Conserve School students have quite a bit to adjust to in the first weeks of the semester, and few are more important than the joys and challenges of living in an intentional community. As the name suggests, an intentional community is one which exists for an agreed-upon purpose, with its members purposefully investing time and energy in forming and nurturing community life and healthy relationships. In an intentional community, shared values inform the way we work, play, and learn together.
On the students’ first night on campus, the entire community (students and staff) spent time discussing the commitment we each must make to be sure that community functions in a health way. To frame the discussion, students and staff considered how our expectations for community life would be formed by Conserve School’s five core values: compassion, honesty, justice, respect, and responsibility.
On Wednesday, students again considered the nature of community in their respective house meetings, as they created “contracts” for their house communities. In five small groups (one for each core value), students and residential life staff discussed how a particular value called them to act and treat others. The students wrote these thoughts on “leaves,” which were then affixed to the outline of a tree on the wall of the student apartment in each house, as a reminder of what was agreed to. Over the course of the next 16 weeks, we’ll all be given ample opportunity to live these values, and to stretch our understanding of community.
Director of Enrollment and Student Support