New Living-Learning Communities at St. Paul's
Building on the tremendous success of the Environment Living-Learning Community, St. Paul's launched the Social Impact Living-Learning Community (LLC) this fall. The new LLC brings students closer to issues that our communities are facing, explores the challenges around tackling those issues, and provides students the opportunity to understand how they can make an impact.
Guided by two Peer Leaders, 35 first-year students have taken it upon themselves to shape the world around them. One of these Peer Leaders is Elisabeth Bruins, a second-year International Development Studies student who lived on La Bastille in her first year. She is passionate about guiding students through this process. Her unique outlook on the world around her has allowed her to make strong connections with her students and challenge them to think hard about what they see around them.
Two months in, students have been busy identifying challenges and finding opportunities to volunteer or engage with the local community. They have also participated in an empathy mapping process to understand how others are affected by the issues they have identified.
Next fall, St. Paul's will also launch a third Living-Learning Community: In partnership with Faculty of Engineering, Women in Engineering will support the unique needs of first-year female Engineering students as they transition to university. The students will get support from upper-year residence Dons, as well as Peer Leaders from Engineering programs who will understand their experiences and help foster a sense of belonging.
Gender-neutral washrooms in residence first on campus
As part of a recent upgrade to its East Wing washrooms, St. Paul’s has converted all the single-sex washrooms into gender-neutral individual cubicles with private shower, sink, and toilet.
Each floor on the East Wing now has several cubicles, as well as a common area with a sink and vanity countertop. These washrooms are open at all times and no special arrangements are needed to use them.
“We believe our students will be more comfortable with this new configuration, as it allows for maximum privacy and gender doesn’t need to play a role,” said Lindsay Restagno, Director of Operations at St. Paul’s.
St. Paul’s has also added gender-neutral washrooms in the public part of its campus. The residences in the new wing, to open in September 2017, have private ensuites in each room.