University puts effort into new Global Community for fall 2007

It’s hard to forget the infamous lyrics of Alanis Morisette: “You live – you learn.”

Although Morisette used this idea as another metaphor of personal angst, BGSU uses a similar idea with the living-learning communities on campus.

In addition to the eight learning communities already on campus, the University plans on adding the Global Village Learning Community in the fall of 2007.

“The benefit of all the learning communities is to combine students’ personal and academic lives so they can take classes in their living environment,” said Camille Consolvo, assistant vice principal of student affairs.

The new addition to the learning communities is just the beginning of the renovations planned for the residential community.

“I am interested in maintaining the residential character of the campus while considering new opportunities, specifically building on the connection between our academic programs and residential living arrangements,” said University President Sidney Ribeau.

The goal for the Global Village Learning Community is to support international understanding and to transform students into global citizens.

“The idea is that we want to enhance and facilitate interaction and dialogue between U.S. students and the international students,” said Laurie Rodgers, assistant director and coordinator of Learning Communities Projects.

The Global Village Learning Community will encourage students to investigate the other sides of international issues.

“What is the other side? What are the other perspectives that exist out there? And this is a way to do this, through the Global Village,” Rodgers said.

The three major components required for all members of the global community will include related courses on international topics, common time for programming, field trips, and language study.

“Programming would include such things as involvement with international populations in the area, visiting speakers and field trips in the region,” Consolvo said.

While the community will have no restrictions on majors, students who are interested in international affairs are expected and encouraged to join.

“You will certainly have a much broader and a more expanded perspective on whether it’s U.S. policy or whether it’s international policy. And a stronger ability to appreciate differences,” Rodgers said.

The University wants to start small and avoid being overwhelmed, but a continued interest in the Global Village Learning Community is intended. Although a location hasn’t been selected yet, Rodgers said the information should be released sometime soon.

“I guess you can say, ideally, world peace would be a nice outcome of it all,” Rodgers said, “but really to increase awareness, also to enhance and increase understanding of all these other perspectives of how policies set by the United States and just problems of the United States effect other people in ways we haven’t considered.”