Students returning from winter break found that the first floor of the Donahue building looked a bit different than when they left after finals in December. Construction barriers had been removed, the floor had been tiled--mostly--and the walls had a fresh coat of yellow paint.
They also found that the main entrance to the Student Activities office had been moved and a brand new reception area had been constructed.
"We've expanded," said Liz Golen, Student Activities coordinator.
The new entrance is closer to the Student Lounge, directly across from the POD and right next to the college radio station, WCCH-FM. Inside, students will find tables and comfortable chairs where they can do work or just relax. "The reception area serves as a greeting area for all students who are interested in student activities," Golen said. "It's wonderful, welcoming and open and we always have someone at the desk there to greet students all the time."
Past the reception desk and also new is a dedicated office for the Student Senate, which has been lacking since Student Activities moved from the Campus Center about six years ago. Student Trustee David Morin, who is also a student senator, also has his own office there now. "That's important because he has access to all the information from the Board of Trustees," said Golen. "It's a place that can be locked up and it's great that he has that private space."
Further inside, where there used to be desks and administrative space, there is now an expanded community room filled with comfortable chairs and tables. "It's a place for students to come and gather and work on projects," Golen said, "whether it's club related or academics. It's also a place to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee, which you can't do in the library of CAPS center, and students can be a bit louder in here than they could be in the library."
Other changes include the relocation of Health Services from the Frost building to a space right off the Student Lounge. Also, the Office of Students with Disabilities and Deaf Services is in the process of moving down the first floor hall of Donahue to renovated and expanded offices.
The new Student Activities reception area was carved out of space previously occupied by the radio station, which was also reconfigured with a brand new recording studio. A door between them now directly links WCCH, which is a student club, to the Student Activities reception area. "The DJs are in here more often," Golen said. "It's really helped our relationship."
Student Activities kicks off the Student Activity period this semester today (Wednesday, Feb. 1) with illusionist Leon Etienne performing in the Leslie Phillips Theater at 11 a.m. Next week (Wednesday, Feb. 8) Student Activities will be holding a Club Expo in the PeoplesBank conference room in the Kittredge Center at 11 a.m. "Clubs are being asked to showcase what they did last semester and it's also a recruiting event for the spring semester," Golen said.
Photos: (Left) Student Club Coordinator Veronique Leroy, Student Activities Coordinator Liz Golen and Student Senator Amanda Ortiz gather in the new Student Activities reception area. (Right) Student Trustee and Student Senator David Morin talks on the phone in his new office in the renovated and expanded Student Activities area in Donahue.