New space for LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community on campus

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Brock’s Department of Residences has opened a new Living Learning Community (LLC) for the upcoming academic year.

The newest offering for the upcoming academic year is the Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ LLC. The request for this LLC initially came from Brock’s Human Rights and Equity Services (HRE) department. According to Amanda Ziegler, Manager of Residence Life, the creation of the LLC had been considered in the past but the Department of Residences was unable to move forward without support from HRE.

An LLC is an area of residence where groups of no more than 20 students are assigned to live together based on either their academic program or an area of common interest. A single upper-year student from a similar academic background or who has similar interests is assigned to each LLC. This student serves as a peer mentor towards the members of the community and aids in the development and support of the students in that community.

“In Residence Life, our primary role is to assist students with their transition into university life.  Transition looks different for everyone and offering options for students is important,” said Ziegler. “In this particular case, my colleagues suggested that the creation of this community has the potential to create a safe and comfortable living environment for members of the Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ community. A space where students might feel more at ease and able to be themselves right away because of the additional supports in place.”

“I believe that [LLCs] are an important option to offer to our students as the opportunity affords them an immediate and natural connection point with the other members of their community,” said Ziegler. “I also believe that the mentorship provided by our Peer Mentors is an extra layer of support and guidance above and beyond our Residence Life Staff.”

LLCs are a relatively recent development at Brock University, first implemented in 2010.

“At that time, LLCs had been operating in the United States and elsewhere but were just beginning to re-emerge again in Canada,” said Ziegler. “The LLC approach provided us an opportunity to be more intentional about the experience being offered in residence generally or in what were often known previously as themed communities.”

At Brock, there are currently four academic and four interest-based LLCs that students can apply to live in.  According to Ziegler, Residence Life supports around twelve communities as there are multiple communities centered around the same interest/academic field based on the demand from students.

“We cap the size of the communities at 20 students in order to create the best opportunity for a strong connection between the students and the Peer Mentor. For 2019-2020, we will be offering four academic and five interest-based options,” said Ziegler. “We always have more applications for the program than we are able to satisfy and so we regularly review our offerings.  We also offer the opportunity for students to suggest an LLC when they apply and if there are enough students who are interested in that LLC, we will work to see if we can gather the campus support.”

Interested individuals can find more information about any of Brock’s eight available LLCs via brocku.ca/residence. Students are reminded that applications for residence are currently open and are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The deadline to apply to be part of a Living Learning Community is the same as the residence application deadline which is June 3, 2019.

 

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