Unity House Theme Program (Unity)

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DESCRIPTION

Unity House: Exploring Diverse Genders and Sexualities

The Unity Theme Program’s mission is to become the pre-eminent living-learning community in the United States for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) identified students and their allies. The academic seminar, residential experience, and resource center specialize in strong community and leadership development, activism, and education on issues pertaining to sexual and gender diversity at UC Berkeley and in the local, national, and global contexts.  

A pioneer program of its kind, our program supports gender-inclusive room assignments and a rigorous academic and residential curriculum focused on transformative dialogues and contextual education facilitated through our Volunteer, Internship, and Practice (VIP) program.  Professional staff, campus partners, and a live-in theme program assistant partner with the students to provide resources and support as the community explores themes of intersectionality, social justice, and the complexities of living in a queer community of multiplicity. Students are expected to adhere to community agreements, values, and principles.

Students also participate in retreats, socials, community outreach and activities, event planning, and have meaningful interactions with faculty and staff. Unity students learn about identity, leadership and activism, while having fun and making friendships that can last a lifetime.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Unity students are expected to participate and be actively engaged in theme program activities and events, including:

  • A yearlong (fall and spring), 3-unit Pass/No pass seminar that meets weekly on Wednesdays from 2–4 p.m. in Unit 3. This course is designed to provide students with a space for learning about issues of sexuality, gender, and community through dialogue. In a culturally and socially diverse society, discussion of differences is needed to facilitate understanding and to build relationships among people. Through this course, students will explore their own and others’ narratives in various social and institutional contexts, all the while learning from each other’s perspectives and from the practice of dialogue. Dialogue is not debate. Dialogue requires learning to listen, asking questions of others and of oneself, and committing to understanding other perspectives, even those with which we may not agree. Students will also explore ways of taking action to create change and bridge differences at the interpersonal and social/community levels. In-class learning will be enhanced through readings, films, weekly journal-writing, a final reflection paper, and contextual learning through the Volunteer, Internship, and Practice (VIP) experience. If you are admitted to the Unity Theme Program, you will be given more information about how to enroll in the class.
  • Three-to-four hours per week engagement within the community through our graded Contextual Education (Volunteer, Internship, and Practice program).
  • Unity symposium, signature events and leadership retreats.
  • Unity Community meetings.

SIGNATURE EVENTS & PROGRAMMING

Students participate in staffing of the the Unity Resource Center, which is designed to be a community project and workspace supported by residential students, staff, and our campus/community partners. The Resource Center coordinates and hosts several signature events, educational workshops, individual/group consultations, a resource library, and periodic system-wide newsletters.

LIVING SPACE

Unity House residents live together in Unit 3’s Spens-Black Hall, which is situated a block from campus on the southside. For more information about Unit 3, including amenities and features, academic services, and more, please visit housing.berkeley.edu.

In an effort to include as many students as possible in our work, we also have an Affiliate Program, where students can live in other residential communities on campus and still be a part of the Unity experience. Affiliate members can participate in the academic seminar, VIP Program (including the Unity internships), retreats, community meetings, and signature events.  The affiliates add a rich diversity to our program by providing new perspectives in our community spaces.

CONTACT

If you have additional questions about living arrangements that are not answered here, please email Residential Life at themeprograms@berkeley.edu. For questions about the Unity Theme program (such as program requirements, application process, seminar, and such) contact Samuel Byrd, resident director of Unity Theme Program at 510.643.2622 or snbyrd@berkeley.edu.