisingly not expensive. Brueggemann says that “room and board, and the meal plan, is the same cost as the other lettered residence halls.” Students who wish to live in an LLC, however, must go through an additional application process. Residential Life requires students to submit a letter of interest with their housing application in which they explain their desire to live in the LLC and highlight any previous experience that makes them good candidates for that specific theme. A team of staff members select applicants based on their demonstrated commitment to academic success, intellectual curiosity, and civic engagement.

Navigating college can be challenging, especially for first-year students. Living Learning Communities provide opportunities for collaboration and connection with peers, faculty and staff centered on shared interests. They foster intellectual growth and provide a place for students to build their best lives, and to grow together during college.

— Colton Fitzjarrald is a student intern in the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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