Asian studies institute founded

first_imgThe gift for the recently established Institute for Asia and Asian studies will offer a new program to students at the University, J. Nicholas Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for Internationalization, said. The Institute for Asia and Asian Studies was created with an endowment from the RM Liu Foundation, a philanthropic group that supports the activities of the Liu family, whose children graduated from Notre Dame. Emily Liu graduated in 1994 with a degree in psychology and her brother Justin graduated in 2000 with a degree in finance. Justin Lui is a member of the College of Arts and Letters Advisory Council and also serves on the Asian Studies Advisory Board, according a University press release. Emily and Justin Liu left their gift to Notre Dame in honor of their grandfather, a World War II general in the Chinese army who rescued 7,000 British and 500 American soldiers from the Japanese. “This gift from the RM Liu Foundation was necessary to start the Institute,” Entrikin said. The Institute is an extension of the Center for Asian Studies, which the University established in 1997. The Center was created in attempt to increase emphasis on Asia. In 2005, the provost appointed a task force on Asian Studies to help determine the “rewards” of creating a University program centered entirely on Asia, according to the release. “This [institute] allows for an interdisciplinary institute that will make more visible the opportunity to study about Asia,” Entrikin said. This endowment from the Liu family created the Institute for Asian Studies, as well as an intensive summer Chinese program in Taiwan, and such cultural events as the Asian Film Festival and Conference. The Institute’s goals will include multidisciplinary and collaborative research that will develop Asian-based initiatives to help solidify Notre Dame’s presence in Asia as the world’s foremost Catholic research university, the release said. “Any exchange program wants students and information to go in both directions and this will help us understand Asia and its economy more,” Entrikin said.last_img read more

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ROTC honors Veteran’s Day

first_imgAs the sun set on an unusually warm November evening at Notre Dame, members of the Notre Dame ROTC unit joined several distinguished guests Thursday at the Clarke Memorial Fountain, popularly known as Stonehenge, in honor of Veteran’s Day. The event was the culmination of a 24-hour period, beginning Wednesday at 5 p.m., during which members of the ROTC were placed for non-stop vigilance at the fountain in honor of those who have served the country, especially POWs and MIAs. The ceremony began at 5:15 p.m. Thursday evening with a moment of silence, the singing of the National Anthem and an invocation by Fr. Sean McGraw, an assistant professor of political science at Notre Dame.  “The Veteran’s Day ceremony went very well today,” Midshipman Matthew Zak, the trimilitary commander for ROTC, said. “It is always amazing to see all three units together in one place.”  The ceremony’s guest speaker was Lt. Col. Charles E. Rice, professor emeritus at Notre Dame’s Law School. Addressing the four branches of the ROTC, who stood throughout the ceremony, Rice talked about the special relationship between ROTC and the University. “The ROTC have earned the respect of the people here at Notre Dame.  We are proud of what you have done and we know you will carry into your service what you have learned here at Notre Dame.” University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh was also present for the ceremony.  He addressed the crowd and spoke about the tradition of defending the nation as one that is deeply rooted in Notre Dame’s history.  “There is no group here at Notre Dame that I am more proud to honor than the group standing before me,” he said.  “This is a tradition that Fr. Sorin would uphold, as he started the Continental Cadets here at Notre Dame.” Congressman Joe Donnelly, a Notre Dame alumnus, also spoke at the event.  He thanked the students for their service, as well as Fr. Hesburgh.  “It should be noted that the strength of the ROTC at Notre Dame would not be so without Fr. Hesburgh.  On behalf of the United States, Fr. Hesburgh, we thank you.” Donnelly spoke of men and women in the armed forces from Northwestern Indiana who had lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of their courage and patriotism.  “I have met some of our ROTC members in the toughest neighborhoods of Baghdad and they have said to me, ‘Sir, I have used the skills here that I learned at Notre Dame.’” Following Donnelly’s address, all members of the armed forces stood to be recognized, and the lone sound in the quiet dusk air was the melody of “Taps,” being played by junior Midshipmen Steve Prendergast. The ceremony concluded with a final prayer from Fr. McGraw, who said he was proud to be part of the event.  “As a teacher of many ROTC students, I was just proud to be with them” McGraw said.  “It just hits home how commitment and dedication these students put forward.” Zak said the ceremony is much more than a celebration of the armed forces and that it is a tribute to the relationship between the local community and the men and women fighting for the country. “This ceremony is always very meaningful to anyone who wears a uniform to honor the men and women that have come before us, and those serving today. Also having Fr. Hesburgh come and speak there always is a connection to the Notre Dame students who came before us and served in the military,” he said. “This event gives all of us a great appreciation of the support from the University and the South Bend community for the men and women in the armed forces.”last_img read more

