By Evan McMillin
Every academic department at Eastern has its own way of introducing freshmen to the rest of campus, and with the Golf Management Living Learning Community, the PGA golf management department is no exception.
The PGA Golf Management Living Learning Community was started during the 2007-08 school year as a business community. At the time, the floor primarily consisted of golf management majors and minors. Eddie Renio, the program coordinator of the PGA golf management at the time, said he originally came from a school with a GM Community and noticed the students wanted the LLC to be golf management rather than business.
The LLC is available to all incoming freshmen and returning sophomores. Tyler Caviness, current program coordinator of PGA golf management, said students are not required to live on the floor, but he strongly encourages incoming freshman to request the LLC.
“We believe that it is highly beneficial to incoming students because it gives them a chance to get to know their classmates ,and we feel it helps new students ease into the college experience because they are living with other students in a similar situation,” Caviness said.
Nickole Hale of University Housing said the students don’t have regular meetings, because the students have most of their classes together.
Hale said the program does not work like a club, but more like a community.”
The upperclassmen offer academic support to the underclassmen, including study aid and tutoring,” Hale said. “They also have golfing contests to test range and accuracy and lead community service projects.”
Hale described one of these golfing contests. She said it combined a dizzy bat race with golf. Rather than use a bat, the contestants use a golf club and try to see who is more accurate under the influence of head-spinning disorientation.
Parker Brandt, a 19-year-old PGA golf management major from Chattanooga, Tenn. is a student living in the LLC. Brandt is very passionate about the golf management community, and like Caviness, said all freshmen and returning sophomores are encouraged to live on the floor.
“It is very rewarding to live with guys who share the same passion as me,” Brandt said. “Everyone is always willing to help one another in their academic progression.”
The LLC has allowed Brandt to build many friendships, he said.
“After classes it’s as easy as me shouting down the hallway to see who wants to play nine holes,” Brandt said. “I always get a group of guys to go.”
Brandt said he has only positive thoughts on the community.
“This program has been a blessing in my life and my academic career, allowing me to further my knowledge in the career field I love,” Brandt said.
The LLC is located on the 9th floor of Keene Hall. During the community’s first days, it consisted of around 20 to 25 PGM majors. The size of the LLC is now approximately 40 students.