Sunday, September 29, 2013

Living Learning Communities engage students outside of class

By Skylar Finkelstein
Cardinal Staff

Living learning communities, residential groups that integrate resident’s life and classes through networking, are impacting Saint Mary’s University students in a big way.  

Saint Edward’s Hall, directed by Michelle Cullen, has one living learning center with four different programs: Arts Alive, Well Inc., Global Faith, and Wide World and Sports. Each of the programs have different curriculums, but unite students together for residence life programs like the Toga Party, which took place on Sept. 12. Saint Edward’s Resident Assistant Marine Vaujhn said this year the living learning communities are “more student-interest driven”.

All four living learning communities at Saint Mary’s strive to build a community with students who have common goals and a desire to be engaged outside of the classroom.

With the addition of the four different programs this year, more interests are being accommodated. The Arts Alive program was created to spark the interest of students in the School of Arts or any other incoming first-year that has a passion for art. Students involved in the Arts Alive community will create and collaborate with other members to experience and express themselves through art.

Some activities planned for this community are restoring a stone grotto on campus and visiting artistic events or shows. The purpose of this community is to open students’ eyes to the art surrounding them. 

Well Inc. is a wellness living learning community whose faculty advisors include Dr. Moni Berg-Binger and Chandu Valluri. The purpose of this community is to explore the impact of human health and well-being in the four areas of mental, physical, spiritual and financial means. Students in Well Inc. are looking forward to yoga night coming soon.

Global Faith, another community, integrates a diverse group of religions in order to develop student capital. This community explores different faith traditions and the role of faith and values incorporated by diverse religions. 

Lastly, Wide World and Sports is a global leadership community and welcomes students who are interested in local and global issues pertaining to sports. This community plans on hosting weekly soccer games with the community youth and taking trips to off-campus matches.

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