Living Learning Communities

Roger Williams University began offering Living Learning Communities (LLCs) more than fifteen years ago, when the University Honors Program chose to include a living component to accompany the overall honors experience. Since then, the University has hosted many types of living, ranging from major-based to special interest and affinity based spaces. We believe that Living Learning Communities are an integral piece of the RWU education, especially for our incoming students.

National research has shown that LLCs:

  • Improve self-confidence
  • Open students’ minds to new ideas and experiences
  • Increase student engagement in classes
  • Lead students to think more critically and gain deeper knowledge
  • Create a greater sense of connection to the university community

Our current LLC offerings have expanded as of the 24-25 academic year. Students will have the option to select whether they are in a special interest or affinity community, or if they prefer to select their specific room assignment.  Students interested in these communities will identify their preferences and we will make every effort to match students with their preferences. Each area will be comprised of a cohort of approximately 20-40 students (depending on the residential community).

At RWU, our LLC, Interest and Affinity Communities:

  • Give students additional access to faculty and/or staff members.
  • Create a community within a community
  • Allow for greater interaction with Peers and Resident Assistants
  • Serve the specific needs and interests of the students residing in them

LLCs at RWU are designed to help students get the most out of their first-year by strengthening the connection between the classroom and the residence hall, and helping in the transition from high school to college.  As a member of one of these communities, students will have the support and encouragement they need to make the most of their college experience.

The application for all Living Learning Communities is available through your Housing Self Service Portal.  If you do not see the application under Forms & Applications, please email 


The Black and Latinx Living Learning Community is a group of people from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and ethnicities who connect around the common experience of being racially Black or Latinx.  The Black and Latinx LLC aims to make meaningful connections with peers and Black/Latinx faculty and administrators, network in the RI community with Black/Latinx professionals, participate in community collaborations through service projects that empower Black/Latinx youth and engage with the campus community for institutional change.  This community is located in Building I of Stonewall Terrace and will be home to both first year and upperclassmen students.

Coordinator: Michael Walsh

More information about the Black and Latinx LLC

The Honors program is located in Building IV of Stonewall Terrace and is home to both first year and upperclassmen students.  Students entering the Honors Program will be automatically placed in this Living Learning Community, unless they are commuting from home or would prefer an affinity-based LLC (i.e. Black & Latinx or Queer/Trans). The Honors Program, in coordination with the LLC, focuses on achieving excellence through intellectual and creative scholarship, fostering citizenship and social responsibility through reflective engagement with local and global communities and leading and serving within the program, the community, and the world. 

Program Director: Dr. William Palm, Associate Professor of Engineering

This community serves students who identify anywhere within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, trans, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-confirming communities. In partnership with the Queer and Trans Resource and Advocacy Center (QTRAC), this community allows for our queer and trans communities to build a strong network of support while they adjust to life at RWU. This community also creates a safe space for our queer and trans students to celebrate their shared identities.  The Queer/Trans LLC is located in Maple Hall for our first year students. Returning (upperclassmen) students have an additional community located within the suites of North Campus Residence Hall.

Coordinator: Michael Walsh

More information about the Queer/Trans LLC

The Sustainable Food Systems community is for upperclassmen students interested in taking an active role in promoting sustainability on campus. Depending on their interests, students may help develop and maintain campus gardens, attend cooking demonstrations or classes, visit local food producers, or coordinate events centered on education the RWU community about sustainable food systems. Through these activities, students will gain a familiarity with both campus and regional sustainability initiatives. Students enrolled in FS101, Introduction to Food Science, will be given priority for placement in this LLC. The Sustainable Food Systems LLC is located in Bayside Courts.

Coordinator:  Dr. Jennifer Kreft Pearce, Associate Professor of Physics

This community provides a supportive and empowering environment specifically designed to meet the unique needs and interests of female-identified students. Within this community, residents can foster deep connections and friendships, engage in open dialogue about shared experiences, and participate in programming tailored to personal and academic growth. By living in this inclusive and affirming space, residents are encouraged to thrive academically, socially, and personally, while building a strong sense of community and solidarity among their peers.

This community is located in Maple 4. 

