Frequently Asked Questions for Residential Learning Communities
Why should I choose to live in an RLC?
Because they are both fun and beneficial! You get to live with peers who share a common interest, attend (and even propose and plan) awesome programs and activities, and connect with faculty on a more personal level. Plus, national studies show that students in living learning and theme communities demonstrate stronger academic achievement, are more satisfied with their college experience, develop stronger communities, and are more engaged in and connected to the campus community.
How do I sign up for an RLC?
For residential students, when you fill out your Housing Questionnaire, be sure to select the RLC in which you wish to live. In addition, for both residential students and commuting students, when selecting courses through “Forms, Forms, Forms,” select the First Year Seminar that corresponds to the RLC (see descriptions for more information). That’s it! If you forget or decide later, please be sure to contact Residence Life at email@example.com, or look for more information during Summer Orientation.
I am nervous about taking too many credits my first semester; will selecting an RLC overload me?
No! All students are required to take a First-Year Seminar course. Selecting an RLC just means you are eligible to take the FYS associated with your RLC, which is focused on the theme in which you are interested.
I want to take the RLC-linked course, but not live in the community. Is this possible?
The courses that are linked to the RLCs are reserved for students living in the community, so you cannot select the course unless you wish to also live in the community.
Note: the exception is if you are a commuter student. If you are a commuter and want to participate in the RLC, please contact Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org
If I join an RLC, how long is the commitment?
Because RLCs are optional, you are only required to be as engaged as you want to be. However, we usually have a lot of interest in the RLCs, and to accommodate those with genuine interest, we ask that only those who do want to participate actually join. We do offer continuations into the sophomore year, and most (nearly 70% for recent years!) students opt to continue in their community due to the overwhelming positive experience they have! You certainly aren’t required to remain with your RLC in the sophomore year, but it is an option.
Can I participate if I don’t live on campus?
Yes! The University of Scranton has a Commuter-in-Residence program, and each first year commuter participant is paired with a floor in a residence hall, becoming an honorary member of that floor—including an RLC! As such, commuter participants are included in floor programs and are given access to the lounge spaces. To sign up or learn about the program contact Julia Leighow at email@example.com.
What will be required of me if I choose an RLC?
A willingness to engage in the community! There are no formal requirements for participation; instead, we invite and encourage you to be as involved as you are able and interested. This may range from simply attending programs in which you are interested to being a member of the Advisory Council and facilitating meetings and planning programs. The RLC experience is truly what you make of it!
What if I am part of Special Jesuit Liberal Arts (SJLA) or the Gonzaga Program, or if the course is full?
You can still participate! You will not take the RLC First-Year Seminar because you have to take the one required by your program or we ran out of space, but you can live in your chosen community and participate in their meetings and events as a full member!
Can I still choose my roommate?
Yes, as long as your chosen roommate is willing to engage in the community and you both mutually select each other as roommates. If you do not have someone you want to request—no worries; the majority of students do not pre-select a roommate, and instead are matched with other members of the RLC based on answers in the Housing Questionnaire.
What kind of programs do RLC students create or attend?
The types of programs RLC students plan or attend vary based on their interests, but some highlights include:
Celebrate the Arts
- Attending a workshop on improv comedy presented by the Upright Citizens Brigade
- Multiple karaoke night programs—both for fun and performance!
- Inviting an artist from the local community to campus to completed a guided painting
- Splatter painting t-shirts to wear with pride around campus
- Having dinner and movie nights with faculty in the hall!
- Creating prayer wall for All Saints’ Day to support fellow students
- Collaborating with the Jane Kopas Women’s Center to show Girl Rising and inviting a Fulbright Scholar from Libya to speak about gender equality in education
- Volunteering multiple times at the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center, developing a relationship with local veterans
- Inviting faculty into the Martin Hall Lounge for a midterm study session and for a movie night
- Having discussions on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test results and how they impact leadership styles
- Enrolling together in a special section of Scranton Emerging Leaders, a non-credit bearing course focused on developing leadership skills, right in the hall
- Sponsoring a building-wide Easter egg hunt, with tasks in each egg encouraging students to lead by example
Helping Professions in the Jesuit Context
- Having "pizza chats" with the Dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies to discuss community and career goals
- Taking on leadership roles for the PCPS Blessing of the Books project, collecting and organizing books to donate to local families and agencies
- Watching Freedom Writers as a community and then discussing how the themes of the book tie in with clasasroom learning
SITE: Scranton Innovative Thought and Entrepreneurship
- Collaborating with Career Development on a LinkedIn workshop to learn how to start preparing for careers even in the first-year
- Participating in a workshop on inclusive language and inclusive practices to strengthen community and business
- Connecting with the Dean of the Kania School of Management to discuss the community and partnerships between class and co-curricular involvements
- Traveling to Roba’s Pumpkin Patch with the Commuter Student Association to focus on social wellness
- Promoting community wellness by volunteering regularly at the St. Francis of Assisi Soup Kitchen
- Engaging in physical wellness programs such as Glow and Flow Yoga and a Hannan Hall Dodgeball Tournament, and trips to SkyZone to jump on trampolines
- Hosting the Community Health Education Program in the Hannan Hall lounge for free health assessments and education, including blood pressure screenings and body composition analyses
What do current RLC students say about their experience?
So many positive things! Here are just a few things students involved in the LLCs for the 2014-2015 academic year say about their experience:
“Cura Personalis is the best support system and family you could ever find while at the University.” -Meghan Miller, member of Sophomore Cura Personalis
“[LLCs are] the best way to get involved as a member of the Scranton community from day one.” - Andrew Isopi, member of Sophomore Cura Personalis
“I've gained absolutely amazing friends who I consider more like family. I've grown so much in my faith- so much that it's almost astounding.” -member of First-Year Cura Personalis
“Being in FIRE is about striving to be the best individual you can be. The program has the goal of developing good leaders, and this involves both informing leadership skills and encouraging individuals to reach their highest potential.” -member of First-Year FIRE
“Wellness LLC is about understanding who you are as an individual and learning how you can make Wellness into a state of being rather than just an activity.” -member of First-Year Wellness
“I love [Wellness]. It's exactly what I was looking for!” -member of First-Year Wellness
“The Wellness LLC offers students with a well-rounded experience here at the University. Not only are we creating long lasting relationships with one another, but the overall goal is to help promote a healthy way of life. By touching on all eight aspects of wellness, each of us should have a better understanding of our own personal goals how we want to achieve them. The most important part of this is making sure we achieve these in healthiest way possible.” -member of First-Year Wellness
“I can honestly say that I have gained so much from this program. I have made some of my best friends and I like how we are one of the closest freshman dorms on campus. It is truly a community here and everyone is friends with one another. In the long run, I hope we can each inspire one another to go onto great things in life. By learning from one another, we will have a clearer outlook on life.” -member of First-Year Wellness
“Celebrate the Arts is about celebrating the many different forms of art and music. We can express who we are through these mediums, and truly be ourselves.” -member of First-Year Celebrate the Arts
“I [joined Celebrate the Arts] to gain a more well-rounded college experience for at least my first year and more knowledge regarding various art forms and their origins.” -member of First-Year Celebrate the Arts