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SGA holds meeting for election candidates

first_imgWith elections for student government around the corner, Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) held a meeting for prospective candidates Thursday. Another meeting will take place today at 2:15 p.m. in the SGA office. At least one member from each ticket must attend one of the meetings in order to be eligible to run. The meeting was offered to those who wish to run for SGA, Residence Hall Association, Student Activities Board and Student Diversity Board. One of the meetings was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was cancelled due to inclement weather. At the meeting, Laura Smith, student body vice president, explained the rules of the election. Students were told when and where they are allowed to post campaign materials. Students also received election rules. Smith said students must have a 3.0 GPA in order to run. “If you do not have it, Patrick [Daniel, director of Student Involvement] and the Student Involvement people will be checking and he will ask you to step down from campaigning,” she said. “The College is really strict on the GPA requirement.” In addition, students may not participate in a study abroad program during their term, which lasts an entire academic year. Smith said in order to run for student body president or vice president, students must be a rising junior or senior at the College. Dates were also announced for campaigning and Election Day. “Your campaigning will start Sunday, Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. and then it will end that Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 11:59 p.m. No later than that,” Smith said. “And then voting will take place Thursday from midnight to Thursday 11:59 p.m.” Smith said students must have their platform approved by SGA and the Student Involvement Office. Platforms are due Friday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. and will be approved by Feb. 19 at 9 a.m. Smith said students have to pay for their own campaign expenses. “All the costs with your campaigning is up to you,” she said. “Don’t save your receipts because you won’t be reimbursed for anything.” Smith said she will act as interim Election Commissioner and will be responsible for approving campaign platforms and other materials.last_img read more

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Ward and McCormick to face off

first_imgAfter a campaign violation delayed the results for a day, the Election Committee of the Judicial Council announced the Pat McCormick-Brett Rocheleau and James Ward-Heather Eaton tickets will proceed to a runoff election for the offices of student body president and vice president. A runoff debate featuring the McCormick-Rocheleau and Ward-Eaton tickets will take place tonight at 10 p.m. in the Main Lobby of LaFortune Student Center. The runoff election will be held Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. To win the initial election, a ticket must win a majority of the votes cast, Michael Thomas, Judicial Council Vice President of Elections, said. No ticket received more than 50 percent of the vote in the election. The council received 4,036 votes in total, which is slightly lower than the 4,177 votes cast in last year’s election. Thomas said the number generally remains the same, and that this year’s was a respectable turnout. The McCormick-Rocheleau ticket received 1,536 votes, which is equal to 38.07 percent of the votes, followed by Ward and Eaton, who received 911 votes, or 22.59 percent. The Catherine Soler-Emily LeStrange ticket, with 904 votes, or 22.42 percent, received only seven votes less than Ward and Eaton. The two remaining tickets, Ricky Bevington-Olivia Colangelo and Kevin Noonan-Matt Thomas, received 266 votes, or 6.60 percent, and 257 votes, or 6.37 percent, respectively. One hundred and sixty-three students, or 4.04 percent, chose to abstain from voting. Following the results, Ward said he is glad the results prove that he and Eaton connected with students. “We’re absolutely overjoyed to know that people do have confidence in us,” he said. “That’s what continues to inspire us to go through this whole process.” Ward and Eaton also both expressed their positive feelings toward McCormick and Rocheleau. “It’s nice to know that no matter which way it goes we will be happy with the results,” Eaton said. McCormick and Rocheleau said they are excited about the possibility to see their plan for a new vision of student government through. “It’s been an honor for us to have the chance to have this conversation with the student body,” McCormick said. McCormick said the palpable excitement on campus is because this campaign has never been about the candidates. “It’s about Notre Dame students’ hopes for the school,” he said. “We’re fired up to realize a broader vision and to put our hope in action for Notre Dame.” Rocheleau said he is both excited and hopeful for things to come. Soler said she and LeStrange planned to continue their involvement in student government despite their loss. “I am disappointed Emily and I won’t be able to serve the student body in the way we had hoped,” she said. “But we want to say thank you to everyone who supported us, and we will contribute to the student body in any way we can.” Although he will not proceed to the runoff election, Bevington said he truly enjoyed his experience of running for student body president. “I had an awesome time,” he said. “There were so many great tickets willing to run and trying to help the student body.” Noonan said he and Thomas are simply glad their number of votes is higher than the number of students who abstained. The Judicial Council distributed a link to the voting website by e-mail on Monday, and students were able to vote on the site between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The results were delayed 24 hours due to a campaign violation by the Ward- Eaton ticket. Ward sent an e-mail titled “Your year next year” that was found by the Judicial Council to contain campaign misconduct. As a sanction, Ward was required to send a second e-mail to the student body apologizing for his prior message by 11:59 p.m. Monday night. Although an appeal was filed within Student Senate, the appeal was later dropped and the decision of the Election Committee stood. Ward complied with the given sanction before the deadline.last_img read more

