The Modus Vivendi Society

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What is the Modus Vivendi Society?

Modus Vivendi = “Way of Life” in Latin. The phrase signifies an arrangement that helps people work together in relative harmony even if they have opposing views or do not agree with each other.

Members of the Modus Vivendi Society have participated in at least one of our three overnight programs, one offered per quarter. Each overnight program is an interactive, energizing, and unique experience that will help you build leadership skills, engage in meaningful conversations with other UChicago students, and become an advocate for positive change. No activity is the same, so we encourage you to attend more than once!

Any UChicago student, regardless of program or year, can apply for each overnight program. We encourage people of all genders, religious practices, races, etc. to participate. We look for participants who show a willingness to explore their personal values, an openness to engage in difficult conversations, and who express a desire to make positive change.

Overnight programs are offered at no cost to attendees* and include transportation off campus to our overnight location, accommodations, and meals.

*To ensure commitment, participants are required to pay a $50 REFUNDABLE deposit. All deposits will be returned / refunded immediately after the program to all students who attend. If the deposit creates a substantial burden please indicate that on the application - this will not impact your chances of being invited to attend. 

Learning Outcomes

Each overnight program is spent participating in interactive activities and small group discussions designed with the following objectives in mind:

  • Working understanding of the Social Change Model of Leadership 
  • Knowledge of campus resources 
  • Understand and respect the values of others 
  • Increased comfort discussing controversial topics with civility 
  • Design a personal plan for creating change on campus through a reflection of personal values

Benefits of Joining

  • Deepen your awareness of personal identity and leadership style
  • Practice engaging in civil discourse
  • Connect with people you may not otherwise interact with - from a wide range of programs, houses, RSOs, and more!
  • Build relationships on campus with other students and faculty / staff facilitators
  • Take time away from campus to focus on YOU
  • Identify your values and passions
  • Develop leadership competencies
  • Form a plan to make a positive impact on your community

How to Join

Applications for the Expedition are now open! You can apply here until January 10 at 11:59pm.

Modus Vivendi was designed to have students first attend the winter Expedition, then the spring Retreat, and finish with the autumn Conclave. While the program is designed in this progression, it is not required to participate in this order or participate in more than one program. We encourage all students to attend in whichever quarter they are able.  

Separate applications must be submitted for each Modus Vivendi Society overnight program since admittance into one program does not guarantee a spot in subsequent programs. Information about application deadlines can be found on the individual program pages on the left. 

Expectations of Society Members

Society members are advocates for civil discourse and meaningful dialogue. With support from their small group leaders, members are expected to carry out the personal action plan developed at our programs, demonstrate integrity, and act as leaders of positive change. Beyond attendance at one of the overnight programs, there are not ongoing tangible expectations of Society members. Although each program is different, there is no requirement to attend more than one. There is also an opportunity for current Society members to attend more programs by serving in the role of peer facilitator. 

A list of current Modus Vivendi Society members can be viewed HERE.

Questions? Email Casey at