Kemeny courtyard bee on a yellow flower close up
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Rauner fourth floor at matriculation. Some GIS students and all of Interfaith LLC
Interfaith LLC '27 at Rollins Chapel. Everyone is smiling and standing around the Rollins sign out front of the building.
Bildner Fourth Floor '27 at Matriculation outside of the administration building (Parkhurst)

Both the Interfaith and Great Issues Scholars (GIS) Living Learning Communities (LLC) are specific to first-year students in terms of the housing community aspect. The Interfaith group is facilitated through the Tucker Center for Spiritual and Ethical Living. GIS is run by the Dickey Center for International Understanding. 

Within my first few weeks on campus, it became apparent that LLCs bolsters a unique community. This is astounding considering that the 'general' Dartmouth population is quite an interesting fusing of students from a multitude of backgrounds. There are six of us in the Interfaith LLC and thirty in the GIS LLC, and there are non-residential (and by that I mean they do not live on the LLC floor) students for both groups as well. We live together, and many of us are also developing friendships, becoming study partners, or simply supporting one another. We all went to the orientation week events together, as well as go to meetings for our respective groups. Interfaith meets weekly on Tuesdays, whereas GIS has some variation in the exact times and days when events are offered as most are based around visiting speakers. Some GIS events include fall apple picking, simulation activities, or term-end celebrations.

Our group dynamic started emerging when we declared almost unanimously that 11 p.m. is a sufficient time for quiet hours to begin (earlier than most dorms), and it should be noted that later on we moved that time to midnight. Some of us jam out to music solo while studying or showering, or the daily hangout in the common room. Another defining characteristic of our group is philosophical and inquisitive conversations. We almost always jump headlong into deep questions, which means that I do not know much about their families or where they are from, but rather what they find interesting in the world and what they are considering for their future endeavors. 

Fourth floor students in the common room studying on a Saturday night.
Studying on a Weekend Night in the Common Room

Beyond these aspects, we have some eclectic things, such as certain individuals addressing each other as 'kind sir' and suggesting that we get our floor advisor (UGA) a gavel and cape. We also do late-night foco (dining hall) runs, watching the US presidential primary debate, and going to campus events as groups. Our groups represent a thought-inducing blend of academic interests and quirks that has fostered a rather wholesome culture.

Here are some great sources to learn more about both groups! 

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