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ERIC Number: ED535344
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Physical Place on Campus: A Report on the Summit on Building Community
Association of College Unions International (NJ1)
In October 2011, a multidisciplinary group of 50 individuals (students, architects, planners, consultants, campus administrators, and higher education association leaders) met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to consider the relationship between physical place and campus community. Because a gathering of this type and on this topic had not previously occurred, it enabled robust conversation around important questions for higher education, such as: (1) What barriers prevent them from achieving community through physical places?; (2) What does community look like and what are its elements?; (3) How do they know when community has been influenced by place?; and (4) How do they measure it? These questions, and more, were introduced through small group discussions, debated in large group reporting sessions, and challenged by provocative guest speakers. Although what was learned from the Summit is highly nuanced, and further described elsewhere in this report, three over-arching messages emerged: (1) When campus community exists in its strongest form, it is associated with learning, civic purpose, and a sense of belonging; (2) Places of exceptional community are those that exhibit high levels of human engagement and are imbued with evidence of human-to-human mutuality, psychological safety and refuge, and a strong sense of individual and group ownership; and (3) Although legitimate barriers to achieving physical community exist, more sophisticated and willful campus leadership can overcome barriers such as discipline-based, institutional, or association boundaries; navigation of campus politics; or inarticulate justification for physical place and community.
Association of College Unions International. One City Centre Suite 200, 120 West Seventh Street, Bloomington, IN 47404. Tel: 812-245-2284; Fax: 812-245-6710; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association of College Unions International (ACUI)
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin