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Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Rivera House

Welcome to the Rivera House Living-Learning Community Page!


Thank you for visiting our page. Here you will find information about SUNY New Paltz’s LGBTQIA+ living-learning community, Rivera House. Rivera House launched in the fall of 2015 under the direction of Dr. Jessica N. Pabón (faculty of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies). After the end of our pilot year, we doubled the number of residents, implemented a new two-tier resident structure, applied a new governing structure for the program, developed a new peer mentoring program, welcomed a mostly new steering committee, and created two new 1 credit courses for the LLC residents (one for fall and spring). Rivera House is a thriving community of anti-racist, feminist, and queer student activists committed to an intersectional social justice approach to learning, living, and civic action.


What Is A Living Learning Community?

Living-learning communities (LLC) offer students with similar interests, majors, or lifestyles, the opportunity to live together in the same residence hall during the academic year.

What are the Requirements?

The Rivera House LLC experience includes two courses (WOM193 and WOM293) graded on a pass/fail basis, in which students will participate in guest lectures, community celebrations, literature and film discussions, leadership and awareness trainings, and creativity workshops. There will be voluntary special community events (such as conference attendance and an autumn harvest dinner) in addition to mandatory meetings each semester. Each year we structure our programming around a theme: for 2015-2016 it was “health,” and for 2016-2017 it is “safety.” See individual course schedules for details.

Is There A Fee?

There is a $50 fee for participation in the Rivera House LLC. You can pay it online or with a check.

Why is the LLC called “Rivera House”?

Our LLC is named after Puerto Rican and Venezuelan- American transgender activist Sylvia Rae Rivera (b 1951- d 2002). Rivera, born and raised in New York City, was a devoted social justice activist and fierce advocate for LGBTQ youth of color. Her activism linked to homelessness and poverty, racism, transphobia and heterosexist discrimination was extensive. She was involved in a variety of grassroots organizations and movements including the Puerto Rican Young Lords and the Black Panthers. She was also a founding member of the gay liberation front, the gay activists alliance, and co-founder of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries. Rivera was committed to changing conditions and the quality of life for those who, like her, were on the margins of not only mainstream society but also the mainstream LGBTQ rights movement.

Where is Rivera House located?

Students participating in the program will be housed in Lenape Hall. Rivera House is not a “house” on its own. All Lenape Hall rooms are designated triples. They consist of a large l-shaped room with a bathroom shared by the three students living in the room. Students are allowed to live with differently gendered roommates and will have the chance to identify their preferences on the housing application.

What Are The Benefits Of Living In Rivera House?

  • Have priority access to a multitude of programming specifically for LGBTQIA+ Individuals and their allies.
  • Support and lead anti-racist, feminist, and queer actions on campus and in the community within an organized network of Similarly minded students, faculty, staff, and community members.
  • Participate in an LGBTQIA+ peer mentorship Program not only to adjust to everyday life at SUNY New Paltz but also to develop Strategies for lifelong social and physical Health.
  • Cultivate meaningful relationships within An intentional community of supportive peers, faculty, and staff working together To create safe, welcoming spaces to express who you are, discuss LGBTQIA+ Issues, and have fun.

What are the Program’s Cornerstones?

  • Developing a safe and supportive environment for all people at SUNY New Paltz.
  • Improving the campus climate around LGBTQIA+ concerns and for the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Addressing issues of equity and social justice from an intersectional perspective.