UI will no longer require LLCs for students in residence halls


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Von Stange, the assistant vice president for student life and senior director of University Housing & Dining, speaks during a media tour during the grand opening ceremony for Elizabeth Catlett Hall on Friday, July 28, 2017. Catlett is the largest residence hall on campus, housing 1,049 students. Elizabeth Catlett was the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Iowa with a Masters of Fine Arts. The residence hall has its main desk and mail room on the third floor, which is accessible from the T.Anne Cleary Walkway. Another additional entrance is off of Madison Street on the first floor. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Andy Mitchell, [email protected]


On Wednesday, the University of Iowa announced that starting in the fall of 2018, being part of the Living Learning Community system will no longer be mandatory for incoming first-year students.

The number of offered LLCs for students will be cut down from 28 to 18, diverting from the All LLC model UI has adopted since 2014.

The UI will make LLCs optional for first-year students as the university helps students transition to college life.

“The change in the [LLC] program is the result of a campus-wide committee composed of faculty, staff, and student leaders who discussed intended and unintended impacts of LLCs and the varied offerings,” said Von Stange, the UI assistant vice president for Student Life and senior director of University Housing & Dining, in an email to The Daily Iowan.

The committee recommended scaling back the number and size of LLCs to best support student learning.

“There were some unanticipated challenges as we asked all first-year students to participate in LLCs,” Stange said. “We hoped for each LLC to have a common course that all students in that LLC would take; however, some LLCs were too large to make that feasible.”

RELATED: UISG in on creating All In community

Stange cited other problems the committee found with the current LLC system.

“Other interest-based LLCs didn’t have a relevant course tied to it,” Stange said. “Students in the LLCs with courses attached to them sometimes dropped the course, thereby diluting the learning experience for others in the LLC.”

Shaun Vecera, a co-chair of the committee tasked with deciding the policy change, recounted the committee’s observations with the help of Housing & Dining staff.

“One of the reasons for fewer, more focused LLCs is that we found there’s a sweet spot in size,” Vecera said. “No more than 80 students. We found that our LLCs were too big. We want them to be smaller to give the students a better experience.”


Vecera compared the newly designed system to current systems in Big Ten schools.

Another issue the committee found was a matter of student interest for a variety of reasons.

“We discovered that students were choosing their LLCs based on buildings or based on their friends and not on academics,” Vecera said. “We wanted to get away from that.”

Another measure of the policy change is students’ ability to select residence-hall rooms at timed phases: the first phase for returning students, the second phase for students requesting an LLC or room in the Honors House, the third phase for all other students.

Honors Program students choosing to live in the Honors House will not be linked together by specific course LLCs but by the level of their course work, making for a more diverse environment, according to a press release from Iowa Now.

“I don’t think that they should get rid of any LLCs,” said UI freshman Autumn Tallman of the Global Mosaic LLC. “They’re there to get students more involved in college and make new friends, and you don’t have to participate in activities you don’t want to.”

LLCS for the 2018-19 academic year:

All In
Creative Matters
Global Mosaic
Iowa Writers
Journalism and Mass Communication
Justice for All
LEX: Legal Exploration
Living Literature
People in Engineering
Political Matters
Public Health
Sport and Recreation Management
Tomorrow’s Teachers Today
Well Beings
Young, Gifted, and Black

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