UND housing launches new LLC

The new LLC is housed on the ground floor of Selke Hall. Photo by Nick Nelson/ The Dakota Student

The new LLC is housed on the ground floor of Selke Hall. Photo by Nick Nelson/ The Dakota Student

For several years, students arriving at the University of North Dakota have had the option of joining Living and Learning Communities, which group students with similar majors and interests in a single area of a dorm, letting them work and thrive together. This year, a new LLC was added to the option for new students, the Social Justice LLC, located in Selke Hall, part of the Wilkerson complex of dormitories.

Unlike the other communities, which primarily focus on academic studies and lifestyles, the Social Justice community works to promote and practice social equality on a broader scale.

“When students leave here, they’re going to enter a world that’s complicated,” said Connie Frazier, executive director of housing and dining, in an interview with the Grand Forks Herald. “This is a place to start having conversations about problems that don’t have easy answers.”

The other LLCs have proven their effectiveness over time, according to Frazier.

“Just like the national research shows that the students in the LLCs when compared to their peers in the same major, they get better grades, they persist in the major better, they are retained at higher rates and they feel a close connection to their peers in the classes,” she said.

Unique to the Social Justice LLC, students applying to the community have the option of selecting a gender inclusive room assignment, meaning that students have the option to, according to the web page, “live with the roommate with whom they are most comfortable without consideration to the individual’s sex, gender or gender expression.” The gender inclusive assignments must be mutual, and are only available upon request.

The Social Justice LLC joins the other communities around campus: the Aviation community in Noren Hall, the Engineering and Mines community in McVey Hall, and the Wellness community in West Hall all part of the Wilkerson complex and the Honors community located in either Johnstone or Fulton Halls. New and returning students alike are welcome to apply to the Social Justice community.

Students taking part in a LLC have the option to join in on events and activities, but must also complete certain criteria to remain in the LLC. No events are currently scheduled for the Social Justice LLC, but UND’s Ten Percent Society- the oldest LGBT support group in the state predicts it will be involved in helping schedule activities, according to faculty advisor Cheryl Terrance speaking to Campus Reform. The TPS was not involved in the creation of the LLC. Rather, it was the result of conversations within other residence halls, and the effort of the hall government, who passed the resolution to create the community.

For the first year, however, the community is rather small, with less than five suites filled to capacity at least one of which has people who did not originally sign up for the hall.

“Students are aware of those conversations,” said Frazier, “They aren’t as unplugged as many think they are. They know it’s happening and they have the same questions as the rest of us. How do I feel about this? I feel strongly about these issues, how do I be a part of this?”

Starting this year, the Social Justice Living and Learning Community provides an opportunity for those wanting to take part.

For more information contact RA Ethan Doll.

Connor Johnson writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]