Center for Ethics
2008-2009 A Living-Learning Experience for Students
For the first time during the 2008-09 academic year, the Center for Ethics, partnered with Muhlenberg’s Office of Residential Services, piloted a new Living-Learning Experience for students.
Eight adventurous students, chosen by application during the spring of 2008, not only had the opportunity to study “Politics, Ethics & Citizenship,” but also to live it. The Center for Ethics Living-Learning Experience is a unique community housed in Robertson Hall that explores the themes, ideas, problems and questions contained in the Center’s programming. Led by L&L Scholar-in-Residence Troy Dwyer (a faculty member in the Theatre & Dance Department) and L&L Student Assistant Jake Herb ’11, the community engaged directly with Center guest scholars and artists, while simultaneously asking what it means to be a “citizen” of a community. What responsibilities does an individual have to her or his group? What responsibilities does the group have to the individual? How are different views, backgrounds, political beliefs, and traditions successfully integrated to make a community strong and vibrant?
The Living-Learning Experience was founded on the belief that intellectual exploration does not have to be separate from social pleasure – that a “life of the mind” can be fun, engaging and meaningful – and that engaging with real-world issues can bring people together.
With this in mind, the L&L students met regularly with Professor Dwyer to talk about their personal responses to the Center programming as members of a small learning community. They also cooked meals together, entertained Center guests, attended workshop events and helped lead the Fireside Chats on Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Player Piano. All the while they shared living space, got to know each other as thinkers and people, and celebrated a rare opportunity for unforgettable communal-living.