Coordinators: Debbie Knapman and Amanda Downey

This community provides a supportive and affirming environment where male identifying folks can explore what it means to be men both in their daily lives and in society as a whole. We will explore various models of masculinity and students will have the opportunity to explore how they feel and where they fit as it relates to masculinity.

This community is located in Maple 5.

Coordinator: Alexander Dukette

This community will focus on offering a dynamic experience tailored to students pursuing studies in various engineering disciplines. Within this community, students may engage in hands-on projects, collaborative problem-solving activities, and specialized coursework designed to enhance their understanding of engineering principles. This LLC will foster a supportive and innovative environment where students can develop their technical skills, cultivate teamwork abilities, and build lasting connections with their peers and faculty members, preparing them for successful careers in engineering and related industries.

This community is located in Maple 8.

Coordinator: Dr. Lillian Jeznech

This community allows residents to develop their leadership skills and make a positive impact on campus and in their future. By embracing a commitment to personal and collective growth, students in this community will develop the confidence and skills needed to become effective leaders at RWU and beyond.

This community is located in Maple 9.

Coordinator: Carol Sacchetti

This community supports residents eager to explore potential career paths and gain practical experience in their chosen fields. Residents will foster a supportive network of peers and mentors, empowering residents to navigate the complexities of the job market and make informed decisions about their future careers.

This community is located in Maple 7.

Coordinator: Mary Santoro

This community provides a supportive and holistic environment for students committed to maintaining their physical and mental well-being. Residents will focus on personal growth, academic success, and positive social connections. By embracing a lifestyle centered around health and wellness, students in this community will cultivate habits that promote overall well-being.

This community is located in Maple 1.

Coordinator: Cristelle Garnier

This community offers a low-volume environment for students seeking a peaceful living space focused on study and relaxation. Residents are encouraged to maintain a calm atmosphere through respectful noise levels and consideration for others' need for quietude. The community fosters a sense of mindfulness and mental well-being, allowing residents to thrive academically and personally in a peaceful and supportive community.

This community is located in Willow 51.

Coordinator: Liz Furtado

This community is designed for students who thrive during late-night hours, offering a community that embraces a nocturnal lifestyle. Social programs are often scheduled during the evening and nighttime, fostering a lively and engaging environment when other parts of the campus are quiet. This community aims to create a supportive and vibrant community where students can balance their academic responsibilities and social interests, all within a setting that respects and nurtures their preference for staying up late. Residents in this community are still required to abide by the community standards around courtesy and quiet hours. 

This community is located in Maple 12.

Coordinator: Mikaela Calcagni

Pet Friendly Housing offers a welcoming and accommodating environment for students who wish to bring their pets to campus. Residents benefit from a supportive community of fellow pet owners or animal lovers, sharing tips and resources for maintaining their pets' health and happiness. By allowing pets, this community not only enhances the well-being of its residents but also creates a unique and vibrant living experience where students and their animal companions can thrive together.

This community is located in Willow 6's for First Year Students and Almeida 400's for Returning Students

Coordinators: Liz Furtado and Emma Spezeski

Guide to Pet Friendly Community Living

Guide to Pet Friendly Community Living 

Welcome to Pet Friendly Housing!

The Department of Residence Life and Housing (DRLH) is pleased to offer pet friendly communities, a unique housing option where residents can live with their pet*, as part of an ongoing commitment to enhance the on-campus experience. We are offering a pet friendly community in Willow and Almeida in designated areas. (Note: A student does not have to have a pet in order to live in a pet friendly (PF) community. For example, a student may choose to live with a roommate who has a pet.) 

In order to maintain a standard of living that is fair and consistent, DRLH requires all residents to adhere to the rules, guidelines, and policies governing pet and animal friendly communities set forth by this guide, the Guide to On-Campus Living, the Pet Friendly Community Owner Responsibility Agreement, as well as the Student Code of Conduct. Violations may result in sanctions. Please review all information carefully and contact housing staff if you have any specific questions.

*Restrictions apply. See Permitted Pets.

Permitted Pets

Students in PF communities are permitted to have one pet only (Note: One pet per person in a room. If you have roommates, there may be multiple pets in the room.) RWU PF Communities permit a student to have an animal in the following categories:

  • Dogs over the age of 1 year old and no larger than 40 lbs. fully grown (state/city approved breeds)
  • Cats over the age of 1 year old
  • Small caged mammals (e.g. hamster)
  • Turtles that can comfortably live in a 20 gallon-tank or smaller
  • Lizards that can comfortably live in a 20 gallon-tank or smaller.

