ASUnity approved for 2014-15 school year

Stephanie Sansoucy

ASUnity, a residential learning community geared toward social justice issues, has been approved for the 2014-15 school year after being cancelled previously because of a low number of participants.

Re-approval came in August after being canceled in April 2013, according to an April 29 article in The Appalachian.

Two information sessions will be held for students interested in ASUnity. The first one will be Sept. 25 in Belk Library Room 421 at 7 p.m.

The leadership team will also attend the Sexuality and Gender Alliance club meeting Sept. 26. The Sexuality and Gender Alliance club meets at 8 p.m. in the **Strickland Conference Room in I.G. Greer.

Students in the RLC will not have to take one specific class. Instead, there are three different classes – Constructions of Gender, Intro to LGBT Studies and Music and Gender – from which students can choose. If a student has already taken those three classes, there will be another list of approved classes that the student can take, said Amy Dellinger-Page, associate professor of sociology and member of the ASUnity leadership team.

“By offering several courses, it allows students who are interested flexibility in the course selection,” said Andrea Sell, a housing administrator who is also part of the leadership team for ASUnity.  

The RLC will be inclusive for all students, including those who do not identify as LGBT, but are allies, Dellinger-Page said.

“This is not a social club,” Dellinger-Page said. “This is an academic learning environment that focuses on social justice issues. Yes, it will be a supportive area, but it’s not a social club.”

ASUnity will be offered to students, regardless of their academic year. Students off campus can also opt for the RLC, so long as they are willing to move back on campus.

“We are marketing this for students who live on campus and students who live off campus,” said Vickie Hawkins, associate director of University Housing. “For this community, we are going to allow the group to bring students that live off campus, which is not something we typically do, but we are committed to ensuring that we have a successful community this year.”

The revamped ASUnity comes with changes, including a change in the residence halls in use and the number of reserved spots, Sell said.

The location of ASUnity has been moved from Cannon, the residence hall proposed last year, to Frank Hall and Mountaineer Hall. There will be 20 beds reserved for upperclassmen in Mountaineer and six to seven beds, which includes one room with a private bathroom, for first-year students in Frank Hall.

To sustain approval, ASUnity must fill 16 beds, Dellinger-Page said.

**Correction: The article states that the Sexuality and Gender Alliance’s meeting will take place in the Strickland Conference Room in I.G. Greer. The meeting will actually take place in Calloway Peak in Plemmons Student Union. The Appalachian apologizes for the error.

Story: CHELSEY FISHER, Senior News Reporter