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Defined Communities

Understanding Our Defined Communities 

The Defined Communities at Bentley provide an enhanced environment of learning.  Each community provides dedicated spaces for students with similar interests and passions to live and learn around a central theme or academic focus. 

Student living in a residential Defined Community will:

  • Live in a space with peers who are passionate and motivated by common interests
  • Enjoy the benefits of meeting and interacting with faculty and staff across campus who have dedicated a portion of their time programming and advising the direction of each community.
  • Have available dedicated space for themed programming, study, and engagement opportunities (in most communities)
  • Take advantage of “skipping the line” during housing selection, by applying for housing and receiving their designated housing assignment before the rest of their class (upper class residents)
  • 4 of the First Year Defined Communities (Social Justice, Arts, Thrive: Wellness, and Blueprint: Leadership) 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 Partners - Partners 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 partners 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 Partner: 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 Partner: 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 Partner: 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 Partner: 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 Partner: 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 Partner: Center for Women and Business


Upper Class Defined Communities

Global Living Community 

Location: Orchard North

The Global Living Community (GLC) - The Global Living Community is designed for students looking for an intercultural living and learning experience and who share a passion for global citizenship and exploration. Whether you have studied abroad, travelled, live, or have lived internationally, or are generally interested global perspective. Students within this community will be provided additional opportunities to engage with students from different cultures and backgrounds, attend presentations hosted by departments on campus such as the Center for International Students and Scholars and the Education Abroad Office, and have opportunities to share and explore their own cultures. 

** Students applying for this community should expect to host a minimum of one exchange student each semester.

Service-Learning Community

Location: Kresge Hall

This community 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 service are heavily encouraged to apply. Through intentional programming, class participation, and 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 utilize the skill of service in their local, national and global communities.

Academic Expectation: Student living on the floor will be required to enroll in SL 299 – Service Learning, Diversity and Leadership.  This course 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. 

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 

Location: Fenway Suites

This Community is available to rising sophomore residents. 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. 

Community Collaborations: Student Programs and Engagement 


New Upper Class Defined Communities Fall 2019

Advocacy Now!

Location: Forest Suites

This community is designed for upper-class residential students who are passionate about equity and inclusion on campus who want to develop that passion into action.  This community offers opportunities aimed at developing the skills necessary to become change agents in the world.  Residents will learn and explore further their own social identities, concepts of social activism, and understanding the importance of effective dialogue.  Members of the community are expected to contribute positively by offering support and encouragement to students of all genders, sexual orientations, gender expressions, races, nationalities, religions and/or other social identities. 

**Students living in this community will be open to the possibility of living in gender inclusive housing based on the total number of applicants who apply.  The ability for students to choose a gender inclusive option provides a safe space for any student regardless of social identity to feel comfortable in the assignment provided. 

Honors Upper Class Experience

Location: Falcone North

This community is designed for upper-class residential honors students looking to continue a close relationship with the honors program at Bentley University.  This community will continue to provide space within the hall for programming, study opportunities, and space to connect with other upper-class students living within the community.  Residents taking part in this program will also have opportunities to engage in mentorship activities with students living in the first year Honors community.  Connections with faculty from the Honors community will aim to create space for success as students begin to think about or work on their Honors Capstone.  

Law, Ethics, and Society

Location: Rhodes Hall

This community offers junior and senior students a unique and powerful opportunity to explore the field of law, the ethical considerations that intersect (and sometimes conflict) with law, and the role that both play in influencing society. Students that participate in the community will be offered access to dynamic experiences including theoretical learning in the classroom, practical learning through off-campus trips and activities, and peer learning through dialogue with fellow community members.

Academic Expectations: Students will be expected to enroll in either LA298: Social Justice and the Law Travel embedded course, SO 246: Criminal and Social Justice, or an approved course within Law or Sociology either fall or spring semester.