Animals that are not permitted include, but are not limited to: wildlife; poisonous or endangered species; snakes; farm, lab, or production animals; or animals that have to be fed a live animal for survival.  This list of prohibited animals is not exclusive, and DRLH reserves the right to exclude any animal, of any type, from a PF community in its sole discretion.

All pets and animals must be pre-approved by DRLH prior to the animal arriving to the campus.

No other pet or animal is allowed in University housing, including pets that live at home. (Pets from home are not permitted to visit.) 

Application & Room Selection Process

Students wanting to live in a PF community can indicate their interest on the online housing application during the Room Selection Process. During the student’s room selection timeslot, they can search for a pet friendly space. Space in these communities is limited and placement is not guaranteed.

Students are welcome to apply to live in a PF community once the academic year is underway; however, space is not guaranteed to be available.


In addition to all other DRLH requirements, all students who 1) have selected a PF room and 2) would like to bring a pet must submit the following prior to bringing the pet to campus:

For ALL pets:
  • Completed and signed pet friendly agreement
  • Clear, full-bodied picture of pet
  • $250 cleaning fee (non-refundable)
  • In addition, owners of dogs and cats must submit the following:
For DOGS only:
  • Proof of flea prevention
  • Proof of spayed/neutered
  • Proof of pet license

Proof of vaccinations for:

  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Leptospirosis
  • Bordetella
  • Fecal OVA and parasite screening with negative result
  • Rental or other insurance that covers any damage or injury caused by the dog
  • Photo and written description of the animal for identification purposes
For CATS only:
  • Proof of spayed/neutered

Proof of vaccinations for:

  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Felv/FIV (feline AIDS and Leukemia)
  • Fecal OVA and parasite screening with negative result
  • Photo and written description of the animal for identification purposes

All completed documents must be submitted to DRLH. Please be sure to include your full name and Student ID number with each document/item you submit.

When all documentation has been submitted and reviewed, a student will be conditionally approved to bring their pet. Final approval will be granted upon the successful completion of the pet friendly workshop. This workshop must be scheduled within 7 days of their conditional approval. 

Please contact your Area Coordinator to schedule a workshop. Every student bringing a pet to campus is required to complete this workshop.

Approval for a pet is only valid for the academic year in which the documentation is submitted. New documentation and the $250 pet fee are required for each academic year.

Pet owners are required to keep a sticker on their student ID indicating they have a pet. This will be supplied by DRLH after completing the pet friendly workshop. A label for the room/apartment exterior entrance will also be provided indicating what type of pet(s) and how many pets live in the space. The pet owner(s) is responsible for ensuring that it is displayed at all times.

If loss or damage occurs to a pet friendly sticker or door label, please notify hall staff to obtain a new one.

Pet Owner (Student) Responsibilities

Pet owners are solely responsible for the actions of their pet, including any and all damage or injury to persons or property caused by the pet. In conjunction with the expectations outlined in the Guide to On-Campus Living and Student Code of Conduct, pet owners are responsible for the following: 

Care for Room/Apartment

All rooms and apartments with pets must be kept clean, and free of trash, animal waste, and pests. If at any time a DRLH staff member determines that the room/apartment is not meeting cleanliness standards, 24 hours will be given to rectify the situation. If, after 24 hours, the room still does not meet cleanliness standards, conduct sanctions may apply. Charges can occur due to lack of cleanliness.

Care for Pet

Pet owners must:

  1. Ensure that their pet wears proper identification indicating the owner’s name and phone number at all times (unless the pet permanently resides in a cage).
  2. Maintain the health and hygiene of the pet, including but not limited to: regular bathing/grooming, regular use of proper treatments to prevent pests of any kind (e.g., fleas, ticks); seeking veterinary treatment if the pet becomes ill. Note: Please wash pet’s bedding, toys, clothing or other items in designated facilities and in specially approved washers and dryers.
  3. Ensure caged pets remain in their cage when the owner is not present in the room/apartment.
  4. Have a pet carrier in their possession and accessible in the event of an evacuation, emergency, or staff request.
  5. Arrange alternative care for their pet outside of the University (not on campus) in case of an emergency or if required to remove the animal due to disruption, damage, etc. Examples include a shelter, a friend who lives off campus, family, etc.

