CU-Boulder to offer 'social justice living environment'

The University of Colorado at Boulder recently announced plans to transform one of its residence halls into a “Social Justice Living Environment” in the fall.

According to a press release on the matter, the Hallett Hall will be split into three “Living Learning Communities,” one for “LGBTQIA-identified students and their allies,” another for “students passionate about diversity,” and a third for “black-identified students and their allies.”

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The hall already hosts the “Spectrum LLC” for “LGBTQIA-identifying students,” offering “social and educational activities focusing on community dialogue and support,” as well as access to gender-neutral bathrooms.

Starting next school year, Spectrum will be joined by a “Multicultural Perspectives LLC” featuring programs, initiatives, and volunteer opportunities relating to “social justice topics.”

In addition, the new “Lucile B. Buchanan” portion of the hall will be set aside specifically for “those identifying with elements of the African and Black Diaspora and their community allies.”

All three LLC’s provide a live-in “peer mentor” on each floor who will “provide individual support to students” and facilitate programming for each community in conjunction with the relevant school department, such as the Cultural Unity and Engagement Center, the Gender and Sexuality Center, the Women’s Resource Center, the Volunteer Resource Center, or the Center for Student Involvement.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the incoming students, hearing their stories and learning about their passion for social justice,” one peer mentor, Valerie Gao, explained in the press release, noting that she believes “everybody has a unique role in the movement for social equity.”

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Another peer mentor, Jaela Zellars, suggested that while the school may appear to be “a very diverse institution,” she finds that “as both a woman and a student of color,” there’s still “a lot of work to do.”

“We are beyond excited for the introduction of this new program and the opportunity to building communities grounded in intercultural dialogue,” Dean of Students Akirah Bradley remarked when announcing the change. “We hope to foster a community of diversity and communication not only in Hallett [Hall] but all across campus.”

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