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Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find frequently asked questions about participating in a themed living-learning or SSIR community. If you have other questions that are not answered here, please contact us.

Application
May I apply for more than one LLC or SSIR community?

Yes. You can only apply to be a participant in up to three LLC or SSIR communities. Faculty are looking for students who show a particular interest in their community.

What's an ideal length for my application essays?

An essay response should be concise yet expansive enough for you to express genuine interest as to why you want to be part of this community. Past application essays ranged from 1–2 paragraphs. You will have the opportunity in your interview to expand on your essay. If you are applying to more than one LLC or SSIR, be sure to address both communities in your essay responses.

Why do you ask for my G.P.A. on the application?

We ask for your grade point average only as part of your entire application; there is no minimum grade point average to apply. The classes associated with SSIR and LLCs are rigorous and require a committed student; however, we understand that grade point average is only one measure of academic success. If you are not satisfied with your grade point average or do not feel it reflects your ability as a student, please explain that in one of the essays.

What if I haven't gotten involved yet? Does it look bad for that part to be blank?

We ask that you list how you been involved on campus thus far to try to get a holistic picture of you as a student here at Richmond. We know that many first-year students, in particular, haven't been overly involved as they work through the transition from high school to college. We also acknowledge that, for many students, participating in a living-learning or SSIR community is a way to find their niche on campus. Feel free to explain that in one of the essays for the faculty to review.

Does the faculty or staff member I list as a reference on my application have to submit a letter?

No. Your reference does not submit a letter of recommendation or complete any recommendation form.

reference is a faculty or staff member who will give a strong positive statement about you and your qualities and experience. Our faculty may contact your reference if they are looking for more information about you after reading your application and speaking to you during the interview day. It is always a good practice to contact anyone you may want to use as a reference, prior to listing them, to ask their permission and if they can provide you with a positive reference.

I have submitted my application. Now what?

You will receive a confirmation email from the Office of Living-Learning Programs. In that email, more details about the February 11, 2017 interview day will be included.

What are the faculty looking for from students?

We are looking for students with a genuine interest in the topic and an open mind. We want students who will commit to the community fully. We are looking for students who want to join a community of peers who they may not know well to begin with, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, academic disciplines, and who want do more with their academics outside of the classroom. Students only interested in living in Lakeview, Gray, or Freeman with little or no interest in the LLC or SSIR community should not apply.

I am a student athlete; can I apply to be in an LLC or SSIR?

Yes, communities are open to all. We have had many student athletes participate in an LLC or SSIR who successfully balance academics, the LLC or SSIR community, and their athletic commitments.

Housing
I heard that living in Lakeview, Gray Court, or Freeman cost more than other residence halls. Is that true?

Lakeview, Gray Court, and Freeman are suite-style residence halls and do have a higher room rate than a traditional residence hall. Room and board fees can be found at the Controller's website.

Why doesn't it show which building the community is housed in?

Housing decisions depend on the number of students, male/female, within each community. One floor may better accommodate one community than another. Final decisions on where communities are placed within buildings are made after the application process is complete.

If a student's motivation to participate is the style of housing the community resides in, they should reconsider applying for a SSIR or LLC community.

I have a friend who is applying for a different LLC or SSIR. If we both get in, can we live together?

No. To participate in an LLC or SSIR community, you agree to live with the others in that community. Some communities share the same floor, so there is always the possibility that you would live close by your friend.

When will we find out exactly where we will live after being accepted into the community?

The director of housing will contact all students accepted to the community in March to allow students to give any roommate/suitemate or room type (single/double) preferences; preferences will try to be accommodated but cannot be guaranteed.

Please note that there are very few (or none) singles available in most communities.

I want a single room in the community. Is that possible?

A very limited number of single rooms are available in Lakeview and Freeman Halls, though not in every wing or floor within the building. In many communities there are no singles available. There are no single rooms in Gray Court.

The desire for a single room should not be a motivating factor to applying for a LLC or SSIR community.

I require specific housing accommodations. Can I still apply and participate in a community?

Yes, students requiring accommodations can still participate in a SSIR or living-learning community. 

Housing accommodations are available for students whose medical related conditions or disabilities substantially limit their housing needs.  However, to be considered for such special housing, they must submit a completed disability accommodation application and documentation to the University Disability Coordinator, Dr. Tinina Cade, by January 15, 2017.  Applications are accepted after these deadlines but may delay review.  Submitting a disability medical accommodation request does not automatically guarantee a space in University housing. 

Students are encouraged to consult and meet with their disability advisors each year or as indicated. Annual applications are encouraged should there be changes in accommodation needs and medical conditions.

Is Gender Flexible Housing available as an option?

Gender flexible housing is available as an option within Sophomore Scholars and living-learning communities for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students will be given more information about how gender flexible housing during their first community meeting. Students within the community interested in gender flexible housing will need to complete the online application prior to their community's room selection date.

As with all housing options, GFH is not guaranteed.

Students within a Sophomore Scholars or living-learning community who might have a need for GFH—especially those who identify beyond the binary, including but not limited to genderqueer, gender questioning, or trans students—should contact the Director of Living-Learning Programs to discuss their needs and available options.

General
I am interested in being a Cultural Advisor. Can I also be in an LLC or SSIR community?

Yes. Cultural Advisors can also participate in an LLC or SSIR community, and the Office of Living-Learning Programs and the Office of Common Ground work collaboratively if students apply to both.

Does it cost anything to participate in an LLC or SSIR?

No. Participation involves no out of pocket expenses for students; transportation, lodging, food, and admission to anything as a class is included. If your community is embarking on any international travel, you would be required to have a valid passport, requiring passport application fees. International students requiring a visa for travel are responsible for any costs to obtaining it. If a student is having difficulty with passport application or visa fees, arrangements can be through the Office of Living-Learning Programs.

For SSIR communities, do I have to enroll in the spring semester seminar?

As a participant in the SSIR program, you will be automatically enrolled (by the Registrar's Office) in the fall and spring semester seminars.

May I study abroad for one semester and still participate?

If you are interested in one of the Sophomore Scholars communities, you are not able to study abroad, as participating in a SSIR community is a full-year commitment.

Students applying for Earth Lodge, Global House, or La Casa Hispánica may study abroad either semester; in order for students to study abroad in Fall 2017 and reside in the community in Spring 2018, there must be a student (of the same gender) who lived in the community Fall 2017 and studying abroad in Spring 2018.

Other Residence-Based Programs and Positions

There are several residentially based programs and positions that exist for students to consider applying for that provide leadership opportunities for students. These positions all have deadlines early in the spring 2017 semester.

Cultural Advisor

Resident Assistant