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Defined Communities


Understanding Our Defined Communities 

One of the fundamental charges of the Bentley University Residential Center is to ensure that learning remains a pivotal part of the residential experience. Each residence hall on campus plays an important role in promoting students’ social, emotional, and intellectual development.  We strive to foster atmospheres within our residence halls that help students expand upon their academic experiences in the classroom. 

The Defined Communities at Bentley provide opportunities for students with similar interests to live and engage together in a dedicated area of a residence hall.  Guided and advised by strong teams of faculty, staff, and student leaders, the Defined Communities at Bentley allow students the opportunity to take ownership of their living and learning to enhance their overall experience on campus.  

The benefits of a Defined Community include:

  • Dedicated space for programming and engagement opportunities
  • Early housing selection opportunities
  • Off campus programming initiatives 
  • 4 of the First Year Defined Communities (Social Justice, Arts, Thrive: Wellness, and Blueprint: Leadership) will also have a shared First Year Seminar Experience and will be assigned both to the floor and and registered by Academic Services to a specific theme based seminar. 
  • Community Collaborations - Our Community Collaborations are made up by staff and faculty from across campus who have chosen to support each of our defined communities.  Some staff or faculty choose to support our communities based on their similar academic expertise or office’s direct connection to the community.  Other offices and departments choose to support our Defined Communities as additional ways to provide guidance and mentorship to the student body.  Whatever their motivation, the Community Collaborations offer students direct one on one support and can be critical connection points for students as they move through their Bentley experience.  

First Year Defined Communities

The Social Justice Community - FYS Connection

Housed within Miller Hall, The Social Justice Community (SJC), is designed for students of all majors who desire to engage in meaningful, intentional, and open discussion on societal issues.  Diversity is critical to the University’s mission of educating creative, ethical, and socially responsible business leaders.  Additionally, whether it is Forbes, Business Week, or Bloomberg, the verdict is clear, diversity of thought, understanding of social issues, valuing the myriad social identities present in today’s cultural context, these qualities set leaders and companies apart from one another.  Having an understanding of social justice is imperative when entering the work force in today’s global corporate market.  Students within this community will attend speakers, intentional floor programs, and interact with prominent faculty and staff across disciplines and functional areas to enhance their first year experience. 

Community Collaborations: Kiana Pierre-Louis, J.D., Lecturer, Law, Taxation, and Financial Planning

The Arts Community - FYS Connection

Housed within Miller Hall, the Arts Community (TAC) strives to provide an open, playful environment that encourages students to connect and interact with their peers through art and creative expression.  While a career in business may be what you are at Bentley for, TAC provides you the opportunity to continue engaging with the various artistic mediums you have worked with in the past.  Whether it be music, painting, writing, or acting, we believe that creativity is contagious and through the process of making art, whatever its form, attending programs together, and engaging with various faculty and staff from across campus, your first year at Bentley will be made more vibrant and yield many more connections.

Community Collaborations: Dr. David Szymanski, Associate Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences

The Blueprint Community - FYS Connection

Housed within Slade Hall, The Blueprint Community is designed for students looking to forge a strong leadership identity on campus both in and outside of the classroom.  By connecting students early on with the rich array of campus involvement opportunities, this community is designed to help members develop, organize, and execute a leadership engagement plan to map out their beginning Bentley experience.  With access to mentorship opportunities, campus pride and spirit programs, athletic events, and key campus staff and faculty, community members will find themselves well supported on their journey to becoming influential campus leaders.  Ideal candidates are those individuals excited about their beginning journey at Bentley and who plan to engage early and often with all that campus has to provide. 

Community Collaborations: Stephanie Cohen, Program Coordinator, Office of the Dean of Student Affairs

The Honors Community

Housed within Slade Hall, the Honors Community is designed to augment the first year honors student experience by connecting community members to academic and campus resources.  In addition, through the provided honors resource lounge, the community is meant to provide a physical space for students to make meaningful connections beyond the academic classroom.  Residents of the floor will not only be able to support each other in their academic endeavors, but also develop relationships that prepare them for future success in the Honors Program.

