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First-Year Themed Housing Communities

In the fall, each first-year student resident will join a Themed Housing Community. Themed Housing Communities provide students a way to explore the campus and the greater Bay Area through topics that most interest them. Students will create lasting friendships and have new experiences that expand what they are learning in the classroom.

When completing the online housing application process (details available here) please indicate your interest and rank your preference among the choices offered. Mills College makes an effort to place every student in the community of their choice, but please note that only a limited number of students can be accommodated in each Themed Housing Community.

Themed Housing Communities


The Wellness Community is designed for students interested in living a physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually balanced lifestyle. Creating balance can be a critical component of success during college. Through participation in floor activities, residents will explore and create their own wellness philosophy. In order to support wellness for those who wake up early, this floor will observe extended quiet hours from 10:00 pm–8:00 am. This community would be ideal for athletes who have early morning practices or students who are morning risers.  Possible activities may include attending local sporting events, wellness workshops, guest speakers from discussing health and wellness, and Cyclone Spirit Week.



This community brings together students interested in art and art history. If you enjoy working in the studio, visiting museums and galleries, or studying the history of art, the Art Themed Housing Community will appeal to you. Activities may include Oakland’s monthly “Art Murmur” street party and art festival, museum visits, special exhibitions, local gallery walks, films, and other exciting events that will enhance your understanding of both the history of art and the contemporary art scene in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Bay Area Exploration

Why did the New York Times list Oakland as one of the most fun cities to visit? Find out about all the exciting activities in Oakland by joining this community. Did you come to Mills because it was in a city?  In this themed community, students will explore Oakland, San Francisco, and the Bay Area utilizing their AC Transit bus cards.  Students will learn about the history of the area as they explore thriving and diverse areas in our own Oakland community such as Fruitvale, Chinatown, and Lake Merritt. Enjoy the Redwood parks of the Oakland hills and venture into Dolores Park and the Fillmore in San Francisco.


Social Justice

In this community, we'll learn together how we can each have a role in making the world a better place. We will investigate issues of gender identity, disability rights, racial justice, queer inclusion and more. Students will learn together by participating in the many events on campus and in the Bay Area that are designed to challenge power, make a statement, and pursue a just society. Learn about social protest, policy advocacy, and education as tools for social justice work. We'll learn how to make our OWN change and inspire hope for a better world.


World Languages and Global Affairs

Are you interested in the politics, popular culture, and history of other countries? Are you eager to learn what the Bay Area has to offer those interested in the world beyond American borders? Are you hoping to study abroad? Do you enjoy learning other languages.  This community seeks to broaden students’ knowledge of the world’s diverse cultures and histories, as well as pressing global issues, and show them the opportunities for international awareness that Mills and the Bay Area offer.  By examining different cultures, languages and customs, students will be exposed to a more transnational view of the world and to the idea of global citizenship. Activities could include cultural events, museum visits, film viewings, concerts as well as information sessions about study abroad and different international focused majors and minors at Mills.



This community is an excellent starting point for students considering majoring in any of the scientific disciplines, computer science, or mathematics. This floor provides an opportunity for these students to support one another academically and connect with others who have similar academic and career interests as they live and study together.  Activities may include career panels with alumni, study skills workshops, and opportunities for stress relief and self-care.  


Service Learning/Civic Engagement

This theme community will explore what it means to be part of the larger Oakland/Bay Area Community.  Throughout the year, students will learn how to work in solidarity and in community with others. This community will provide a place for discussions of social justice as it connects to civic engagement. This theme may partner with local organizations such as Girls Inc., The Ella Baker Center, or Urban Releaf.  Possible activities include field trips to Bay Area neighborhoods and events, service learning, panels and visits with local activists and scholars, and documentary discussions.


Hip Hop/Spoken Word

The City of Oakland is best known for its love of culture and politics, and where do those things come together? Hip-hop! Share your passion for hip-hop culture and spoken word by joining this community of students committed to understanding inequality through hip-hop dance, music, visual arts, and spoken word. Explore the thriving hip-hop scene in the Bay area and learn how hip-hop and social activism come together in Oak-town!


Graphic Novels and Fandom

This community will be exploring the growing diversity in graphic novels and their growing cross over into TV, movies and gaming. Activities may include going to graphic novel talks with the author at Fantastic Comics in Berkeley, deconstructing the dystopian feminist world in Bitch Planet. Looking at the treatment of LGBTQIA*, body positiveness, and racially diverse characters in recent graphic novels like Ms Marvel, Batwoman, Chew, Saga, Faith, Rat Queens and Princeless. Students in this community will get to share and explore each others fandom through movie nights, gaming circles, and TV series watching.


Educational Inequality and Innovation

Students will have the opportunity to reflect on their own educational journeys in relation to larger patterns of inequality. This community will bring together people interested in teaching, school reform, and community-based initiatives to foster powerful learning, greater equity in student achievement, and a more democratic society. Activities might include watching documentaries and having discussions, visits to local schools such as Roses in Concrete, or learning about the work done with Girls Inc.


Environmental Justice

This community brings together residents interested in exploring their ideals, assumptions, and awareness regarding the production of food and the environment. Students will have the opportunity to develop community leadership skills in promoting energy and water conservation, waste reduction, recycling, and local food connections and learn about how sustainability and social justice are connected. There are many opportunities on campus to be involved with sustainability and this theme community will be leading the way.  Events may include participation in Creek Care Days, Power Down Days, RecycleMania, and the Mills College Community Farm.  This community may also partner with off campus organizations such as Urban Releaf who work on environmental justice in the greater Oakland community.


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Contact Information

Housing Management & Dining Services (HMDS)
Sage Hall, Room 138

P: 510.430.2127
F: 510.430.2155
Last Updated: 2/23/17