Whether you’re new to campus, a transfer student or looking for people with similar
interests, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus has a place for you.
As part of its Residential Community Programs (RCP), students can choose housing based on their culture, lifestyle, hobby or academic major. They include Themed Housing where students share a common interest in a particular theme and Living Learning Communities (LLC) where students take classes together and focus on an academic program.
For both, students get to live in dedicated areas of either Pelican Apartments or Osprey Suites.
This academic year, the campus is offering several themed housing and community options for students.
The newest community for Fall 2021 is King Suites, created for students of color. Stephen Harris, manager of housing operations, says students asked for a place to gather with peers from similar backgrounds.
“We try to give them that sense of belonging. That place where they can go and share their experiences with individuals who they may feel more comfortable with,” Harris said.
TRANSFERmation is available to students who want to live and engage with peers who are transfer students at the university. The dedicated living space includes a resident assistant who understands the specific needs of these students.
Global House is for international students or students who want to explore different cultures and become ethical and engaged global citizens.
Stonewall Suites is where LGBTQIA+ and allied students can expect an inclusive community that helps drive awareness, respect and advocacy for all gender identities and sexual orientations on the USF St. Petersburg campus.
One of the most popular programs is Puppy Love, a partnership with Southeastern Guide Dogs (SEGD). The organization matches puppies in-training to USF students who want to be puppy sitters or puppy raisers. SEGD provides guide dogs, service dogs and companion dogs to people with vision loss and veterans with disabilities.
“The students get a chance to be involved with something bigger than themselves,” said Steph James, campus coordinator for the Puppy Love RCP. “The campus is a great environment for these dogs. There are tons of people, tons of smells and they have to sit through class. A lot of students have jobs, so they take the dog with them.”
“It’s a great way to meet people and get involved in the community,” said Leila-Aolani DeClouet-Grant, a junior biology major at USF St. Petersburg campus.
As a freshman, DeClouet-Grant didn’t know anyone when she came to campus. Now she’s raised one puppy, is vice president of the Puppy Raisers Club and has made a lot of friends in the process. Altogether, students have raised 17 dogs on the USF St. Petersburg campus since the program started in 2016.
“We want to create a community for freshmen coming in, so they have people to connect
to,” James said. “Students that are involved in student organizations and other things
tend to do better in college, stay in college longer and it helps them make those
Living Learning Communities
Students who want to learn about social issues, become leaders in their community or focus on an academic major might consider an LLC.
Leadership House allows students to tap into their leadership potential. They get to meet and learn from leaders on campus and in the community. The Honors LLC is for students who want to develop a sense of service and pursue academic achievement. BioLife is an academic-based community open to students majoring in Biology. They live with other biology students and take their first two required classes together.
“Doing any sort of RCP is a good thing because you don’t feel alone or like an outcast. You have people to rely on and it keeps you on track,” Declouet-Grant said. She encourages others to find something they are passionate about doing. “Don’t just sit in a room. Go to events, get involved and enjoy the college experience.”
There is no additional cost associated with being a member of Residential Community Programs. The application is within the housing portal. King Suites, Leadership House, BioLife and Global House still have availability for fall 2021.