Participating in Community Life at Antioch College Community Life is an integral part of how we teach and learn at Antioch. Within Community Life there are a variety of opportunities for students, staff, administrators, and faculty to collaborate and engage in creating our community together. Wednesdays at Antioch are Community Days, in which all are encouraged to connect to community building efforts around campus and in Yellow Springs. Below is a list of few areas of Community Life in which students can readily participate.
The Residence Life Program within the Office of Community Life at Antioch College aims to empower students to practice life skills that translate beyond the walls of the dormitory and provide a sense of home to a diverse student population. Residential Life emphasizes building a culture of respect and compassion in students’ living spaces, a sense of stewardship toward facilities, and empowerment to impact how all students experience life on campus. Resident Life Managers manage the dormitory spaces, providing support for students in the residence and mentoring the Resident Advisers. Students can apply to be Resident Advisers who act as peer supports on their halls, create social opportunities for residents, model good citizenship, and act as first-line liaison between students and Residence Life staff. Students are housed in two residence halls, each equipped for dining services on site.
Food Cooperative and Dining Services
Antioch’s Dining Cooperative involves students in the planning and preparation of menu items. The Dining Cooperative works closely with both Dining Services and the Antioch Farm to promote the values of sustainability that are of central importance to the college. Embracing the idea of “farm to table,” Dining Services and the Dining Cooperative work with local food producers as well as the Antioch Farm to provide healthy, delicious meals. Our hybrid-model Dining Cooperative equips students to be fully engaged in planning and cooking meals collectively on the weekends while enjoying full-service dining service during the week. Students learn about food safety and healthy menu planning under the mentorship of professional chefs. The Dining Cooperative has its own governance system in which members vote for cooks, create dining policy, and work collaboratively with the Director of Dining Services. Coordinating closely with the Antioch Farm, students participate in volunteer and paid work hours growing food and maintaining the composting program. All students are members of the Dining Cooperative and share responsibilities as dish crew, cooks, bakers, or organizers. Student participation drives our adherence to the values of sustainability, economic affordability, and deliberative action.
This is an exciting year for governance at Antioch College. We have the opportunity together to study past practices at Antioch and best practices at other institutions that will inform our thinking about how we will govern ourselves. We will have an ongoing conversation about the ways we will respond to the historic moment in which we find ourselves and to design a governance plan that is effective and inclusive.
In keeping with an historical understanding of our community governance tradition, Antioch’s current governance model involves the participation of faculty, staff and students. Community Meetings are held every other week during each term. At each Community Meeting, the members of the community gather as a general assembly and then break into small Community Groups to discuss issues in greater depth. Each Community Group has a convener who facilitates the meetings and represents their group members. Conveners sit on a council that creates policy and sets agenda for the Community Meeting, much like the traditional Community Council of the past.
This is an evolving model that is sure to expand as the student body grows. In addition to the Council of Conveners, students also work with Community Life as staff members and facilitators; help to plan events; participate in faculty searches, committees, and task groups as needed; and sit on Community Standards Board.
Student, faculty, and staff have input in planning campus events, including performances, workshops, speakers, and presentations. The Community Life Events staff and community outreach coordinator facilitates field trips, craft nights, and live music as well as the Village Partners Program.
Village Partners Program
During orientation, students will be connected to Yellow Springs residents to begin to develop meaningful connections between campus and community. The Village Partners Program is designed to encourage dialogue about mutual support between campus and community and to link students to local resources available to them.
Community Life Courses
Community Life courses afford students opportunities to explore multiple ways of knowing beyond the classroom and foster social engagement, deliberative action, and intercultural awareness as well as building specific skills. Offerings are available in the following areas: Community Engagement, Health and Wellness, Student Success, and Contemplative Education. Courses are both credit bearing and non-credit bearing depending on the degree of scholarship. The goals of the community life courses are to connect students to themselves through practice and self-reflection as well as to connect students to the community through engagement, projects, activities, and collaboration. Courses may be open to Yellow Springs community members in order to provide students with the opportunity for multiple perspectives.
Mindfulness is a growing and visionary movement in higher education and Antioch College will not be left behind. A weekly class in Mindfulness Awareness Practices, or MAPS, will be offered to the entire community to ground us in the ability to reflect both individually and collectively.
As part of our sustainability efforts at Antioch, we have begun a farming effort that will include a food forest, vegetable gardens, and chickens. Students can volunteer to help with work projects side by side with Yellow Springs community members, attend presentations on sustainable agriculture, and have input on the ground level in this exciting initiative at the college.