Story by Abby Siegel, Assistant News Editor
New Franklin Residential College will have designated wings exclusively for Honors College members designed to create a Living Learning Community (LLC) for these students.
In an email to all Honors College members, Warren Edminster, Honors College director, said that the new LLC would consist of three of eight wings exclusively for Honors College students. All residents voluntarily living in these wings will be Honors College members, and there will be Honors programs and a number of Honors seminars held within the residential college for them.
A concern expressed by current Franklin Residential College residents is that the LLC could potentially create an “us-against-them” divide in the terrapin community.
Samantha Wright, sophomore from Owensboro, Kentucky and Franklin College Head assistant, said she sees the transition as an exciting challenge.
“The challenge is going to be keeping Honors events open enough that Franklin College residents don’t feel uninvited, but not losing that Honors College feel and environment,” Wright said.
Wright said she believes good communication, an active Residential College Council and active resident advisers are key to making a smooth transition.
“I hope we all can work together and stay united,” Wright said. “It is a big challenge, but I think we are up for it.”
New Franklin may also become the meeting place of the Honors Student Council, rather than their current location in the Lowry Center.
“Although we are uncertain about all the arrangements, at this time, the council meetings would benefit by being closer to students, students’ community and students’ concerns,” said Paige Drew, junior from Murray and Honors Student Council president.
Drew doesn’t plan to live in New Franklin her senior year. She said she believes the LLC will “serve as a unifier of Honors students” and will be a great option for incoming freshmen.
“Although the freshmen will not know each other yet, they will be in a welcoming environment and an atmosphere of learning,” she said. “The LLC will most certainly strengthen our sense of community within the Honors College as a whole, including our student council.”
The LLC wings will have Honors College resident advisers. The specifics of their programming haven’t been decided yet.
Kourtney Baker, freshman from Springfield, Illinois, said she is excited to apply to be an Honors resident adviser.
“I think it will bring Honors students together on a personal level,” Baker said. “It will get Honors more involved.”
Baker said she believes it is a “step up” for the Honors College.
Other universities across Kentucky have a Living Learning Community for certain students, such as the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky and Northern Kentucky.
Wright said she believes the LLC will make the Honors College more competitive in the market for Honors students.
The Honors Program shifted to an Honors College in 2015. With the transition the college hired a Student Development Counselor who works with students on scheduling, scholarships and internship opportunities and has expanded their programming with events like “EAT TALK THINK.”