Special Interest Housing (SIH) enables students to create unique, self-directed, living-and-learning communities centered on a common theme. Throughout the academic year, SIH students live, learn, and work together, participating in shared, community-based learning experiences.
- Practice independent living in University-owned houses.
- Uphold University conduct and residential living policies.
- Build positive relationships with SIH housemates and community partners.
- Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of community needs and service organizations.
- Identify how personal strengths, interests, and education can be used to serve the community.
- Maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
- Participate in reflection opportunities.
- Design a service project connected to a specific topic.
- Develop community partnerships.
- Create positive change through service.
- Increase awareness and participation of community service participation.
- Individually complete a total of eight hours of service over both fall and spring semesters.
- Students select a broad service topic that serves as the theme of their Special Interest House. A service project will be developed in collaboration with a community partner.
- The service project can’t be one that their organization has ever sponsored before. It must be a completely new endeavor. In short, the service project for the Special Interest House can’t be a project that an organization is currently working on.
- Each student will be expected to complete eight hours of service in the fall semester and eight in the spring. Of the eight hours to be completed each semester, a minimum of two must be completed collectively, with all members of the residence. The remaining six hours can be completed solely by the individual or collectively with other residents.
- All SIH residents must be full-time University of Lynchburg students enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours. They must be active members of a recognized campus athletic team, club, or organization.
- All residents must remain in good disciplinary standing with the University (i.e. not on any conduct or academic probation at time of application). They must maintain a minimum 2.5 overall GPA while participating in the SIH program. Grade reports will be completed for all participants each semester.
- In addition to academic and service expectations, all residents are expected to be upstanding citizens on campus and in the community, acting as character and academic role models to others.
- Residents will work together to design a unique service project connected to a specific topic. At the beginning of each semester, they will submit a service plan that outlines their work with a community partner and their goals to complete their services hours. All residents are expected to actively engage and complete the required service hours for each semester.
For 2020-2021, the following Special Interest Houses, housing a total of 23 students, were awarded:
- Club Rock Climbing: University of Lynchburg Outdoor Leadership Program and Central Appalachia Climbers Coalition (CACC)
- Equestrian and Theatre: Lynchburg Humane Society
- Student Judicial Board: Park View Community Mission
- Men’s Cross Country: University of Lynchburg Campus Grounds and Lynchburg Parks and Recreation
Participants shared the following reflections about their experiences:
More information regarding the Special Interest Housing application process for the 2021-2022 academic year will be made available at the Special Interest Housing Meeting, currently scheduled to be held virtually on Monday, March 1, 2021 at 8:00pm. Interested students should plan to participate in the meeting. The application will be made available only to those students that express interest via attending the meeting. All students will receive emails with more information at the start of the Spring 2021 semester.