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SMC raises tuition 3.9 percent

first_imgSaint Mary’s College tuition will raise 3.9 percent for the upcoming 2015-16 academic year, according to a press release from Tuesday.Tuition and fees will be set at $37,400 and room and board will be $11,320, making the cost to live on campus and attend Saint Mary’s College $48,720, the release said.Emily Danaher | The Observer Vice President of Finance and Administration Susan Bolt said tuition, room, board and other fees make up 78 percent of Saint Mary’s College revenue.Bolt said campus costs rise each year in various areas, from wireless coverage to the salary of professors.There have been no major structural changes within the College to increase the cost to attend Saint Mary’s, Bolt said. She said the College tries to keep prices as low as possible for students to get the best education and experience possible.“Saint Mary’s is a very small, intimate campus in terms of class size and services provided to students,” Bolt said. “A little over 60 percent of our expenses are people, and although I don’t believe Saint Mary’s has given any outrageous raises, we must give raises to continue to build our community.“We have to charge students more so that the faculty are supported. The type of education Saint Mary’s provides needs people to provide it here on campus.”Bolt said another large portion of expenses at Saint Mary’s include meal plans and dining services.“It is expensive to be able to offer a variety of health foods, respond to student requests and focus on sustainability,” she said. “Energy costs, trash costs and cable TV costs always seem to go up, too.”The choice to attend Saint Mary’s is an investment in a woman’s future, Bolt said.“Right now, students may says that their peers are the most important part of being at Saint Mary’s, but surveys show that Saint Mary’s is preparing women for a lifetime of learning if that’s your choice,” she said.A survey conducted by the Office of Institutional Research at Saint Mary’s asked graduates of the class of 2013, one year after their graduation, many questions about the value of their Saint Mary’s experience.Bolt said 90 percent of the survey’s respondents said Saint Mary’s prepared them well for their job. Ninety-four percent of respondents said Saint Mary’s prepared them well for graduate school.Bolt said these numbers speak highly of the education that is provided at the College.The number of doctoral degrees earned by Saint Mary’s graduates ranks in the top 25 percent of Baccalaureate Colleges, she said.Nearly 22 percent of the College’s revenue is supported by gifts and endowments, Bolt said.“A student’s tuition covers a portion of everything, but those revenues aren’t enough to pay for it all,” she said. “Donations and endowment distribution help to keep the College running.“For donors to invest at this level, clearly they see that the education is worth it. [Donations and endowments] says a lot about the quality of women here and the educational experience.”Saint Mary’s recognizes the high cost of education with the “Four-Year Graduation Promise,” Bolt said.According the College’s website, the “Four-Year Graduation Promise” started with the incoming class of 2017. Students who follow the promise’s guidelines are guaranteed to graduate in four years, or the College will pay for any additional courses a student needs to earn her degree.“‘Four-Year Graduation Promise’ is a great advantage when looking at tuition, and while there are guidelines, the promise shows the way Saint Mary’s values student’s money and time,” Bolt said.Students are paying for their education and the experience of living at a residential women’s college, Bolt said.“Tuition always returns to the mission,” she said. “Everything we do is about the student’s education, maintaining a small community and having the financial ability to cover it all.”Tags: Saint Mary’s tuition increaselast_img read more

