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 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.

Watch a recorded information session to learn more!

Living Learning Communities Overview

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. WashU currently has five established LLCs: Constellation, Hamsini, Kaleidoscope, Lotus, and

What is a Design Your Own LLC?

Are you interested in forming a community around a topic or experience that isn’t included in one of our already established LLCs? The Design Your Own LLC process allows you to work together with fellow students to create a Living Learning Community based on a common theme. Students can form 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

Design Your Own Application Process

  • LLC must submit one application on behalf of all potential
    members (deadline to submit is January 4th, 2024).

  • LLC must have an interest of 4 – 12 students who desire to
    live together.
  • LLC must submit a power point proposal including relevant
    information about the who, what, where, when, why, and
    how of your LLC.
  • LLC must identify a designated Student LLC Agent and a
    Faculty/Staff LLC Mentor

Design Your Own Application Timeline

  • Design Your Own LLC Applications are open now!
  • Design Your Own LLC Applications close January 4th, 2024.
  • Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be
    notified of decisions by January 16th, 2024.

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 

Expectations/programmatic requirements

      • Attend and participate in a start-of-semester retreat (typically one day)
      •  Plan and participate in monthly programs and meetings with your individual LLC
      •  Plan and participate in one program a semester that is open to the rest of campus 
      • Contribute to and participate in other LLC programmatic ideas as developed by LLC community 

Eligibility for living learning communities

    • 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:

Hamsini LLC


About Hamsini:  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.

Sakeenah LLC

About Sakeenah:  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.


Meet Sakeenah (video)

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 

Lotus LLC

About Lotus:  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.


Constellation LLC

About Constellation:  A Living Learning Community for members of the Taylor
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 LLC

About Kaleidoscope:  A student-created and student-led Living Learning
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 includes building community not only with fellow students, but with Queer faculty/staff and Wash U alum as well.

* New This Year!*
Empowering Engineers:  Women & Engineering LLC

About Empowering Engineers:  Women & Engineering LLC:  A community for women studying engineering at WashU, including female-identifying students. Empowering Engineers is an LLC for students who wish to foster a welcoming environment where women in engineering can build a strong community with each other and the WashU staff and faculty who share their interests.

How to Apply to a Living Learning Community:

  • LLC Applications will be included as part of the 2024-25 Housing Application. Check the Residential Life website for more information on that process and timeline.


  • If you have any questions about the LLC Application process that were not answered in the information provided, please email Katie Coats.

Primary Contacts

  Katie Coats

Coordinator of Residential Academic Initiatives/Interim Assistant Director for Residence Education

(314) 935-4002

Contact Katie by email