Adventure Leadership Institute announces new living, learning initiative

Gaby Mudd News Contributor

The Adventure Leadership Institute announced that its newest adventure will take place inside Finley Hall next fall that will promote leadership and outdoor experiences.

The ALI, in collaboration with University Housing and Dining Services, began the groundwork for the creation of a new Living Learning Community (LLC) available for all undergraduate students who live on campus that promotes leadership, community and appreciation of the outdoors.

The ALI offers services such as outdoor equipment rental to OSU students, the Challenge Course and the Adventure Club. The institute offers several outdoor excursions including activities such as backpacking, hiking, rafting, rock-climbing and snowshoeing activities around Oregon. Students can also take PAC classes that prepare them for experiences in leadership adventure. There are also three different levels of certificates available that offer students a broad range of experiences outdoors.

Sheila Evans, the ALI instructor club and custom programs, speaks to how the LLC will create community and be beneficial to first-year students in the program.

“Students need community on a large campus, you need something that feels like home,” Evans said. “Students need a network of friends, people that become like a family and make their daily life rewarding and fulfilling. We want them to have a home in the ALI community.”

The new living community is looking to house 40-50 new students, however Evans is confident that there may be more than one floor in the future.

“I’m pretty confident that we will find 50 adventurous Beavers, maybe even more,” Evans said.

Evans explained how the new living community would be tailored to help new members in the adventure club and support them on an academic and personal level.

“We are being very intentional with connecting the living and learning community with the adventure club,” Evans said. “The adventure club will be meeting at the residence hall rather than having students make that connection themselves when they first get here.”

Ben Medeiros, the assistant director for Living-Learning Communities for University Housing and Dining Services, explained the purpose behind LLCs on campus and how they support students inside and outside of the classroom.

“LLCs are academic programs in our residence halls that are hosted in partnership with another university department,” Medeiros explained. “In addition to living amongst students in the same major, college, academic focus or program, the LLCs provide both curricular and/or co-curricular experiences in the residence hall every quarter in an effort to provide a seamless learning environment both in and out of the classroom.”

According to Medeiros, living in a LLC offers several opportunities for academic success and engagement to students including services such as tutoring, in-hall advising, first-year seminars and interactions with faculty.

“Living-Learning Communities are regarded as a ‘high-impact’ practice by the Association of American Colleges and Universities,” Medeiros said. “Nationwide research confirms that students in LLCs outperform their peers in a variety of learning outcomes including, but not limited to, critical thinking skills and a smoother academic and social transition to college.”

Jamie Boryska, an ALI Desk staff and Adventure Club member explained some of the benefits the community could offer students.

“The ALI allows you to find a community that has similar interests,” Boryska said. “These are like-minded people that appreciate the outdoors and appreciate nature. It’s a community that helps you find your lifelong friends.”

Boryska said her own experiences from ALI helped her make friends and connect with shared passions.

“I have made a lot of friends,” Boryska said. “I’ve found people with similar interests, that have gotten me out of my comfort zone and helped me do things I never thought I could do.”

Boryska explained her own desire to live in the community if she was a new student or Adventure Club member.

“I absolutely would live in the community,” Boryska said. “I think it would be great and I would totally live there if I could do it all over again.”

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