The University of Nevada, Reno is offering students the ability to be a part of “living learning communities” (LLCs) that are based on shared interests in academics or certain racial or ethnic backgrounds.
Three of the shared living arrangements were are titled “Black scholars,” “Indigenous” and “Latinx” – all of which appear to be located in the university’s Great Basin Hall. The communities garnered national attention on Tuesday, when Young America’s Foundation reported on an administrator indicating that White students and others that didn’t match those particular backgrounds shouldn’t be considered for admission to those communities.
“In the identity-based communities, for the safety of student participants, it is important only students who hold that identity are considered,” said Dean Kennedy, executive director of residential life, housing and food services.
The university told Fox News on Wednesday that Kennedy “misspoke” and that anyone could join the communities.
“Our executive director of residential life, housing and food services Dean Kennedy misspoke in giving his statement,” said Kerri Garcia Hendricks, executive director of marketing and communications. “These LLCs provide a sense of community and belonging, especially at research-intensive institutions. The University of Nevada, Reno’s 15 LLCs are open to any and all students living on campus.”
She added that “[t]here is no limit imposed on the number or percentage of students from different backgrounds.”
On its website, the university says that in LLCs “students with shared academic, social and cultural interests live on the same floor and attend courses together.”
It adds that the experience is a “high-impact practice” that promotes higher grade point averages and higher retention rates, among other purported benefits.