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Housing & Dining Programs

Residential Community Cluster

A Residential Community Cluster (RCC) is a living and learning environment created and implemented by students based on a shared theme, purpose or partnership that reflects the mission and values of American University, Housing & Dining Programs and Residential Education. The RCC program at American University is intended to create a unique living and learning experience within the residence halls. RCCs are designed with that belief in mind and are intended to provide support to the academic, social, and/or extracurricular elements of the university. This program seeks to empower and challenge students to customize their on-campus living experience to compliment academic pursuits and to contribute to the greater campus community. RCCs are completely student driven; therefore, the community can take a number of different forms based on community goals and interests.

Residential Community Cluster

Who is eligible for an RCC?
This community is open to any rising sophomores, juniors and seniors who currently live on campus and have lived on campus for one or two semesters by the end of the 2015-2016 academic year.

Where will RCCs be housed?
All RCCs will be housed in McDowell Hall. Some, but not all, of the communities will be housed in suites. Placement in the suite will be determined by community size and the centrality of a suite-style set-up to the community's educational purpose.

How many participants are in an RCC?
RCCs can range from 6-18 participants. McDowell suites can house 6 students. Communities larger than 6 members may be placed on a wing of McDowell or a combination of suite and rooms on the floor.

What do I need to do to apply for an RCC?

There are four required steps to apply for an RCC:

  1. Submit an application
  2. Attend an information session, or meet with Lindsay Whipple (whipple@american.edu)
  3. Complete a written application with proposed RCC
  4. Present proposed RCC for approval

Information Session & Application

A brief information session will be held in McDowell Hall on Monday, January 25, 2016 between 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Stop by to learn more about RCCs. If unable, schedule a meeting with Lindsay Whipple (whipple@american.edu).

The RCC application asks applicants to complete a brief summary of the RCC proposal. Applicants and RCC participants must complete the Housing License Agreement, which is part of the room selection process, by January 29 to be eligible for consideration.

Application Process Timeline

By Friday, January 29, 2016 @ 5 p.m. Please send the following electronically to Lindsay Whipple, Assistant Director for Learning Communities and Assessment, at whipple@american.edu.

•  A completed RCC Application
•  A copy of the “List of Committed Participants.” (Please provide in Excel format.)

Print the following and turn into the Housing & Dining Programs office in Anderson Hall.

•  Resident Coordinator Expectations and Agreement Form.
•  List of Committed Participants (with signatures).
•  Optional: Faculty/Staff Advisor Expectations and Agreement Form (with attached letter or emailed letter).

When submitting your forms to the Housing & Dining Programs office in Anderson Hall, you must sign up for a presentation date and time.

February 2-3, 2016

You will be responsible for giving a brief 30 minute presentation (approximately 15 minutes of presentation, 10 minutes of question and answer) on your proposal. Date and time options will be available for sign up at the Housing & Dining Programs office in Anderson Hall when you turn in your application. The committee will review your application and may return it for revisions or changes. 

February 18, 2016

Final acceptance/denial decisions (including hall placement) will be communicated to the Resident Coordinator of the Residential Community Cluster.

Once accepted into the RCC, students will be assigned by Housing & Dining Programs to their new room, no further action by the students is necessary. The Resident Coordinator is responsible for communicating a final list of participants. 

Committed Group of Participants

In order to make determinations as to the viability of a cluster, it is important to include a list of committed participants who have promised to be a part of the cluster. Each participant is responsible for signing up for room draw and assuring that they are eligible. This opportunity is only available to second year students (those with 3 semesters or less on campus). All RCCs will be located in McDowell Hall. No guarantees are made that a selected community will be placed in a McDowell Suite.

Please assure that the List of Committed Participants Form is completed with signatures and an Excel version is emailed. It is important that each participant is aware that if the RCC is not accepted and s/he still wishes to remain on-campus for the 2016-2017 academic year s/he must then participate in the room selection process.

The Resident Coordinator

Identify one resident to be the Resident Coordinator for the RCC. This individual will be responsible for the logistics and communication for the community. This individual is NOT the Resident Assistant. Indicate why this individual was selected and how this person can benefit the community being proposed. Attach the signed Resident Coordinator Expectations and Agreement Form with the proposal.

Optional: The Faculty/Staff Advisor

Identify the Faculty/Staff Advisor for the Residential Community Cluster. This individual will provide advice and expertise for achieving the stated learning objectives. Indicate why this individual was selected and how this person can benefit the community being proposed. Housing and Dining Programs may be able to assist in identifying key faculty and staff who share the interests and objectives stated in the proposal.

Resources Needed

What resources are needed to meet the educational objectives stated in the proposal? Provide a detailed request for essential resources with the proposal. Included in this request should be a request for any resources that are vital to individual participants or the community learning objectives.