New residential community caters to changemakers

Tulane University students have a new means of creating their own social initiatives through the Changemaker Residential Learning Community housed in Paterson House on the uptown campus.

The Changemaker experience will differ from previous living-learning communities at Tulane because it offers a live-in space for students to participate in social activities.

“There are a lot of important things that are done in a classroom environment, but that doesn’t have to be the only space where you learn things,”  said Danielle Klein, associate director of Housing and Residence Life.

“Changemakers are those passionate about something and willing to work for and create positive social change.”

Danielle Klein

Program activities are designed to foster students’ passions for making a difference. The fall schedule includes roundtable discussions and public service opportunities.

“It’s not enough to just identify what your cause is,” said Klein, “we want to help you identify ways in which you can really do something positive with that cause.”

Klein said that the number of applicants interested in the Changemaker program was impressive, but not surprising due to the fact that Tulane students have always been interested in social innovation and public service.  There will be 114 students in the community.

The Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane helped design the Changemakers program and shape the content of the curriculum.  

All changemaker residents are encouraged to work with the Taylor Center for programming and funding opportunities. First-year students have the chance to take part in changemaker-related Tulane Interdisciplinary Experience Seminars (TIDES).   

These TIDES classes will focus on developing and defining what it means to be a changemaker, and exploring techniques and approaches to social innovation.  

Claire Davenport is a junior at Tulane University, majoring in English and political science.