 Pet owners may not:

  • Ask roommates, other students, University staff and/or guests to assume responsibility for the care of a pet. This includes, but is not limited to, walking the pet, cleaning the pet, feeding the pet, cleaning the room, etc.
  • Leave pets alone overnight in the room/suite/apartment, or in another resident’s room/suite/apartment.
Consideration for Roommates

It is highly encouraged, out of courtesy, that pet owners notify roommate(s) of what type of pet will be residing in the room/apartment, prior to the pet coming to campus. Before bringing a pet on campus, it is important to discuss expectations around pets with your roommates. Students living in the same room/apartment also will be required to complete a Roommate Agreement so that they can discuss and create such expectations.

It is the responsibility of the pet owner to carry out all reasonable requests made by roommates—including but not limited to the terms of the roommate agreement—regarding health, safety, and comfort of the roommate(s) directly related to the presence of their pet in the room/apartment.

Consideration for Community

While we do allow pets in certain buildings, they may not cause a disruption to the residential community. Approved pets are only permitted in the pet friendly residence hall room of the owner. Pets are not permitted to roam outside of the room/apartment in common areas, common bathrooms, in other student rooms/suites/apartments, or in any other campus building. Pets are also not permitted to ride on University transportation.  It is the responsibility of each pet owner to carry out all reasonable requests made by residents and University staff regarding health, safety, and comfort of the community directly related to the presence of their pet in the residence hall.

Pet owners are responsible for their pet’s behavior and community standards. If a pet is found to be violating community standards or is a continued disruption to the community (e.g. barking, odor, etc.), the pet owner may face sanctioning, which may lead to the removal of the pet and possible additional charges. Violations/disturbances will be documented through the student conduct system – please refer to the Student Conduct policies.

Health & Safety Inspections

Health & Safety Inspections in room/apartments where animals reside are conducted at least once per semester by DRLH staff members to ensure the space is sanitary and that the health and wellness of all occupants, including pets, are being maintained. The University retains the right to conduct additional inspections as necessary.

If at any other time during the year there is a concern within the room, please report it to your Area Coordinator.

If violations of the rules and policies set forth by this guide, the Guide to On-Campus Living, the Pet Friendly Community Owner Responsibility Agreement, or the Student Code of Conduct are discovered during the course of an inspection, residents may be subject to student conduct review and disciplinary action.

Cleaning & Damages Due to Pet

Pet owners are required to pay a non-refundable fee of $250 to the University in advance of the pet’s arrival.

Notwithstanding the fee, the pet owner will be responsible for all additional costs and expenses that result from damage caused by the pet, including pest issues. Damage and expenses are determined by Facilities upon the student and pet vacating the room.

Damages caused by a pet (e.g. stained carpet, worn/ripped furniture, pests, etc.) should be reported promptly so that they may be addressed by Facilities. For serious or emergency maintenance situations, inform a DRLH staff member immediately. Note that there may be a charge to repair damage caused by the pet.

When a room/apartment is vacated, either during the academic year or at the end of it, the room/apartment will be inspected and any damages determined to be as the result of a pet will be charged to the pet owner(s) who resided in the room. Damage charges are assessed to the student’s account. Students have 90 days to contest any charges.

Animal Waste

Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their animal and disposing of animal waste properly. Failure to clean up animal waste may result in disciplinary sanctions.

All cage and litter box waste must be removed at least twice a week, but should be removed as often as necessary to maintain an odor-free, clean living environment for the pet and residents. Solid waste must be bagged, tied securely, and brought to the trash room or dumpster immediately.

The University has provided dog waste bags and receptacles in specific locations to ensure the proper disposal of animal waste. If they are empty, please submit a facilities request.

Animal Food & Supplies

Animal food must be stored tidily in plastic containers to discourage pests. Pet bedding, toys, litter/litter boxes, and other supplies must be kept neat, organized, and stored appropriately.

Walking Pets Outside

For pets that need to be walked to go to the bathroom, pet owners may only use University grounds in designated pet areas outside of the pet friendly hall (most are designated by waste bag dispensers). 

