The Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, a living-learning community for art and writing in Lloyd Residence Hall, offers a lot of perks for its freshmen.
Lloyd scholars get reduced prices for University performances, access to small creative writing classes that fulfill the often-painful first-year writing requirement and an absolute guarantee they won’t have to live on North Campus.
For many participants, that last benefit is the most appealing.
“You can live on the Hill and it keeps you off North Campus and that’s the only reason why people apply to the program,” LSA freshman Scott Schubiner said. “It’s just a good way to stay on Central Campus.”
It’s not exactly a coincidence that Lloyd Hall has the nickname “Lloyd Island.” The program’s participants — many of whom hail from the same few places like Long Island — often get turned on to the program by older high school friends or siblings.
“There are five kids from L.A. that are in my hall, everyone else is from New York or New Jersey,” said Schubiner, who comes from Los Angeles himself. “They used to call (Alice Lloyd) ‘Lloyd Island’ cause there’s a lot of kids from Long Island.”
There are other notable trends about the Lloyd population. While the amount of University students who join the Greek system is about 30 percent — Greeks have been between 30 and 50 percent of the LHSP population in recent years, LHSP faculty director Carol Tell said.
She said Greeks made up somewhere between 70 and 80 percent in 2001.
Schubiner applied to the program after hearing about it from his sister, who was part of a living-learning community in Couzens Hall three years ago.
He said his sister urged him to apply to increase his chances of living in one of the better residence halls at the University, with large rooms and a close proximity to Central Campus.
And he’s not alone. Many of the students now participating in the program said their intent in joining was to steer clear of a 10-minute bus rides to class and the risk of being socially isolated on North.
Joanna Joels, an LSA freshman from New Jersey, said she applied to the program because it was the only place at the University where she could enroll in a nude drawing class. But even then, her initial inten¬¬tions were to stay off of North Campus.
“Lloyd is a good location,” she said. “That’s actually why I first looked into the program. Someone told me you can get into Lloyd and live on the Hill.”
LSA freshman Nick Pourmoradi, a resident of Los Angeles, cited the standard reasoning for applying to the program.
“A friend told me about it, she’s like, ‘you don’t want to live on North Campus,’” he said.
Kinesiology freshman Brad Malach, from West Bloomfield, said he wouldn’t have even considered applying to LHSP if it was housed on North Campus.
But even though almost every person he knows in LHSP applied because of the location, he said it isn’t the only reason people apply.
“I’m sure there are people who did it for the program more than the location,” Malach said. “But I think, for the most part, it’s for the location.”
There are those students who would join LHSP whether it was housed in Lloyd, South Quad or even Baits II, but they seem to be few and far between.
LSA freshman Cassandra Malis, one of the few students who applied regardless of location and room size, said living on the Hill is more of a perk, as opposed to the main reason for applying.
“I still would have done (LHSP) if it was on North,” Malis said. “There’s no other place that I can do the things that I’m doing here.”
Malis said she applied to LHSP for the opportunity to take creative classes without being enrolled in the School of Art and Design.
“People who are just good at English or like to write, it’s a great place,” she said. “I know people that are definitely pre-med and pre-business here but they are still creative people.”
Many students in the program are interested in writing or the arts, but because of their majors, they won’t have the opportunity to take creative classes at the University, Malis said.
But the more Lloyd Hall Scholars you speak to, the more you start to realize that Malis belongs to a small minority of students. They are the ones attending the extracurricular events, winning the writing and arts awards, sticking with the program for more than one year and, ultimately, giving LHSP its literary reputation.
Now that Schubiner is immersed in the program, he appreciates what LHSP has to offer — small, intensive arts classes, one-on-one interactions with professors and the ease of attending classes located just a few floors below his dorm room.
But despite recognizing the positive aspects of LHSP, Schubiner — as well as many other students in the program — doesn’t participate more than is required.
As part of the program, students must attend at least one extracurricular event each month, be it a poetry reading, a gallery showing or a concert.
“The one thing I don’t like about the program, it’s the one mandatory event each month,” Schubiner said. “I think there’s a lot of people that don’t end up getting involved. I think it’s a lot of people, even some of my friends who are on the executive board for LHSP, a bunch end up quitting.”
Malis said a lot of the guys in her hall completely skip the events and programs.
“When I go to the extracurricular things you’re supposed to go to, there’s no boys in that club,” she said. “I guess that they don’t do anything that they don’t have to do.”
Both Malis and Schubiner agreed that it seemed like an disproportional amount of Lloyd scholars come from the same areas — New York City, Long Island, certain affluent suburbs in metro Detroit and, increasingly in recent years, Los Angeles.
Pourmoradi learned about LHSP from a friend who went to the same high school in Los Angeles and was in the program the year before him.
Malis learned about the program from her best friend from high school, who was a Lloyd Hall Scholar a couple of years ago.
Schubiner even lives in the exact same room as a friend of his from high school who’s four years older.
It’s sure that LHSP is for students who are genuinely interested in the arts, but if the coordinators were to be completely honest about it, they might describe the program as a living-learning community for artists, writers and opportunists.