The Collins Living-Learning Center opened its doors in 1972, amidst the rise of student activism across the United States. The first Living-Learning Center at Indiana University, Collins offered a new educational experience that fostered student leadership and student engagement from the outset. Diversity has long been a steadfast value of the Living-Learning Center, in its makeup, in its curricular offerings, and in its programming. Today, our pillars of Leadership, Sustainability, Arts, and Humanities empower students to produce a better world that is inclusive, reflective, and just.
Diversity is a value embedded in the LLC’s curriculum. Students expand their horizons by exploring diversity in their peer-taught Residential Learning Workshop (the Q class). They extend their engagement beyond the campus through our philanthropy projects and our service-learning classes, which seek to mitigate the risk factors for women and children who have experienced domestic violence. They press the boundaries of disciplines and of cultures as they take our seminars and benefit from our travel opportunities. They grow thanks to the knowledge, skills, and perspective of our Collins Visiting Artists and Scholars program, invited to assume residence from abroad.
Diversity is an aim, as well, of the LLC’s project of living in community. For decades, incoming students have signed a diversity pledge, which has become a model across campus. Working with RPS, Collins has a Community Educator (CUE), who educates students on matters of diversity and inclusion. Embedded in our programming and in our publications is the desire to engage multiple perspectives and multiple experiences. As a community, Collins is known as a place that welcomes and nurtures diversity. Our students come from many social, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. We are a welcoming home to LGBTQIA2S+ students. We embrace international students, too.
We take pride in the history of Collins Living-Learning Center and in its recent initiatives. We recognize, though, that the work of cultivating a community that fosters diversity and inclusion is not done. This is a task that is changing, ongoing, and ever urgent. We thus commit ourselves to the continual work of reassessing our curricular offerings and our programming; of connecting to and welcoming a more diverse student body; of building connections with a broader section of IU faculty; and of explicitly addressing programming and curricular offerings to address anti-racism. IU’s oldest Living-Learning Center is an ideal and important place to perform this work. We look forward to the challenges as well as the rewards.