Living Learning Communities

What is a Living Learning Community?

Living Learning Communities (LLC)  are specialized living environments that connect students inside- and outside-the-classroom experiences on the agreed upon topic of their choice. The Living Learning Community is experienced through programs and activities planned by the participants of the LLC in collaboration with their faculty advisors and Staff advisors. This experience is Residential Life’s opportunity to continue to provide intentional support and programming more tailored to the student and their interest.

Update 4/5/2021: The Hamsini Application has been extended until April 19, 2021.

Submit your application to a Living Learning Community here.

Eligibility for living learning communities

    • Students participating in the Living Learning Community process must be continuing students (i.e. rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors). 
    • Additionally for the 2021 – 2022 academic year, applicants must have lived with us in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, or are currently living with us. 
    • Must complete the Housing Application by the deadline.

Application Information and How To

How to Apply to a Living Learning Community:

Update 4/5/2021: The Hamsini Application has been extended until April 19, 2021.

Submit your application to a Living Learning Community here.

  • Applications Opens: Friday, February 12th, 2021
  • Application Closes: Monday, March 1st, 2021, 12:00 p.m., Noon.

Interviewing for a Living Learning Community:

Following the close of the application, you will be sent a notification of your interview date and time. Virtual interviews will take place from March 4th and March 5th. Please be paying close attention to your email.  

To be the most successful in your LLC Application Process:

  • Review all material provided here on the website thoroughly for more information. 
  • Complete the Residential Life Housing Application. (Required)
  • Attend your interview on your assigned date and time. 
  • Pay attention to your email and deadlines.  

Living Learning Communities Overview

Expectations/programmatic requirements

      • Attend and participate in a Fall retreat (typically one day)
      • Participate in monthly LLC programs or activities 
      • Contribute to or attend ~3 programs a semester (outside of monthly programs) 
      • Contribute to and participate in other LLC programmatic ideas as developed by LLC community 

What is an Established LLC?

    • Established LLCs are ones that have sustained and grown student interest over time. LLC members exercise their creativity and agency, while working collaboratively with faculty and staff, to explore topics related to the themes of the Established LLC. 

Benefits of Living Learning Communities

    • Developing your leadership by working with your peers to form an intentional living and learning community 
    • Establish or deepen relationships with students who share similar interests and passions
    • Expand campus support network of faculty, staff, and students involved in LLC 


Available Living Learning Communities:

About Hamsini: Available for 2021-2022 academic year

The Hamsini Living Learning Community, originated as a student-led initiative, is a community designed to enhance the college experience for students who are a part of or interested in exploring matters related to the African Diaspora and being Black at Washington University in St. Louis. Hamsini is supported by a live-in resident advisor, faculty members, and student affairs advisors for residents’ social and academic interests and needs. This LLC offers residents academic and alumni connections, programs, community and civic engagement, and programs that engage residents of all backgrounds to cultivate a broader understanding of the social issues that affect the experience of the African Diaspora and being black at WashU. 

Hamsini History

In 1968, the Association of Black Collegians at Washington University led a series of actions to improve the experience of Black students on campus. Their requests included demands for dedicated space for Black students on campus and assistance related to campus housing.   In spring 2018 this group of Washington University alumni received the Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s Trailblazers award for their collective advocacy on behalf of Black students so many decades ago. Also in 2018, the Division of Student Affairs partnered with students to create a new LLC beginning fall 2018.  In recognition of the vision set forth 50 years ago by the Association of Black Collegians, this LLC was named Hamsini, which means “50” in Swahili.

About Sakeenah: Available for 2021-2022 academic year

The Sakeenah Living Learning Community, originated as a student-led community and is a community designed to engage students around the Muslim-American experience, with an emphasis on communal, personal, spiritual, and individual growth at Washington University in St. Louis. The Sakeenah name represents calmness, quietness, tranquility, and peach where you live in the Arabic language. 



Sakeenah History

Sakeenah’s story begins in premodern Arabia, immersed in the oppressive heat of the Arabian Desert. The Bedoiun nomads of this harsh and unforgiving environment survived on discovering rare oases, pockets of life in an otherwise uninhabitable domain. In these sanctuaries, they experienced a deep sense of contentment, security, and safety, which they described as “sakeenah”, denoting tranquility in their native Arabic. 

In the Fall of 2016, amidst our arrival to WashU, we found Muslim students in a similar desert of Islamic spirituality. Students had come from diverse backgrounds seeking a home at WashU and in the city of St. Louis. However, there were struggles to find an islamic community on campus or friends who shared similar values. Sakeenah, then informal, did its best to fill this spiritual void with daily communal prayers, casual get-togethers, and the like. But more was desired. To fulfill the desired requests and with the support of Professor Younassee, we decided to create a Living Learning Community centered around the Muslim-American experience, with an emphasis on communal, personal, spiritual, and individual growth. And thus, Sakeenah was formed as a LLC in Fall of 2019.

***written by founders of Sakeenah LLC 

About Women in STEM: Available for 2021-2022 academic year

The Women in STEM Living Learning Community at Washington University offers a supportive and engaging living space for students pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, and math as well as connections with faculty through community dinners, events, and educational opportunities. To create an encouraging environment surrounded by students who understand the rigors of a STEM program, students selected for this community will be placed together in a location identified by Residential Life.

Special Program Requirements for Women in STEM

  • Demonstrate an interest in one of the following STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, or math. While it is not necessary to have a major in one of those fields, each member must have a demonstrated interest in one of the identified fields.
  • In addition to general LLC program requirements, students selected to this LLC will be required to:
    • Attend a fall retreat facilitated by LLC advisors. 
    • Attend 3 Women in STEM events each semester outside of the monthly programs. 

Design Your Own: Not available for 2021-2022

About Design Your Own:

The Design Your Own Living Learning Community programs goal is to provide students with an opportunity to work together to create a community based on a common interest and theme. Students are placed in locations identified by Residential Life based on the goals of their shared DYO that encourages and fosters community while supporting individual and collective growth. 



How to Design Your Own LLC

Students can form DYO LLCs based on shared interests or themes. For example, you can create an LLC around Sports Nutrition, Cooking, Business, Crafting, and more. Each created community should be designed to encourage collaboration and community while creating environments that allow students to grow intellectually and engage socially at WashU. Additionally, there are additional components those interested in DYO should complete prior to submitting their DYO idea. 

Learn more information about the Living Learning Community Program:

  • Join the information session about Housing Selection on, Friday, February 19th at 12:00 p.m., CST. Information to join can be found on our website here

Get in touch with the Living Learning Community Committee:

Primary Contacts

Maegan CruzMaegan Cruz

Apartments South Residential Community Director

(314) 935-4264

Contact Maegan by email

Stephanie WeiskopfStephanie Weiskopf

Interim Associate Director of Residential Faculty Engagement

(314) 935-9255

Contact Stephanie by email