Almost all of USD’s Unity Learning Living Community (LLC) will be attending MSNBC’s Special Town Hall Event: A Two-Hour Discussion on Immigration and Latino-America airing live from Shiley Theatre on Monday, November 15th. The Unity LLC is filled with thirty-five first year students who live in the same residence hall and who take classes related to the Unity theme taught by Dr. Norton (PS/IR) and Dr. Lum (Sociology). In this LLC the students have been exploring issues of diversity in the broadest sense and addressing questions about identity, privilege, and power that exist inside and outside of a diverse community. They have been discussing how values might be shared despite our differences, how effective communication might build community, and how the “intersections” of our experiences are surprisingly similar on campus and across the nation.
In addition to talking about questions surrounding unity and diversity inside the classroom, the Unity preceptorials have been exploring these concepts outside of the classroom as well. The MSNBC event will be the capstone of our extra-curricular discoveries. For example, they have been evaluating the importance of community participation by joining the “350.org” environmental action day on Sunday 10/10/10 to support sustainability efforts in the greater USD community. Some students worked to create trails in nearby Tecolote Canyon, while others weeded a Linda Vista community garden. In addition to building community through direct action, these LLC students 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 voters. Most recently, they gathered for dinner to play a card game that emphasized the benefits of privilege by shifting the rules for the few and not telling the majority. This LLC is well prepared to think about immigration in relation to the overarching theme linked to their living community and look forward to “The Last Word.”
-Noelle H. Norton