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Living Learning Communities

LLCs Out and About in the Community

Outside of class, each LLC plans a series of theme-related activities that add another dimension to your studies, integrating your classroom experience with the lessons of life unfolding around you.

In 2011, for example, Social Justice LLC students combined a rock climbing trip with an examination of environmental justice, bringing ideology and reality into sharp focus.


Faith and Reason | The Natural World | Social Justice | Space, Place, Sound | Sustainability | Honors

The Faith and Reason Community Back to Top


During its inaugural year, Faith and Reason students enjoyed a number of opportunities to participate in events that helped them connect with their fellow students, get to know faculty outside the classroom, and think more deeply about the community theme. The semester began with a day in the sun at Mission Bay Park where students could kayak, snorkel, wind surf or just hang out. Faith and Reason students also took advantage of other out-of-class activities including a trip to the USS Midway, discussion sessions on the book, Ghost Map, a chance to investigate the local ocean ecosystem at a Point Loma tide pool, a showing and discussion of the movie, Contact (are we really alone in the universe?) and a presentation to mark the 75th anniversary of the “Night of the Breaking Glass” (Kristallnacht)–the night when synagogues all over Germany were attacked and destroyed by Nazi sympathizers.

One of the highlights of the fall semester was the theme dinner celebrating the memory of deceased loved ones so popular in Mexico: Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”).  Before dinner, students enjoyed a brief presentation on the meaning of the festival and afterwards, USD student artists capped off the evening with some spirited folkloric dances of Mexico.

To welcome students back at the beginning of the second semester, the Faith and Reason LLC partnered with the Space, Place, Sound community for a day trip to Disneyland. This event was made even more memorable by the participation of so many theme leaders, including our resident assistants, preceptorial assistants, community director and faculty.


The Social Justice Community Back to Top


Unity LLC Coming Together

The preceptorial classes that took part in the Social Justice community in 2010-2011 explored the concepts of political and community participation. Several of them joined the "" environmental action day on 10/10/10 and worked in teams to enhance the community surrounding USD. Some students worked to create trails in nearby Tecolote Canyon, while others weeded a local Linda Vista community garden.

In addition to building community through direct action, students in thesocial justice beach trip unity community competed in a voter registration drive for the November 2010 election. In the end, the American Politics preceptorial tied with the Sociology preceptorial in registering the most voters. The two teams went to the San Diego Zoo to celebrate their work.


The 2011-2012 Social Justice Living Learning Community had a wide range of activities and experiences centered around the idea of "thinking outside yourself". From a performance on political resistance at the La Jolla Playhouse, to a Canoe & Concert trip focusing on environmental justice, participants learned what it means to embrace those around them.

The LLC members also attended the San Diego Asian Film Fest, hosted a facilitated "drive-in" movie night about water rights in Latin America, had a dinner party with an Irish social justice worker from Pakistan, and even had an intimate interaction with a famous fSocial Justice beach day 2ilmmaker who deals with issues of labor rights. Other events included speakers, backpacking, field trips, theatre, and a whole lot of food!



Continuing the theme of "thinking outside yourself", the 2012-2013 Social Justice LLC had activities focusing on justice of all kinds! From a play about immigration issues at an independent theatre downtown San Diego catered by a local bakery, to a trip to the zoo where we got a behind-the-scenes visit at the elephant encounter to learn about environmental justice, members of this LLC had a broad range of experiences.

The LLC members also feasted on burritos while hosting the Latin American Film Series, attended the San Diego Asian Film Festival, co-sponsored a visit from San Diego's own "Hustler Priest", and even had an intimate interaction with a award-winning documentary filmmaker who deals with issues of media portrayals of social justice workers. Other events included a beach trip with kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, a nighttime 5k at Qualcomm Stadium benefitting justice work in underdeveloped coastal communities, field trips, theatre trips, residence hall events, and a whole lot of food!


Students in the Social Justice LLC engage with local community activists to learn about grassroots movements for social change in San Diego. All but one of our events take students off-campus and into the vibrant neighborhoods of San Diego. On each trip, students meet members of community organizations who speak about their inspiring and creative responses to local issues.

This year, students attended an incredible performance at Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company in downtown San Diego, embarked on a maquiladora (factory) tour in Tijuana led by former maquiladora workers, participated in a dynamic West African dancing and drumming class at the World Beat Center in Balboa Park and watched an award-winning film at the San Diego Asian Film Fest in Mission Valley. We also hiked along the US-Mexico border, hosted an on-campus spoken word poetry workshop and performance, created a graffiti mural in Southeast San Diego, attended an American Indian powwow and closed the year with a big beach bonfire!

The Sustainability Community Back to Top


sustainability hikeThe preceptorial classes in the Sustainability Community joined forces to explore the local marine environment. The community met at USD on Oct. 2, 2010, and traveled to Mission Bay, where 30 students had the opportunity to snorkel, kayak and relax on the beach for the day.

Students and faculty exploring the creatures of the oceanWhile snorkeling, students got to see — and, in some cases, touch (despite protests from those not partial to slimy creatures) — an assortment of sponges, snails, slugs, clams and mussels, an octopus, lobsters, worms and fishes. Those kayaking also viewed sea lions frolicking in the bay.

Students were excited about the trip because it combined learning and recreation, while allowing them to bond with other students and their professors. Additionally, the success of this event was enhanced by the enthusiastic participation of PAs and RAs.

The Honors Community Back to Top


Students walking on beachThe preceptorial classes in the Honors Community focused on building connections. Honors students connected mind and body, explored USD’s liberal arts education, fostered community, and thought strategically about the future. The Honors LLC combined learning and adventure, inviting students to participate in a La Jolla shark swim, apple picking in Julian, a visit to the California Wolf Preserve, and a Shakespearean play at Balboa Park.

Only the most audacious of students participated in the first off-campus activity: Swimming with leopard sharks! Honors freshman ventured to La Jolla cove for a kayak and snorkel adventure. Though completely harmless in nature, the leopard sharks certainly made snorkeling in the cove a thrilling experience. Following the shark swim, students enjoyed a picnic lunch before heading back to campus.

"The Tempest" at The Old GlobeNext, Shakespeare enthusiasts ventured to The Old Globe in Balboa Park for an outstanding performance of the “The Tempest.” These lucky Honors freshman arrived a few hours early, leaving plenty of time to explore Balboa Park’s many gorgeous fountains, statues, gardens, and museums.

Students at Julian getting an apple orchard tourThe third LLC event involved a trek to the apple orchards in Julian, where students spent the afternoon learning about San Diego agriculture, discovering environmentally responsible practices, and actively participating in apple picking and juicing. After some exciting manual labor, the group headed to the California Wolf Center, also in Julian. At the wolf preserve, students learned about the reintegration of wolves into their natural habitat.