University Housing Communities

Cishella Durling: Hi, everyone! Welcome to another episode of the Student Affairs Podcast Series. My name is Cishella Durling and I'm going to be your host today. I am very excited to introduce you all to Catherine Wibbles, who's the Assistant Director of Resident Learning at University Housing here at the University of Louisville and today, we're going to specifically talk about the communities that the University Housing offers. So, Katherine, thank you so much for being with us today. We're going to go ahead and jump right on in. And I would like to ask you, first and foremost, what are the communities or more specifically, what are the Living Learning Communities and the Themed Communities that the University Housing offers? And what are some of the communities that are going on this academic year?

Catherine Wibbles: Absolutely, thank you all so much for having me. I'm super excited to be on here just to talk to you about the communities that we offer. And so, just wanted to provide some insight; we offer both Living Learning and Themed Communities. And so, Living Learning Communities we call our LLCs, and those are geared for students who share the same academic goal, major, career, anything related to academics, where they live together, and also enroll in participating courses together. And then we have Themed Communities, or TC's, that are geared towards students who share a common interest, identity, activity, hobby. And all our members participate in community development and improvement opportunities on campus as well as within our local community. And so, some examples for this current year for Fall 23, Spring 24, we have approximately 27 communities. And so, some examples of our Living Learning communities or LLCs are Air Force and Army ROTC, Bio Bridges, College of Business, Education and Health, and Sport Science, Engineering, Feminist Social Justice Leadership, First Generation Cardinal, Health Sciences, Honors, Parish, Psychology, School of Music, and that is all for those LLCs. And then for our TC's, or Themed Communities, we offer a Bayard Rustin LGBTQ and Social Justice, Ecology and Sustainability, Esports, Global Village, Metropolitan College, Transfer, and Sport Professions. And so those are our communities for our current academic year.

Cishella Durling: That is awesome. There are so many different opportunities for students to get involved in these communities. And it seems like there are communities for everybody, there's a little bit of everything. So that's awesome. If a student wants to get involved in these communities, how do they go about that? What's the application process like?

Catherine Wibbles: So, our application for our LLCs is in TCs is different than our housing application. They, the LLCs/TCs housing application, lives within our normal housing application, but they are different. And so, if you are interested in applying, we encourage students to log into their housing portal and then as they're going through the housing application, it's going to ask them, you know, are you interested in LLCs, etc. You want to say yes, so when you hit yes, it'll take you through the start of the application. And if I can give you all some advice, if I can, I would definitely recommend and advise students who are interested in participating in LLCs in TCs to apply as quickly as possible, as some of our communities fill quickly or faster than others. And so, just giving you a better opportunity, or a better chance to get accepted as our LLCs/TCs housing application and acceptance into our communities is first come first serve. And so, if you are unsure, I would always say still apply, it won't hurt. But then also another piece of advice is you're going to have three options on the housing application to talk about your preferences and so you'll have your first preference, your second, and your third. And so, I just encourage our students to not put the same community for all three as that can potentially hurt their chances in getting into another community. So, let's say they're interested in Esports, and they applied a little bit later. Esports is now filled because each community has a maximum occupancy. Well, if they put ESports is all three, but you also have interest in Ecology and Sustainability, then you might lose a chance in Ecology and Sustainability, if all three of them were listed as ESports. And so, I just want to reiterate that, whatever you put down as your first preference, I know 100% that that is where you would love to be. But then also just encouraging you all to apply to the other communities as well or listing a different second or third preference on your housing application, or LLC/TC application.

Cishella Durling: And that's some great advice. I know that often we really, really, really want to get you know exactly what we want, get where we want to be. But that’s some good advice and a friendly reminder that the more communities you list, the more opportunities you're going to have to potentially get into one of those communities. So, great advice. And I guess I'd like to wrap this up with: Why does University Housing offer these communities to the students? And what some benefits might be if a student does participate in one of these communities?

Catherine Wibbles: Yeah, that's a great question. So here in University Housing, we believe that there's a community for everyone. And so by providing our LLCs and TCs, we really hope to be able to give students the opportunity to live together with other likeminded individuals; whether that is someone in the same major as them, or the same identity or hobby, just all of the above, that we believe that all students can be successful, and we want to aid in their—in foster in their success and in their growth here at UofL. And so, by providing the opportunity for students to live together, while also accessing like academic and staff supports, gaining leadership opportunities and other resources tailored to their specific interests, our goal is something that we're really proud of. And it's super excited to continue to highlight that as well. We also have students that based on last year's information, students that were in an LLC, or TC, can have higher GPA than those that didn't. So, the average GPA was around a 3.2, or 3.3. And so, we love to continue to celebrate those victories. And then also, students that are in an LLC or TC, they do have that additional one on one support with faculty and staff depending on the community that they're in. And so that leaves them to about approximately an 85% higher retention rate, which means that, like I said, we want our students to be successful. And so, by providing these communities and the opportunities that they gain there will help them towards progressing in their academic journey, as well as graduating from University of Louisville. And so those are some small benefits. There are some other benefits as well. For this past year, we were super excited to partner with Racing Louisville, in Louisville City FC, and so we provided a free ticket, a free food voucher, and free transportation to and from Lynn Family Stadium downtown, where students got together and got to kind of see each other that we're in LLCs in TCS is especially folks who are not in the communities well, but also giving them to gain that experience and being exposed to the local culture, especially at those professional soccer games. And so, stay tuned if you're a current student and you're like, yes, I want to do that or that sounds like me, please, please continue to look through your email, stay up to date with emails you might get from me, as well as following your Student News and the email you get from you as well about upcoming events and things like that, that you would want to get in. And so also wanted to talk about the reminder for students and that your experience is so different than everybody else's, that it's completely individualized. And so, your experience in college and in University Housing, just want to reiterate that it's not linear, so it's more than just going to class eating at the Ville Grill, attending a couple of study sessions here and there and getting your degree at the end. And so, we're really, really promoting, getting involved, being excited the communities that we're offering, and also letting us know how we can continue to support you and get you engaged not only with our communities here at UofL, but also within our local community as well.

Cishella Durling: And that's wonderful. There's lots of really great opportunities, and reasons and benefits that are centered around the University Housing and community experiences. So, thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate you and your willingness to talk about the Living Learning Communities and the Themed Communities and helping us to learn about how to apply for them and get involved. So, thank you for your time. We're going to go ahead and wrap this up with did you know if you forget to apply for an LLC or TC when completing your housing application, don't fret, you can still apply via the housing portal and if you have any questions, you can always email University Housing at All right, everybody, thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of the Student Affairs podcast series where we were able to talk with Catherine Wibbels about the Living Learning and Themed Communities here at the University of Louisville. Again, thank you so much for your time, Catherine and we will catch you all next time.


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