Living-Learning Houses

2020-2021 Update

Per the College’s announcement to students and families, and due to space limitations, the residence halls will only house first-year and visiting international students. In an effort to promote social distancing efforts, the residence halls have been de-densified. Each student will have their own private room/bedroom but be charged the double room rate. The living-learning houses will be held offline for quarantine and isolation space. Please note that statements that appear throughout the website regarding the housing requirement or a building’s total occupancy and demographics may not necessarily be accurate this year due to the unprecedented circumstances.

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The Living-Learning Housing Units (LLHUs) are an educational program of the Office of Residential Life in its efforts to engage students fully in experiential education and co-curricular learning at Kalamazoo College. Through Residential Life, the College entrusts each LLHU to a group of students to serve as a resource to both support and educate residents of the house and the wider campus community. Groups of seven, eight, or nine students must demonstrate a common interest and the desire to live and learn together, and be committed to sharing their learning and education with the larger campus.


Students with sophomore, junior or senior standing are eligible to reside in a LLHU. First-year and visiting international students are not eligible to live in a LLHU. Students must be in good social standing with the College at the time of application and during their entire residency in a LLHU Therefore, students who are on social probation are not eligible to reside in a LLHU.

Students living in the house must also be able to live in the house for at least two of the three quarters during the academic year. When space allows, individuals may keep their space in the LLHU while participating in a quarter-long off-campus program or during a one-quarter withdrawal from the college. Due to limited housing during spring quarter, all open house vacancies must be filled. It is the obligation of the house members to maintain the house occupancy. Failure to do so may result in reassignment of the house members to other living arrangements.

Residents may be on or off the meal plan.

Supervision and Accountability

Oversight of the LLHUs is the responsibility of the Office of Residential Life through the Graduate Assistant for the LLHUs. Each house will designate one house member to serve as a liaison with the Graduate Assistant each quarter.

The Office of Residential Life will administer programming funds in accordance with established guidelines, the guidelines outlined in the LLHU Manual, and the mission of the College, in support of the educational program of the LLHUs and costs associated with their operation.

Each resident, as a part of the application process, will be asked to sign a contract with the College to recommit to the College’s Honor System and to accept an obligation and responsibility for student conduct, care of the facility and compliance with Federal, State and local laws as they are published for the public, and the regulations of Kalamazoo College. Where student behavior or care of the facilities becomes problematic, the Department of Residential Life reserves the right to change or terminate the arrangement with any student or any group at any time. Students must be in good social standing with the College in order to reside in a LLHU. Therefore, students on social probation are not eligible to reside in a living-learning unit. If residents are found to be in violation of any College policy throughout the academic year, the student may be removed from the LLHU and the house may be terminated.

Program Development

Each LLHU is required to plan and present three programs per academic quarter. Two of these programs are planned for the entire campus community and work to further educate students, faculty, and staff in the mission of the house. The third program is an in-house event specifically designed to help develop the knowledge and skills of the members of the house.

Programs are planned collaboratively by the LLHU members and are approved through the Graduate Assistant and the Office of Residential Life.

Application Process

Placement in a living-learning housing unit is granted for one academic year. The following requirements will be considered when evaluating proposals for LLHUs:

  • Students must fill the house (it is suggested that students apply with a group of 7).
  • A roster of residents committed to the education of the house, responsible student conduct, and the honor system must be included with the application.
  • If selected, the applicant group may need to add to or subtract from the house roster, depending upon amount of spaces available in the assigned house.
  • It is mandatory that the group of students are committed to living in the house for 2 (preferably 3) quarters. In order to utilize College facilities and resources fully, groups are expected to keep their houses at full capacity each quarter and to provide quality education to the campus.
  • Spaces cannot be held for students who are on long-term study abroad.
  • Where occupancy rates are a recurring problem, group tenure and venue may not be renewed for the following quarter.
  • The house must draft and submit a mission statement.
  • The house must present research and an overall educational design.
  • The applicant group must give a brief presentation before the selection committee.
  • House placements will be determined by the Office of Residential Life. Layouts of each house can be found on the last page of the information packet.

Please Note: The presentation portion of the LLHU application will be scheduled for the 8th week of Spring Quarter, prior to the returning student housing selection process for Fall. This required 10-minute presentation is a chance for the group to highlight aspects of the application they believe are particularly worthy of consideration. It is also an opportunity for the selection committee to ask questions. Visual aids (e.g. PowerPoint presentations) are highly encouraged. You may sign up for a presentation time after an application is submitted.