Alpha Residential Learning Community (RLC) is a mini suite-style, co-ed community of first and second-year students, focused on the theme of innovation, integrity, and impact. The RLC is housed within Graham residence hall.
Alpha RLC organizes its communal life and engagement priorities around the concepts of innovation, integrity, and impact. Through exploring these concepts, students in Alpha RLC interrogate and investigate ways to improve the lives, health, and wellbeing of others and do so in ways that are congruent with Jesuit educational values and Catholic social teaching that guide Santa Clara University.
Students in Alpha RLC are passionate about building upon work and ideas that came before them. Through the relentless pursuit of innovation, Alpha RLC students are well-equipped for an evolving world. A thirst for knowledge, improvement, and refinement of ideas drives Alpha RLC’s connection to innovation.
Students in Alpha RLC understand the interconnectedness of the world and align their actions, behaviors, and words accordingly. Through the unyielding defense of integrity, Alpha RLC students balance individual needs with the collective good. A desire to unify one’s heart, mind and spirit emboldens Alpha RLC’s orientation to integrity.
Students in Alpha RLC intimately understand that change at any scale begins with the individual. Through taking ownership of instrumenting change at the personal level, Alpha RLC students affect local and global impact. Economic, environmental, and social justice comprise Alpha RLC’s commitment to impact.
Living in Silicon Valley, innovation is all around us. Alpha RLC strives to combine creativity with the moral and Jesuit educational values of SCU to create a positive, lasting difference on our campus and beyond.
Our vision is to connect our theme to: Ethics, Social Entrepreneurship, Business & Marketing, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Science & Engineering, Social Justice, Diversity & Multiculturalism, Technology, Campus Ministry, Personal Development, and Professional Development.
Our community is a co-ed living space that is home to 400 first and second-year students. Mini-suite style living provides a unique opportunity for staff and students to engage with one another in thoughtful and intentional ways. Alpha RLC is known for its bright, large resident rooms and more private bathrooms, which are shared by four to six residents. In these mini-suites, it can be a somewhat quieter living experience than a traditional-style hall, and students may need to challenge themselves to leave the comfort of their own space. With many communal kitchens and lounges for formal and informal gatherings, Community Facilitators work to bring residents out to engage with the broader community. Commuter students assigned to Alpha RLC can enjoy access to Graham 157 which includes couches, a refrigerator, lockers, and a TV.
The percentage of first to second-year students in Alpha RLC is 50/50 meaning that the community has a healthy mix of students with experience at SCU and those with first-year excitement. In general, Alpha RLC is a vibrant community that houses students and staff of varying and diverse interests. In some of the larger public spaces and classrooms, groups from the broader campus often host events, adding additional opportunities for Alpha RLC residents and students.
Programs & Events
Every Residential Learning Community (RLC) offers several programs and events each week. Community Facilitators and Leadership Council host floor and building-wide socials, facilitate activities to promote wellness and mental health, lead students to on-campus events, and organize service opportunities.
Events that have traditionally happened in Alpha include:
- Alphalympics: a floor competition that typically takes place in the fall,
- The Grahammys: a community-wide talent show that takes place in the winter,
- Grahamapalooza, a celebration with a bbq, live music, and games that happens in the Graham quad each spring, and
- Community-wide Monday Night Socials which take place weekly throughout the year.
In addition, the "Alpha goes to.." series has traditionally taken students out of the hall, connecting them to events on campus and in the broader bay area. Past "Alpha goes to.." events have included trips to the Exploratorium, the San Francisco Opera, campus culture shows, and the Difficult Dialogues series.
The Alpha RLC staff is comprised of 12 Community Facilitators (CFs), 1 Spirituality Facilitator (SF), 2 Faculty Directors (FD), 2 Assistant Resident Directors (ARDs), and 1 Resident Director (RD).
The Alpha RLC 2020-2021 team includes:
- Zach Tepper, M.A., Resident Director
- Scott LaBarge, Ph.D., Philosophy Department, Faculty Director
- Lawrence Nelson, Ph.D., Philosophy Department, Faculty Director
- Vacant, Spirituality Facilitator
- Lance Joseph, Assistant Resident Director
- Katy McMillan, Assistant Resident Director
Community Facilitators (CFs)
CFs in Graham work within a "neighborhood" of approximately 32 students. All student staff on campus receive training in conflict resolution and roommate mediation, crisis response, community building, and campus resources, and are present in their community to support their residents. Students can contact their Community Facilitator or Leadership Team directly for support.
Graham Residence Hall
There are four floors in Graham Hall, and the residential space is divided into 12 different neighborhoods, with approximately 32 residents and one Community Facilitator in each neighborhood. Residents may select double or triple rooms in Graham.
Students live in mini-suites, with a shared toilet and shower area, and a sink and vanity in each room. Each of the 12 neighborhoods have their own own lounge, kitchen, and laundry facility, designed to provide spaces for residents to build relationships among peers. Regardless of the neighborhood students live in, they will find a sense of community throughout the building.
The larger communal spaces include a multi-purpose room, a movie room, several study rooms, and two classrooms. A large quad provides outdoor seating and barbecue space.
Each RLC is coordinated by a Leadership Team comprised of a live-in Resident Director, Faculty Director, Spirituality Facilitator(s), and Assistant Resident Director(s). Your RLC’s Leadership Team is a valuable resource and its members can help you with both personal and academic concerns.