The Living-Learning Community

This year, I joined Mudd’s Living-Learning Community (LLC). The LLC is a community of students who (during a usual year) all live on Drinkward’s second floor and host events on different social justice topics throughout the year.

A group of students around a table with different crepe toppings.

LLC events come with snacks! This event paired discussions about food injustice and civil rights with freshly baked crepes and cookies. Photo Credit: LLC

The official Mission Statement is:

“Harvey Mudd’s Living-Learning Community seeks to maintain a respectful environment created by students, for all students; to foster open, passionate, and intelligent discussions about social justice issues; to encourage students to become leaders in challenging these issues; to support those who may feel marginalized on our campus; and to vitalize Harvey Mudd College’s mission to inspire students to ‘understand the impact of their work on society.'”

LLC members take at least one class on a social justice issue, host an event each semester, and attend weekly meetings. In total, we host at least eight events a semester for the Mudd community. This semester we’ve moved them all online, and even held a semester-long asynchronous event!

Students sit in a classroom watching a presentation.

An event from last year on science and gender with speaker Decatur Foster, a fourth year biology Ph.D student at Portland State University. Photo Credit: LLC

Events can have very different formats. Sometimes an event is just showing and debating a documentary or news story, like last year, when the LLC hosted a viewing and discussion of “Hard NOx,” a documentary about the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Other times an LLC member gives a presentation on an issue. This semester we have hosted several like that, including one on the USPS, one on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s legacy, and one on Covid-19 and educational disparities. There are also panel events, including one earlier this semester with queer professors who answered questions from students!

Students in a classroom watch a presentation with slides.

This photo is from another event held last year–a discussion on big tech and its societal impact! Especially given how many Mudd students end up working in big tech companies, this was a really cool discussion. Photo Credit: LLC

The weirdness of being remote also led to some new formats. There were more focused discussions, as we hosted debate watch parties for the vice presidential debate and the last presidential debate. We also hosted a semester-long asynchronous voting event, where we did non-partisan research on down-ballot races for Mudders who requested help. Overall, being in the LLC is really cool. It’s a very supportive community, and its an awesome chance to get more involved on campus!