The University of Michigan-Flint is launching two new residential learning communities this fall.
The learning communities will focus on social justice and leadership. Both are collaborations between UM-Flint's Housing and Residence Life, the Division of Student Affairs, and related academic programs like Social Work.
"Students in Residential Learning Communities have significantly higher levels of involvement, interaction, integration, and gains in learning and intellectual development than do students in traditional residence halls," said M.D. Matlock, the associate director of Residential Life at UM-Flint. "In addition, living-learning students exhibit higher levels of engagement in college activities with stronger academic outcomes."
Wolverines for Diversity & Social Justice
The Wolverines for Diversity & Social Justice community will be located in Riverfront Residence Hall and will offer students the opportunity to learn and grow their understanding of social justice alongside a cohort of like-minded students. The learning community is a partnership between Housing and Residential Life, the Social Work Department, and the Intercultural Center, and will accept up to 25 students in the inaugural class.
Students will take the course SWR 250: Social Justice and Diversity while also focusing on community service, co-curricular programming, and holistically building their social justice capacity and toolbox. The program teaches students about systemic oppression and privilege related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and other intersecting identities. The goal is to help students become well-equipped to work as change agents in their various domains of influence.
"Students participating in this learning community will also connect this knowledge to real-time experiences working to empower residents in the city of Flint by making a positive change with community partners," said Nancy Grigg, a lecturer in UM-Flint's Social Work program.
Leadership Learning Community
The Leadership Learning Community at First Street Residence Hall is focused on helping students connect with their peers, make friends, learn about the UM-Flint community, and build a personal definition of leadership.
Participants engage in classes, workshops, experiential learning, and community service activities. This service, along with other activities in the Flint community, will help students build connections.
The community will offer many opportunities for students to expand their horizons, to learn not only about leadership, but also about culture, other people, and themselves.
"Students will be given multiple perspectives on leadership to help them create their own personal philosophy and have some fun with the application of what they're learning to develop their skills further," said Chris DeEulis, associate director of Student Involvement and Leadership at UM-Flint.
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Lindsay Knake is the Communications Coordinator for the UM-Flint Division of Student Affairs. Contact her with any questions, comments, or ideas about the DSA newsletter, social media, events, and communications.