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Participating in a Living-Learning Community

Living-learning communities, including Sophomore Scholars in Residence, are designed to bring students with common academic interests together in a shared residential experience with intensive interaction with a faculty member.

Courses are taught on varied topics, with faculty-led travel experiences serving as an important component of the educational experience. Faculty-prepared co-curricular activities take advantage of the opportunity to combine a shared residential and academic experience.

Students are expected to agree to the terms outlined in the student contract that they receive when they are offered a place in the community.

(Updated: January 27, 2017)

Terms for Student Participation for the 2017-18 Academic Year

Course Requirements
  • Meet any/all course prerequisites in order to participate in the SSIR or living-learning community
  • In SSIR communities, commit to enrolling in the course in the one-unit fall semester and the half-unit seminar in the spring semester
  • In La Casa Hispánica, commit to only speaking Spanish while you are within the residence hall community
  • In Global House and Earth Lodge, commit to the activities and programs facilitated each month
  • Students must successfully pass the fall semester course to be able to continue to participate in the spring semester for SSIR communities

Students will be enrolled in any/all courses prior to regular course registration each semester by the living-learning programs office

Housing Requirements
  • Students may only live with a student accepted into the same community in the designated floor/wing of the assigned residence hall
  • After a student accepts their offer to participate in a community, they will be notified of all other members within the community
  • Roommates: students may request a roommate, but not request suitemates. If both students request each other as a roommate, the request will be honored.
  • Single Rooms: note that there are no single rooms within any community that resides in Gray Court. Singles are available only in some Lakeview and Freeman housed communities; students may request a single room. Who receives the single room within the community, is determined by the lottery number of the students who requested the single.
  • Read and agree to the terms of the Housing Contract
  • 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.  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.
  • Gender flexible housing (GFH) is available as an option within Sophomore Scholars and living-learning communities for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students within the community interested in gender flexible housing will need to complete the online application no later than 12:00 p.m. on March 14, 2017. As with all housing options, GFH is not guaranteed.
Co-Curricular Requirements
  • Attend co-curricular events planned by the faculty that do not interfere with another academic course; these events (dates and times) will be listed in the course syllabus or given by the faculty member
  • Commit to the dates of any off-campus community trip
  • Agree to and comply with the travel rules and expectations
    • If a student has a Conduct Probation status, at the time of travel, they may not be permitted to travel with the community, or may be required to sign a behavior contract; the director of living-learning programs will contact students in that situation
  • Complete the online consent/release for off-campus experiences in BannerWeb, 
  • Should international travel be a component of the community, the student is responsible for:
    • Completing the required online forms for international travel from the Office of International Education, no later than 10 days prior to travel
    • Obtaining any necessary travel documents (e.g. passport, visa, etc.) and providing that information to the living-learning programs office, upon request. Students are required to ensure that all travel documents are valid, current, and do not expire prior to travel dates. 
      • Students who do not have a passport or who possess an expired passport, need to complete and submit their application no later than August 1, 2017
      • Students who require a visa for travel, need to complete and submit their application no later than 60 days prior to travel
      • The Office of Living-Learning Programs will provide students who require visas with supporting documentation (e.g. financial statements, itinerary, support letter)
  • Be an active member of the living-learning community by participating in programs sponsored by the resident assistant, fellow community members, and the living-learning programs office
Withdrawing from a Community

Participating in a living-learning community includes a student's academic status and enrollment as well as their housing assignment and contract. Should a student choose to leave the community for any reason, the following actions (listed below) will occur. Students who choose to withdraw from a community, will be required to meet with the director of living-learning programs and complete the required withdrawal form, before any changes will be made to a student's housing assignment.

  • Prior to or during the room selection process, they will: 
    • not be assigned a lottery number or participate in the Housing room selection process
    • be assigned to a space at the end of that process by the assistant director of housing
  • After the room selectionprocess and prior to moving into the community, they will be: 
    • withdrawn from the course 
    • assigned to a new housing assignment by the assistant director of housing
    • be responsible for any costs for their portion of the travel that was reserved and paid for that the University incurred at the time of their withdrawal
  • After they have moved into the community, they will be:
    • withdrawn from the course
    • required to move out of residence hall the community is housed in
    • be responsible for any costs for their portion of the travel that was reserved and paid for that the University incurred at the time of their withdrawal
Removal from a Community

The Office of Living-Learning Programs may remove a student from a living-learning community should the student not follow-through with the terms of this participation agreement. Prior to a student’s removal, the student will be required to meet with the director of living-learning programs to discuss their involvement in the community and determine any corrective course of action. 

The Richmond and Westhampton College Deans’ Offices, as part of the student disciplinary process, may also remove a student from a living-learning community, who violates conduct outlined in the Student Handbook.

A student who is removed, will be required to move out of the residence hall the community is housed in and withdraw from the course associated with the community; the student may be responsible for any costs for their portion of travel that was reserved and paid for that the University incurred at the time of their removal.