Campus Living hosts kick-off event to bring LLCs together

Lewis and Clark is the home to a multitude of Living Learning Communities (LLC), which are meant to bring learning beyond the classroom and enhance the residential experience. For the first time this year, LC hosted a LLC Kick-off Event.

“The thinking was to get people to come together, students, staff, faculty,” Joe-Barry Gardner, Campus Living Interim Assistant Director, said.

Joe-Barry Gardner was the moderator of the Kick-off Event, an event intended to create a sense of community within LC’s LLCs. The event, which took place in Smith Hall on September 12, was attended by students within LLCs, student coordinators, faculty and staff advisors and Resident Advisors (RAs). This was the first year this event was held. Together, each LLC talked about possible projects and ideas, wrote out key descriptors of their LLC and enjoyed the food, drinks and lottery provided by the event.

“It was nice to be able to describe and brainstorm some ideas for what we want to do each year,” Dominique Gardner, Platt-Howard Area Director, said. “Planning these events out, you really want to hear the students’ voices. What better way to do that then to ask them?”

As Platt-Howard’s Area Director, Dominique Gardner is involved with the Visual and Performing Arts and Global Village LLCs. Global Village is a community which reinforces students’ language learning and cultural experiences. VAPA focuses on creativity and artistic expression. Both LLCs are already planning events for the year.

“In Global Village, we are planning some trips to the Chinese Gardens downtown, the Japanese Gardens, the Portland Mercado, different cultural centers,” Dominique Gardner said. “Both VAPA and Global Village want to do a trip to the art museum,”

The Kick-off event did not focus on just one LLC, but on bringing them all together.

“It was just establishing that even though I’m in Global Village as part of my LLC, there are also people in experiment and there are also people in ELLC and also leadership teams in all of these different areas that are working towards making this experience great,” Joe-Barry Gardner said. “(The Kick-Off event) just starts the ball rolling and then all the LLCs pick up and do their own activities.”

Environmental Action and Education Living Learning Community (EduCOMM), two LLCs housed in Manzanita, also have plans in the works.

“I am very excited to get out and go to some farms and plant some trees,” Thea Crowley 20, Environmental Action RA, said.

The Environmental Action LLC focuses on promoting environmental sustainability, whereas EduCOMM is a community for undergraduates who want to explore careers in education.

“Since I have both EA and EduComm on my floor, I really like the idea of finding events that connect to both those LLCs. Like, for instance, I found an environmental school in east Portland,” Crowley 20 said.

RAs, area directors, student coordinators and faculty and staff advisors are all working together with the administration to better the LLC experience on campus.

“We want to take everyone’s feedback,” Joe-Barry Gardner said. “If you didn’t get what you needed out of your LLC experience, what was that? What can we do better? One of our goals is to keep reevaluating these LLCs and to keep looking at them to make sure that we aren’t just doing it to do it. We want to be very intentional behind everything we do.”

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