The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
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Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 11, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tarleton State on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Luke White, Sports Editor • July 14, 2024

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Craig Reagans 1973 brown Mach 1 Mustang features custom stickers of Craig and his wife, and is completely rebuilt from the ground up. The interior was completely torn out and replaced with new dashboard and radio.
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • July 9, 2024

This past Sunday, Cars and Coffee welcomed exactly one car: a sleek, brown Mustang that stood alone like a lone ranger in the Wild West. This...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Program encourages students to get involved on campus

Photo by Provided

Living Learning Community looks to build a committee within the dorms for mostly freshman students.

When Garrett Medellin, communication junior, first came to campus, he felt out of place and wasn’t sure if Texas A&M was the place for him, but by immersing himself in a Living Learning Community he was able to break out of his shell.
Living Learning Programs offer a community living experience on campus with programs, activities and classes all aimed at creating an environment that will lead to greater on-campus involvement. And with several more programs springing up in the soon-to-be completed Commons, the programs show no sign of slowing down.
Medellin, now a senior peer mentor, said it was his experience with Living Learning Programs which transformed him from an introverted freshman to mentor, leaving him with an incredibly rewarding experience.
“To me peer mentors is such a rewarding role because it gives you a leadership position, it breaks  you out of your comfort zone, and you get to build these connections, since there is a small group of peer mentors,” Medellin said. “These people become your lifelong friends and I honestly have not had better friends, ever.”
According to Craig Rotter, assistant director for Academic Support Initiatives and assistant lecturer with the Department of Residence Life, said along with the various programs across campus, peer mentors find a big place among the communities. In addition to their duties serving as a guide to incoming freshman students, peer mentors attend three-hour courses in both semesters of their sophomore year and continue into their junior year, eventually adding up to a minor in leadership.
Craig Rotter, said most Living Learning Programs are focused on helping students to leave their comfort zone and explore themselves and their new town.
“The number-one thing that these provide is a sense of belonging from day one at the university,” Rotter said. “The notion that someone cares about you and that in your first year, you have that support of people around you who are, most likely, interested or studying the same thing that you are and the fact that you are digging deeper in no matter what the subject area is. All of that is happening throughout your first year on campus.”
There are four main types of Living Learning Programs offered to students on campus: Academic Residential Experience Districts, Academic Living Learning Communities, Enhanced Living Learning Communities and Timed or Interest Group Housing. All except the Interest Group Housing require an academic course every semester.  
The first LLC established at Texas A&M was the Honors Housing Community in Lechner Hall, which has now to the McFadden hall. Aside from Honors, there is also the Engineering Living Learning Community. These are known as Academic Residential Experience Districts. In these residential districts, students live with those who share their major, and work on creating enhanced study skills. They also encourage students to engage in opportunities provided by the university for growth in residents’ professional and personal lives.
The Academic LLCs allow students who share similar interests to reside together and together taking part in activities as a team. These include Leadership Learning Community, Spanish Immersion, IntersXtions and Broad Street Society. The Academic LLC requires students to attend classes with the same group of peers in their residence hall and provide the opportunity for students to participate in extracurricular activities designed specifically for them.
Sara Elizabeth McCabe, biomedical sciences freshman and a member of the Leadership LLC, which is open to all majors, said the program has allowed her to be more open-minded, a better listener and a better person.
“Without the LLC I wouldn’t have the friends, the job and the lifestyle that I do now,” McCabe said. “I wouldn’t of made such strong connections with not only my fellow peers, but with faculty and staff that want to see the best of what we can offer.”
Enhanced LLCs are optional residential programs for students who have received a scholarship from a collaborating Living Learning Program, such as Terry Scholars, Aggie Collegiates Ready to Explore, the World Century Scholars and the Foundations of Continued Undergraduate Success. While each program has its own unique style, they all focused on educational success. Rotter said, since all the students receive scholarships, they want the students to excel in their academics and uphold the scholarships they are receiving.
Finally, combining common interest and residential living, the Themed or Interest Group Housing provides students with a unique atmosphere to support their personal growth through academics and social programming. Each group housing program focuses on a specific interest anywhere from liberal arts to entrepreneurial students. The most recent program is THRIVE: Wellness Living Learning Community where students participate in a community centered around wellness activities and opportunities.
Rotter said the honors program has been at Texas A&M for over 20 years and has given students a chance to strengthen their identities by providing them with students with similar mindsets. Rotter said the long-running program has been an asset to the university and will continue to harbor students in the future.  
“That’s been a phenomenal experience; students have a very strong identity in being in the honors program and university honor in their first year and living together in Lechner and McFadden halls,” Rotter said.

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