Campus Reform | Progressive UND students get social justice-themed housing option

Progressive UND students get social justice-themed housing option

The Social Justice Living-Learning Community (LLC) joins four other LLC's: Aviation, Engineering & Mines, Wellness, and Honors.

The University of North Dakota (UND) is offering students the chance to live in a specialized housing community dedicated entirely to social justice.

Students in the Social Justice LLC will have the option to room with individuals of any "gender identity" as long as all parties agree to the living arrangement.

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The University of North Dakota (UND) is offering students the chance to live in a specialized housing community dedicated entirely to social justice.

The Social Justice Living-Learning Community is “designed for students who are involved in promoting a more inclusive and just society,” and promises to provide such students with opportunities for “creating and leading positive social change.”

The website for the LLC does not have a specific schedule of events for the semester, but notes that students may engage with guest speakers, film series, book clubs, and service opportunities.

Cheryl Terrance, faculty advisor of the UND Ten Percent Society (TPS), a student support group for the “GLBTQQIA community,” told Campus Reform that the LLC was developed by the school’s housing office, but predicted that social justice-oriented student groups such as TPS would likely be involved in programming efforts.

Connie Frazier, Executive Director of Housing and Dining at UND, corroborated that speculation, telling Campus Reform that while LLCs are housing initiatives, they arise out of student interest and students self-select who will live in the community.

“This is a brand new one so those students are just beginning now the discussion of how they want to define their community and what kinds of activities they would want to get involved and do,” Frazier explained.

Students who are interested in living in a community that “believe[s] that each person shares the responsibility of creating an environment in which all residents are respected and valued—regardless of one’s age, size, gender, sexual orientation, identity or identity expression, disability, race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, cultural background, socio-economic status, or religious affiliation or conviction,” need only indicate interest on their residence hall application in order to be considered for the Social Justice LLC.

The LLC also specifically points out that it is inclusive with respect to gender, and will allow people of all gender identities to room with whomever they feel most comfortable, although the application process does note that “gender inclusive room assignment requests must be mutual.”

UND currently has four other Living-Learning Communities—Aviation, Engineering & Mines, Wellness, and Honors—most of which primarily relate to academic interests.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey