Applications have closed for Living Learning Communities for the ’23-’24 academic year.
What is a Living Learning Community?
Living Learning Communities (LLC) are specialized living environments that connect students inside- and outside-the-classroom experiences on an 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.
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. Hamsini and Sakeenah are our two established LLCs.
What is a Design Your Own LLC?
- 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.
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
- Attend and participate in a start of semester 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
- Students participating in the Living Learning Community process must be continuing students (i.e. rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors).
- Must complete the Housing Application by the deadline.
Available Living Learning Communities:
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.
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.
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 peace where you live in the Arabic language.
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 Design Your Own:
The Design Your Own Living Learning Community program’s 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.
Excited to welcome 3 new Design-Your-Own Living Learning Communities for the 2023-2024 Academic Year:
- Asian/AsianAmerican — a living learning community for people who identify as Asian American that focuses on bringing together students to study and explore the rich history and culture of Asian people in America as a community. Watch the Info Session recording from 2/3/23
- Constellation — an LLC for members of the Deneb STARS Community to bring together students from similar backgrounds who understand what it is like being a first generation college student and/or limited income (FGLI) at Washington University.
- Kaleidoscope — a student-created and student-led community designed to create a safe and affirming space for LGBTQIA+ students, and to provide a greater sense of community to Wash U’s Queer, Trans, and Gender Expansive student population. This will include building community not only with fellow students, but with Queer faculty/staff and Wash U alum as well.
Students can form DYO LLCs based on shared interests or themes. For example, you can create an LLC around an academic or personal interest (health and wellness, pre-med, etc.). 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.
- DYO must have an interest of 4 – 12 students who desire to live together.
- DYO must submit a powerpoint proposal including relevant information about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of your LLC.
- DYO must identify a designated Student LLC Agent and a Faculty/Staff LLC Mentor.
- See Commitment for Student LLC Agent and Faculty/Staff LLC Mentor here.
How to Apply to a Living Learning Community:
- Applications closed Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
- Individual students will apply by submitting an online application answering the following questions:
- Student ID
- Which LLC applying for (can select multiple, but will be selected for one) — Asian/Asian American, Constellation, Hamsini, Kaleidoscope, and/or Sakeenah
- Why are you interested in being a part of the LLC?
- What resonates with you most about the mission or vision of the LLC?
- LLCs thrive off the creativity and commitment of their members. What ideas do you have to activate the mission or vision of the LLC?
- What do you believe is the value of the LLC being a part of the larger Wash U community?
- LLC resident engagement includes participation in a semesterly kick-off retreat and one event per month as minimum requirements. Is this a level of participation you can agree to?
- Students must also complete the Housing Application.
Interviewing for a Living Learning Community:
As part of the application, you will sign up for a 15-minute interview between February 6-10, 2023.
New, Design-Your-Own LLCs will include one interview with Agent and all members (30 minutes).
Get in touch with the Living Learning Community Committee:
- If you have any questions about the LLC Application process that were not answered in the information provided, please email email@example.com.
Interim Associate Director of Residential Faculty Engagement