BGSU’s first-year students make friends, find a home at Learning Communities

Arts Village is a Learning Community where students can live with classmates who have similar creative interests 

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Bowling Green State University makes it easy for first-year students to make friends and find a home on campus through its Learning Communities

Learning Communities offer a place where students can live and learn with other students who share similar passions. Students can experience a smoother transition to life at BGSU, earn higher grades, graduate at higher rates, participate in unique activities and trips, and get a head start with career networking that will help secure a job after graduation.

The Arts Village, one of 20 Learning Communities at BGSU, is a place where students can live with classmates at Kreischer Quadrangle who have similar creative interests. 

Students like to live in the Arts Village because they can easily make friends the first week of school and it helps to ease the difficulty of going from high school to college. Open to students of any major, the Arts Village is a residential learning community that involves exploring all aspects of the arts and sharing views with one another and faculty of various disciplines. The community keeps the creative spirit alive and well on a daily basis with on-site classes specifically geared to art students, as well as collaborative projects, activities and social events.            

“The Arts Village is for anybody who is interested in the arts, and that’s the larger arts world, not just the fine arts,” Director Joel O’Dorisio said. “We have musicians, dancers, people from theater and film, artists, art historians, digital artists, creative writers — basically anyone who is interested in creative activities. A small but real percentage of our community is not even majoring in any of those areas; they just like the arts and need a connection with the arts as they’re moving through their major.”

Students in Learning Communities develop critical-thinking skills and expand their existing paradigms about the world and their membership in that community. They experience culture and how it reflects and informs that community, and the rights and responsibilities of creating art within that community.

“I think that having a community of like-minded individuals helps make it easier to connect when students come here to campus for the first time,” O’Dorisio said. “Beyond that, once people start specializing in their field, it gets harder and harder to meet people outside of their field who collaborate on ideas and activities. Here in the Arts Village, the opportunity is all around you.

“It’s a living and learning community. The students live in a group, we have a classroom and a community space in the residence hall itself so they can gather here. We have more than a dozen activities a week for the students to participate in if they want. They also have opportunities to take a class with other students who are in the Learning Community, so their network bonds a little deeper and a little tighter. You’re in class with people you’re already living with. It makes it easier to study together and keep on track for their assignments.”

Students have the opportunity to work intimately with knowledgeable staff, student leaders and upperclassmen to create a network of artists. They have the opportunity to visit galleries, attend concerts, theatrical and dance productions and many other extracurricular activities. There are programs almost every night; ranging from student-run programs to guest speakers. Students have gone on trips to places such as the South Bronx, Detroit, Chicago and a Navajo Reservation.

The deadline to apply to live in a Learning Community is Monday, May 7. To get started, students need to make their $200 housing payment by logging into MyBGSU>Housing & Residence Life>My Room and Meals.

For more information about living in the Arts Village, contact Director Joel O’Dorisio at 419-372-3537 or email joelo@bgsu.edu.