BY SAACHI KHANDPUR ’22
Rachel Alldis announced in an email to the Mount Holyoke community on Feb. 5, 2019 that Residential Life is launching three new Living Learning Communities: the Trendy Transfer Community (for transfer students), the Lyon’s Legacy Community (for trans and gender diverse students)and the Lyons’ Nation Community (for student-athletes). The Trendy Transfer community will be placed in Wilder Hall, the Lyon’s Legacy LLC will be given the Abbey Hall and the Lyons’ Nation community will take up residence in Torrey Hall. These new additions contribute to a total of fourteen LLCs at Mount Holyoke, each based on a common interest or shared identity.
“I think that LLCs — at least the one I’m in, the Mosaic LLC [for POC students] — do a very good job of creating a sense of community, especially when all members of said LLC are actively involved in wanting to make that sense of community,” said Monica Geraldes ’22. “In this sense, they are very effective.” Geraldes believes that LLCs provide a more united atmosphere within the College, creating communities where students can live among and interact with others from similar backgrounds or with similar interests.
The aim of these communities is to make the transition to college life easier for many students and ensure that they do not feel out of place in the unfamiliar setting. Kusha Chopra ’21 shared, “living in a first-year LLC made me feel a lot better that I had other people with me who would help me navigate my way through the first year of college.” Chopra added, “I found my best friends here and we would always go down to the TV room to have cute movie marathons, making unforgettable memories in the process.”
Though students have cited benefits from choosing an LLC, some take issue with the year’s introductions. “I think it’s ridiculous to have a transfer student LLC,” said Tumi Moloto ’20. Moloto continued, “as a transfer student myself, I think it’s better to be integrated with students who have been here for some time.” Moloto feels that the LLCs prevent full integration with the rest of the student body, thus defeating the purpose of their creation. Individuals from diverse backgrounds agree that every student should live in a community where the true diversity of the College is represented.
“While I understand LLCs for cultural backgrounds, going beyond that is a little ridiculous,” said Nabeeha Noor ’20. “A lot of the needs of the Communities could be met by student organizations. It’s like isolating a group that is already a little isolated.” There may be possible overlaps between LLCs, such as the overlap between the Mary Woolley LLC and the newly announced Lyon’s Legacy LLC.
Apart from the addition of these new LLCs, another change is being made to the LLCs concerned with languages. Initially, entire floors were assignedto specific language LLCs, but the new arrangement groups together students interested in learning any world language in the Mandelles. In her email addressed to the Mount Holyoke community, Rachel Alldis said, “we think this will allow for great integration of the community and help those who are studying multiple languages.” In addition to this, the arts LLC will be moved from Wilder Hall to Prospect Hall due to Prospect’s proximity to the Mount Holyoke Art Museum and Fimbel Maker and Innovation Lab. The Mary Woolley LLC will relocate to Mead Hall.
LLCs have been a part of the Mount Holyoke community for many years now. According to Rachel Alldis, the College hopes that “these three communities will join our 15 existing communities to provide more exciting options to live and learn together around a common theme.”
The current LLCs at MHC are: the Arts LLC, the First-Year Experience LLC, the Leadership Experience in the First-Year LLC, the Interfaith LLC, the Language LLC, the Livin’ Free LLC, the Mary Woolley LLC, the Mi Gente LLC, the Mosaic LLC, the Outdoor LLC, the Shirley Chisholm LLC.