Community Collaborations: The Honors Program & Academic Support Services

Thrive Community - FYS Connection

Housed within Slade Hall, the Thrive Community is designed to help first year students engage in a holistic exploration of person wellbeing.  Relying on Bentley’s partnership with Gallup, the Thrive community utilizes Gallup’s robust data to help students explore the five essential elements Gallup has found to most significantly impact overall well-being: developing social relationships, becoming financially stable, striving for physical health, developing pride in your community, and finding purpose in life. Students in the Thrive Community will explore each of these areas over the course of the year and discover the ways in which they are interdependent.  In addition to programming, community members will benefit from access to Slade Hall’s in house fitness studio and racquetball court, as well as Bentley’s Health Promotions Specialist and Sodexo Dining Services.

Community Collaborations: Center for Wellness and Health Promotion

The Women’s Leadership Community

Housed within the Trees Complex, the Women’s Leadership Community is meant to provide a space for women to interact and live amongst likeminded peers who share a particular interest in issues relating to social justice, women’s advancement, and women’s leadership. Through intentional programming, conference participation, and numerous opportunities to be a part of a strong women’s community, residents of the floor will not only be prepared to join and embrace the business world, but will realize and utilize their critical role in their local, national and global communities as women.

Community Collaborations: Center for Women and Business

Upper Class Defined Communities

Global Living Community 

Community Description: Housed within Orchard North, the Global Living Community is designed to provide students with opportunities to connect with peers either awaiting to or returning from an experience abroad.  Members of the community are specially selected based upon education abroad status or exchange student status.  Programs and events within the community center on cross cultural dialogue and education in an attempt to broaden global perspectives, as well as better prepare students for their journey abroad or their return home.  Students must apply individually (even if they wish to live within the same apartment). The style of housing offered is 5 person apartments in double and single rooms.  7-11 spaces throughout the building are reserved each semester for exchange students. 

Community Collaborations: Cronin Office of International Education

Service-Learning Community

Community Description: Housed on the ground floor of Kresge Hall, the Service-Learning Community is available to rising sophomore residents. Students are not required to have prior involvement with the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center at Bentley in order to be considered, however, students who have an interest around issues of social justice and volunteering are heavily encouraged to apply. Through intentional programming, class participation, and numerous opportunities to be a part of an active service-focused community, residents of the floor will not only be prepared to join and embrace the business world, but will realize and utilize their critical role in their local, national and global communities. Students must apply individually (even if they wish to live within the same suite). The style of housing offered is either 4 or 5 person suites in double and triple rooms. 

Academic Credit Component: SL 299 - Through explorations of readings on diversity surrounding class, gender, social class, race, inequality, privilege, ethnicity, and nationality we will explore the role of individuals and society in working toward the collective good.  Issues of power, privilege, socio-historical context, and political economy will serve as foundational lines of analysis throughout the course.  Students enrolled in this course are part of the service-learning living/learning residential floor, and will engage in service-learning and/or civic opportunities connected to course content and micro and macro reflection on civic responsibility.  Together, we will work toward creating social change, based on the general social problems interests of the group.

Please note that this is a full academic year assignment (as 1.5 credits offered per semester). Students that are planning to study abroad in the fall or spring semester are not eligible to apply.  The class will take place Wednesday evenings at 5:00pm and registration directions will be sent upon acceptance into the community. (SAMPLE SYLLABUS)

Community Collaborations: Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center

Emerging Leaders Community 

Community Description: Housed on the fourth floor of Fenway Hall, the Emerging Leaders Community is available to rising sophomore residents. Throughout their sophomore year, residents will optimize their experiences on their paths towards becoming effective and engaged student leaders. Following a leadership development plan, residents will develop their leadership identity, learn essential leadership skills and lessons, network with leaders from around campus, and participate in on and off campus programming opportunities.  The style of housing offered is mostly 4 person suites configured as two doubles or two singles and one double. 

Community Collaborations: Student Programs and Engagement