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Fiestang show to offer a taste of Filipino culture

first_imgThe Filipino-American Student Organization (FASO) will once again be holding its annual Fiestang Cultural Show but with a unique twist this year: It will bear the theme “Kapamilya: of the same family.”Attendees of the show, which takes place Saturday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at South Dining Hall, will be able to enjoy “traditional and modern Filipino dances,” a University press release said.The show will be followed by a Filipino dinner served at both North and South Dining Halls until 7 p.m., with dishes such as bistek (beef steak) and pansit bihon guisado (noodles), according to the Notre Dame Food Services (NDFS) website.This is made possible through a “milestone” partnership between FASO and NDFS, Fiestang commissioners and seniors Chris Aquino and Isabel Camara said.“This has always been in the works, and this year was the right year for it to happen. The new person in charge [NDFS Director Chris Abayasinghe] has a strong likening towards diversity and making people aware,” Aquino said. “There are also a lot of Filipino people on staff working in the dining halls, so combining those two it resulted in a NDFS sponsorship where it’s actually the dining hall that provides the Filipino food for the show, as opposed to just having it catered every year.”This move is expected to improve the club’s visibility on campus. Currently, it has an active membership of about 50 students, Aquino and Camara said.Compared to the previous venue of Stepan Center, the choice of location will “hopefully encourage some underclassmen to check it out, see that it’s a good event and expect it for the years to come,” Camara said. “It’s a giant part of the exposure.”Aquino and Camara said they anticipate around 200 people will come to Fiestang, with families from the South Bend community representing about one-third of that number.“Filipino culture is so vivacious, you could walk around the Philippines and see someone singing their soul out with karaoke or being very into a certain dance. … That’s what our culture is and why the show’s always been around,” Camara said. “We all come together for the sole purpose to just celebrate being Filipino.”Apart from this, Aquino stressed the importance of the values reflected in Fiestang.“The show is a celebration of our culture,” Aquino said. “It’s full of music, joy, and has great food. Sounds cheesy, but 110 percent honest that is what our culture boils down to — and food is important, really important. Family is the core of everything and music and fun.”Aquino also said NDFS is planning on instituting Filipino cuisine as a regular rotation in the dining halls, similar to the current arrangement for the Korean, Vietnamese and Indian cuisine that appear roughly every fortnight.“It starts with the show pretty much,” he said. “This is so different from what we have known Fiestang to be from previous years.”The show has gained the support of other organizations, including Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), according to its assistant director, Arnel Bulaoro.“Fiestang is one of many signature events designed to celebrate culture and create community building events,” he said. “I am simply a sounding board for the organization. … It has been a pleasure to watch the exchange of ideas between Food Services Director Chris Abayasinghe and the FASO officers.”According to FASO’s Facebook page, the show will offer free admission and the first 80 attendees without a meal plan will receive free meal tickets for the Filipino dinner.Tags: Diversity, FASO, Fiestang, Filipino, MSPS, NDFS, Notre Dame Food Services, Philippineslast_img read more

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Doris Kearns Goodwin to give Christian Culture Lecture at Saint Mary’s

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s department of humanistic studies announced presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin as this year’s speaker for the Christian Culture Lecture on Oct. 4.According to a press release, Goodwin, called “America’s historian-in-chief,” will explain and analyze the U.S. presidency and discuss how Christianity has influenced governing practices during the lecture.Goodwin, who wrote award-winning biographies about Lyndon B. Johnson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, will tell stories “that illuminate the inner complexities of American leaders,” the press release stated.“We are thrilled and honored to welcome Doris Kearns Goodwin to Saint Mary’s,” professor of humanistic studies John Shinners said in the press release. “It’s especially exciting to have her here to share her insights just a month before the upcoming historic national election.”According to the release, Goodwin worked with Steven Spielberg on the film “Lincoln,” partially based on her book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.” She won a Pulitzer Prize for her book “No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.” She regularly appears on network and cable news shows, as well as daytime and late-night talk shows, and she has been a consultant for PBS and History Channel documentaries, including Ken Burns’ “The Civil War.”She earned a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University and was an assistant to Johnson during the last year of his presidency.The lecture will take place in the O’Laughlin Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free with a ticket. A book signing and reception will follow. Tags: Christian Culture Lecture, department of humanistic studies, Doris Kearns Goodwin, history, saint mary’slast_img read more

