University Housing at Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Intersections: A living-learning community of diversity, dialogue, and democracy.

Goals

Programming at Intersections is designed to support students' success in building skills and knowledge to participate in a multicultural society. Click here for the full list of Intersections goals.

Academics

Academics are a central focus of Intersections and provide conceptual and historical foundations for residents to develop the tools to understand and analyze the complexities of race and cultural relations. In spring 2013, Intersections collaborated with the School of Social Work to pilot a service-learning course where we worked with middle-school students in an after school program. It was tough AND rewarding. Look for it again next spring 2014.

Events

From the purely social to more serious discussions to special trips, Intersections offers many ways to get involved.

"CODE (Conversations on Diverse Experiences)"

Regular occurrence where Intersections visits different cultural or social venues on or off campus and/or talks about relevant issues pertaining to race and other aspects of diversity. This series is led by the "OMI's" (Intersections Peer Leaders). It was a smashing success this past year with conversations on race, education, ability, sexual orientation, and being an international student. We'll keep it strong for 2013-2014!

Leadership and Diversity in the Real World (New!)

Intersections/University of Illinois Alumni return to share the ways they incorporate their Intersections experience into the career and lives beyond graduation. We kicked it off with a visit and presentation by Priscilla Guasso, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Hyatt Hotels International. Priscilla served as the Resident Advisor on the women's floor for Intersections first two years (2004-2006). Want to get involved in making this program happen? Contact Lydia Khuri, Intersections Program Director at mkhuri@illinois.edu.

Guests-in-Residence

Each semester Intersections hosts guests who address issues related to diversity and social justice. Guests live in Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall for several days to a week and interact with residents in a variety of programs, workshops, and informal discussions. This fall 2013 we'll have a visit from the winners of the School of Music's international music composition competition. The composers talk about their life and work as creative artists. We'll also welcome Monique Mohica, playwright, actor, and artistic director Chocolate Woman Collective. Ms. Mohica's work is dedicated to indigenous culture and healing through performance.

Visiting Scholars

Take advantage of the opportunity to meet and talk with faculty members at the University of Illinois and other universities whose work focuses on diversity and culture. The interactive format and dinner keep things lively.

Trips

Join your fellow residents in getting off campus to experience what other places have to offer. This September we'll travel to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the past, we have also visited the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and the NCAA Hall of Champions in Indiannapolis, Indiana.

Student Leadership

Outstanding Mentors for Intersections (OMI)

Returning students have the opportunity to step up as leaders through planning and facilitating Intersections Orientation, mentoring residents, and programming. Stipend provided in form of gift card to Illini Union Bookstore.

Multicultural Advocates (MA)

MA’s live in PAR and act as a resource, advocate, peer advisor, role model, and educator for residents around issues of social identity and social justice.

Resident Advisors (RA)

RA's are responsible for building community on the floors through programming, being role models, and upholding community standards.

Research

Improving cultural and race-relations has a rich tradition of research in the social sciences and education. Intersections residents are encouraged to join various projects through faculty research and courses. Contact Lydia Khuri, Intersections Program Director at mkhuri@illinois.edu for more information. Current projects range from examining the impact Intersections itself has on its residents to student-developed ethnography projects.

Researchers Initiative

Students residing in Intersections are eligible to apply to the Researchers Initiative where, if accepted, they will be placed with faculty mentors and paid to work on research projects during the spring semester. Look for email and facebook announcements in early fall for link to application.

Studies about Intersections

A new study on U of I Living-Learning Communities, including Intersections, will be published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.

Work on Intersections by Professors Mark Aber (Psychology), Helen Neville (Counseling Psychology), and Lisa Spanierman (Counseling Psychology) was featured at the 2008 conference on Race, Diversity, and Campus Climate at the University of Illinois.

Influence of a Living-Learning Community on Students’ Racial Attitudes examines increasing awareness of diversity issues and race and racism. In this study, it was found that students who participated in a multicultural living learning community had a more positive evaluation of their university's commitment to diversity compared to students who did not participate in a living learning community.

At home at Illinois

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