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Q:

What is an LLC? How do they work and how can I join one?

A: Gabe Gilbert '23

After having the opportunity to speak to several prospective students both virtually and in-person these past few weeks, I've received a lot of questions about the unique residential experience that is the Living Learning Community (LLC). 

Prior to your arrival on campus as a First-Year student, you will be presented with the option of applying to join (and live with!) a Living Learning Community. The LLCs at Dartmouth combine all of the resources and opportunities that an institution like Dartmouth can offer with the vibrancy and familiarity of shared space. LLCs at Dartmouth are known for inhabiting a certain building on campus. Sometimes this is the floor of a dorm, as with my Humanities LLC during my First-Year, and sometimes this is a standalone house, like the Native American House (you can read about the LLCs more generally as well as see a list of LLCs at Dartmouth here!). 

During my First-Year, I was a member of the Humanities community. The Humanities LLC was designed specifically for First-Year students — no upperclassmen at all! (You can find other LLCs eligible for First-Years here!) The LLC was designed for those interested in anything and everything humanities-related, which meant that I could enjoy living with fellow First-Years that shared my interests in the non-STEM world while also being able to take part in tons of different programming opportunities afforded by the LLC. Some of these opportunities included guest speakers, a lunch or dinner catered by a local Hanover restaurant with several humanities faculty present, and free tickets to see live performances and movies at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. LLCs like Humanities allow you to explore your shared interest with your peers and take part in unique opportunities that you otherwise might not be able to have, and I can confidently say that being a part of the Humanities LLC left me with some truly enjoyable memories during my first year at Dartmouth.

There are several other LLCs that I've interacted with since my arrival at Dartmouth. The Native American House is located in an actual house just down the road from the library, and it was the site for so much enjoyable programming where I could learn about Indigenous culture alongside friends in the Native community and faculty in the Native American and Indigenous Studies Department. Thriving Through Transitions (T3), an LLC for incoming first-year students who want to embrace the transition to college and appreciate the learning curve that is college life, was an LLC that many of my friends were a part of, and I frequently joined them to play Smash Bros, eat homemade tacos and drink homemade horchata (too delicious), among a bunch of events. Needless to say, by tying physical space to shared interests and passions, the LLCs enable so many extracurricular experiences that greatly enrich your academic and non-academic life alike at Dartmouth.

LLCs range from those focused on your identity, those focused on shared academic or extracurricular interests, and even ones dedicated to certain languages like Spanish or Japanese, where you will only speak that language when you're on the floor! If you're curious about the LLCs at Dartmouth, I cannot advise you enough to check out some of the amazing communities we have on campus and to apply if they appeal to any and all of your passions and identities — you won't regret it.

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