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Center for the Study of Language and Culture offers new Less Commonly Taught Languages

first_imgMany Notre Dame students fulfill their language requirement with one of the typical language offerings: French, Spanish, Italian and German. In recent years, however, the Center for the Study of Language and Culture (CSLC) has begun to offer Less Commonly Taught Languages (LTCLs). The most recent additions include Swahili, Bengali, Turkish and Vietnamese, Denise Ayo, associate director of the CSLC, said.“The way this program works is by piggybacking on the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program that’s sponsored by the State Department and administered by the Institute for International Education in New York,” she said.The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program seeks to deepen American students’ knowledge of both the language and culture of different nations, while providing foreign teachers with the chance to experience American culture and incorporate new methods. FLTAs, as the foreign teachers are called, are supported by a U.S. university for one academic year while teaching one or more levels of a certain language.“Right now the FLTAs we have are funded by Notre Dame International and the Liu Institute [for Asia and Asian Studies], and they are responding to the needs of students coming to them,” Ayo said.For now, the program is relatively small, Ayo said: Bengali has just one student, Turkish two, and Swahili and Vietnamese each have around seven. However, the students requesting the languages are extremely dedicated, often choosing their language based on service work.“One of the students who is in Swahili Intermediate II — which is being offered this semester — he goes to Tanzania every summer and works in a hospital,” Ayo said. Other students are taking the newer languages based on their cultural backgrounds, especially the students studying Vietnamese, Ayo said.“We’re getting a lot of students whose grandmothers speak Vietnamese, or they grew up hearing it, whom we call heritage speakers — they understand Vietnamese but they can’t speak it. They can’t produce it, they can’t write it, so they’re trying to gain that proficiency,” she said.Ayo said she hopes that as time goes on and various institutes continue to support the FLTA Program, more students will choose to study LTCLs. Part of the issue, she said, is that students fail to see the practicality of a language spoken so far from home. She described the issue of practicality as being based not in reality, but in a student’s reality.“Bengali is the sixth most spoken language in the world. These aren’t little languages,” Ayo said. “Students know Spanish is important, and sometimes South Asia or Africa is just so far away, but it’s so important as we start to look globally. Any language is going to drastically improve your outlook on the world.”Ayo said she was enthusiastic about the FLTAs at Notre Dame both this year and in past years.“These are young, exciting instructors, and they are very in touch with the culture,” she said. “They’re going to be able to tell you things about Bangladesh that most people can’t because they actually live there. …. It’s worth just getting to know them.” One such FLTA is Thao Nguyen, who teaches English at the university level in Vietnam and is teaching beginning and intermediate Vietnamese this year. Teaching has been Nguyen’s life-long passion, she said. She received degrees in education, English and linguistics in Vietnam.“I dreamed of becoming a teacher when I was very small,” she said. “I was just born to be a teacher. The favorite game we played when we were small was to teach other kids in the neighborhood about how to do math exercises or how to cook. Most of the time I acted as a teacher and I love that role so much.”Nguyen said the FLTA program gives her an opportunity to expand her knowledge of American culture, which she said will enable her to better serve her Vietnamese students.“We teach American Studies back home, but we have few ideas about the real American people and their lives — how they react, how they treat others and how they study and work, and about their education system,” she said.It’s a big transition she said — before coming to Notre Dame for FLTA training in early August, Nguyen had never been to the U.S.“It’s a chance to explore the world around me,” she said. “This is a big change in my life — this is the very first trip that I’ve taken far from my own country, and I’m learning new things living in a totally different place, with a lot of first experiences. …. I have a lot to learn, to adapt to, to get used to.” Despite the obvious challenges of arriving in the U.S. for the first time and immediately jumping into teaching students unfamiliar with Vietnamese Nguyen said she was enthusiastic about her classes and students.“Most of the time I try to speak Vietnamese so they can acquire the language and immerse themselves in an environment of Vietnamese,” she said. “They have some difficulty, but up until now they have overcome it very quickly. I love the way they study and get involved in the activities. …. I have to say they’re very cute.”Tags: Center for the Study of Languages and Culture, Less Commonly Taught Languageslast_img read more

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ACE to highlight program expansion by hosting first-ever event at Saint Mary’s