Please refrain from using spaces directly in front of the building or on the sidewalk. Pet owners must pick up and properly dispose of animal waste. Pets must be on a leash, harness, or other tether at all times on University grounds.

Fire Alarms/Emergencies/Evacuations

In the event of an evacuation of the residence hall, the pet owner must vacate with the pet. If the pet owner is not present, a roommate can assist. The pet must be on a leash or in a portable cage or pet carrier during an evacuation.

Animal Nuisance/Threats

A pet cannot be a nuisance or pose a threat to anyone living in the community, including other pets. Pets must not show aggression towards other pets, individuals, or staff assisting in the community. Aggressive or repeatedly disruptive pets, which will be documented through the conduct process, will be required to be removed from University housing.

Examples of disruptive behavior include, but are not limited to: excessive barking or continuous noise, destruction of property, roaming hallways/common areas, biting or scratching others, etc.  If two or more pets in a pet friendly room are aggressive towards each other, both pets may be asked to be removed from the room 

Students who have complaints should report them to a DRLH staff member. 

All complaints about pets will be investigated by DRLH and/or Student Conduct with possible sanctions imposed if violations are found. In addition, the University may relocate pet owners and their pets in residential housing in accordance with the Room Terms Agreement and applicable DRLH policies, procedures and rules. In some instances, students may be asked to remove their pet from residential housing. 


Violations of the rules and policies governing pet friendly communities set forth by this guide, the Guide to On-Campus Living, the Pet Friendly Community Owner Responsibility Agreement, as well as the Student Code of Conduct may result in sanctions, including the owner being asked to remove the pet permanently from residential housing within 24 hours of being notified. If a pet is removed, the student is still bound to their housing contract (Room Terms Agreement) and may be required to relocate from the pet friendly community. Failure or refusal to remove a pet from campus will result in the University doing so on the student’s behalf and could include additional sanctions.

Abandonment, neglect, or mistreatment of a pet by a pet owner or any member of the University will not be tolerated. No warnings will be issued; if there is abuse it will result in the pet being removed from the owner or measures taken to prevent contact with the person responsible for the abuse. In the event a removal of the pet is necessary, Public Safety will work with Animal Control to remove the pet.

Any incident involving pet aggressiveness and/or injury to others (including other pets) must be promptly reported to Public Safety which may determine that contacting local law enforcement and animal control is necessary.

Pets Leaving Housing

If a pet owner decides to no longer have their pet live with them or if the pet is no longer living, they are required to notify the Area Coordinator within 48 hours so that we can document those pets that are no longer on campus. If the student wants to bring a different/new pet to campus, they must re-apply with DRLH. (The pet owner is not required to leave pet and animal friendly housing if their pet is no longer living there; however, if they would like to relocate, they can speak with their Area Coordinator.)


Check local listings for information on where to find pet supplies, groomers, laundry services, and veterinary services.

Although not required, the University recommends that pet owners consider pet insurance. RWU also strongly encourages residents to seek obedience and other forms of training if they have a dog.

Living Learning Community Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits of being involved in an LLC?

A: In addition to the information provided on this web page, some of the benefits include faculty mentors, special events and instant bonds with your classmates and faculty members.

 Q: I really want to be in an LLC; how do I make sure that I get in?

A: After students complete their housing application, they will be able to apply for the Living Learning Community through a separate application/selection process. Those application links along with the program coordinator contact information can be found on this page (above). Program coordinators will select students based on the student's LLC application and space availability. Placement into one of these communities is not guaranteed.

Q: How much does it cost to be in an LLC?

A: Even with all of the added benefits, there is no additional cost to be part of any LLC. The cost is only associated with with the residential community the LLC resides in.

Q: Can I pick my roommate?

A: If you already know who you’d like to live with, you can indicate that on the Roommate Matching Characteristics Questionnaire.  It must be a mutual request to be considered and the roommate will have to either complete an LLC application as well or be accepted/approved by the LLC Program Coordinator.

Q: What if I don’t like/get along with my roommate?

A: We always do our best to match you with a roommate who will complement your lifestyle. While we have enjoyed great success in our process, we acknowledge that the process is not foolproof. If things aren’t working between you and your roommate, we will try our best to help you work through it, or work with you to have you reassigned to a better living situation.