first_imgThe Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) will host its first-ever informational event at Saint Mary’s at 7:30 p.m. in Holy Cross Hall. Called “Cookies and Conversation,” the occasion will involve a discussion about opportunities available through ACE.“This is the first time we have done an event like this at Saint Mary’s,” ACE Chaplain Fr. Joe Carey said in an email. “Some Saint Mary’s students who graduated and are part of the ACE program have asked me to bring it to Saint Mary’s.” The ACE program is an initiative through Notre Dame that provides graduate students with opportunities to teach in Catholic schools in communities across the world. ACE teachers pursue a master’s degree in education, which includes two summers of study at Notre Dame and online courses.The program has developed extensively since its inception 26 years ago. Now, it is expanding to the tri-campus community.Saint Mary’s senior Colleen Murphy said she is considering ACE to pursue a graduate degree in education because of communal benefits.“I think that ACE has a lot of positives,” Murphy said. “I’ve been thinking about doing it for a couple of years because I think the program is not just about going to school in the straightforward way that I’ve been used to. It’s about teaching and getting experience at the same time which I think enhances the experience.” Murphy’s desire to maintain the Notre Dame community has inspired her interest in the program. “I know I’m not good at just going somewhere completely new, so I think being able to have this community is really helpful,” she said. “I’ve heard many stories about how ACE students will go to their respective schools in the morning, and then at the end of the day, come home and have a community dinner. Having people there to support you through that is really nice.”Graduates participating in the ACE program agree the experience has many benefits, both inside and outside the classroom. “The summer courses and student teaching opportunities taught me knowledge and skills that I use every day in the classroom, and they have helped me to work towards my goal of being the best teacher I can be for my students,” Notre Dame alumna Katie Ward (’19) said in an email.Ward said the program helps students become more well-rounded educators for the communities they serve.“ACE gives people the opportunity to be formed professionally, personally and spiritually to become educators that serve their students with their whole heart and mind,” Ward said. “The passion and zeal that I see in my ACE classmates for their students and for Catholic education shows me that they will continue to serve others throughout their lives.”Fr. Carey hopes ACE will continue to grow and that these events will raise awareness and interest in students from a variety of backgrounds.“My hopes for the event is to create community and to bring students together to learn more about ACE,” he said. “We are inviting students from all four years to come and learn about the program.” Tags: Alliance for Catholic Educationlast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s facilities undergo renovations to enhance student experience

first_imgMaeve Filbin | The Observer The newly renovated and expanded 24 hour space in Cushwa-Leighton Library is open to Saint Mary’s students.In order to limit weather exposure to students, Bowman said the tunnel connecting the library to Le Mans Hall will be renovated.“The renovation will include lighting, paint and a chair lift for accessibility purposes,” Bowman said. “This will allow students to travel from Le Mans to the 24-hour study space in the library without going outside.”The renovations across campus are in light of the announcement in August that the College’s facilities staff would spend the summer working on projects to update dorms and the Cushwa-Leighton Library as part of a multi-million dollar plan to refresh campus facilities. By the time students returned to campus in August, a new elevator had been installed in Holy Cross Hall, Opus Hall had new flooring and the library was deep in the renovation process.All of the facilities projects were planned with the students in mind, Bowman said.“It was inspired by the need to improve the student experience and tackle deferred maintenance items,” he said. “We know the needs of the students have changed over the years and we are always seeking to improve the student experience. We recognize that our spaces don’t meet those needs so we are working to update and refresh them.”The projects were developed as a joint effort of representatives of multiple groups to be most directly affected by the renovations.“The groups who help plan vary based on the project but in general the entire College community was involved,” Bowman said.Vice president of strategy and finance, Dana Strait, said in an email that the projects were influenced especially by the students who call the College home for almost nine months of the year. As a result, students were consulted before the projects were put into action to ensure that the various groups all shared the same vision.“We have two committees dedicated to improving student and learning spaces,” Strait said. “Both committees have significant student representation, and one also includes graduate students.”The bond to fund the renovations around campus was issued in late October of 2019; however, because the spaces being updated serve as central spaces of student life, most of the work has to be completed when students are off campus, Bowman said.Strait said the renovations have been well received so far in the student body.“We want to foster a better student experience,” Strait said. “We need to be attractive to prospective students and promote collaboration between students. It’s really been a win-win to both involve the students and then present them with some great updates to their spaces this year. Students have reported their excitement in seeing their recommendations being implemented across campus.”Tags: facilities upgrade, Le Mans Hall Over winter break, 17 renovation projects were completed across Saint Mary’s campus in order to improve student life, and a few more operations are slated to occur over the coming semester, Benjamin Bowman, director of facilities, said.“In the library we renovated and expanded the student 24-hour space which included new paint, flooring, lighting and furniture,” Bowman said in an email. “We dedicated package rooms for our residential buildings to secure student packages. New hydration and bottle fill stations have been installed in multiple locations and the pews and floors in Holy Spirit Chapel were refinished.”last_img read more

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