Student Affairs, February 17, 2011
Minutes from the Thursday, February 17, 2011 Student Affairs Meeting
Student Affairs group:
- Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
- Jackie McHargue, Dean of Students
- Nancy Yeager, Director of Planning and Assessment
- Jewel Gist, Multicultural Programs
- Sherrie Meehan, Executive Assistant
- Mary Chakales, Special Programs
- Jay Cutspec, Student Health & Counseling Center
- Melanie Rhodarmer, Residential Education
- Jill Moffitt, Recreation & Student Activities
- Vollie Barnwell, Housing Operations
- Alison Fearn, Dining Services
- Kimberly Newsome, AVC, Student Affairs
CMP Working Group listeners:
- Eric Boyce, Public Safety
- Don Gordon, Design & Construction
- Kimberly Newsome, AVC, Student Affairs
- Christine Riley, Chief of Staff
Student Affairs professionals provided their feedback and suggestions for this early stage of the campus master planning process. Feedback included:
Student Affairs recently had a brainstorming session about this topic. Notes from that session were provided to Mr. Nelson.
- Emergency Management issues: Access control, surveillance, cameras, ability to lock down buildings in emergencies, and/or know who is in any given building at any one time. We could be more coordinated about this and this plan can help us do that.
- Other aspects of personal safety: lighting, wayfinding, backing into traffic [on University Heights] management of traffic on major roads; consider whether some existing roads should be pedestrian-only spaces.
- Consider the visitor experience: There is neither an entrance experience [signage, etc.] nor is there an exit experience – ‘how the heck do I get out of here?’ We need a ‘front door’ to the campus, with a visitors' kiosk and signage to help people find their way.
- Health & Counseling Center is substandard, outdated, and its capacity to adapt to today’s student needs is limited. Lack of privacy is a huge issue, with faculty offices near exam rooms and not enough soundproofing between rooms. It is doubtful that the current center could become accredited in its current facility, and this is a UNC-GA-imposed goal for all campus H&C centers.
- Public Safety facility – the only thing ideal about this building is its location. It is inadequate for our current staffing and programmatic needs, and provides us with no hope of becoming accredited. This is a goal that UNC-GA has set for the campuses. Ideally, we should move our Emergency Operations team to coordinate more closely with our Public Safety team, and that can’t happen with this facility. It is also not ADA-accessible.
- Student Housing: We need more and better housing for our residential students. Currently, we turn about 200 students away each year. Because living in the residence hall is one of our highest predictors of student retention, and because this is a hallmark of a liberal arts campus, expanding and improving our residential spaces is an urgent strategic need.
- We should be looking to build apartment-style housing to accommodate the needs of today’s students. We had a study done on housing costs by Brailsford & Dunlavey, which will be provided to the Master Plan group.
- We need more space for recreation for on-and off-campus students: movie theater, bowling alley, informal congregating spaces, etc. Multi-use open spaces would work well on campus of our size. There is interest in working with academic departments to share space.
- Health & Fitness Center: This is an older building that will need to be ‘re-purposed’ when the Sherrill Center opens in the spring. There is a group working on this now. It cannot safely be evacuated in an emergency, and professional staff are housing in closets and storage spaces.
- Outdoor Recreation has the use of one field. It is not enough for the variety of programs that we offer or should be offering. There are very high maintenance costs because this field is shared with others, so it takes a beating. Artificial turf would need less maintenance but costs more.
- Outdoor recreation also needs ways to limit the usage of this space when necessary. Not being able to limit the usage contributes to the high maintenance costs.
- We need more outdoor field space.
- Dining Services: There is not enough space to serve our current student enrollment, and will certainly not be enough for the enrollment we are planning for.
- One Stop: This is an important service to students, and should be located in a more optimal space than the basement of the dining hall.
- We have no ‘signature’ location on campus. In prior years and in the prior plan, there was talk of an outdoor amphitheater. This would be a good thing to plan for. We need places of meaning that connect us to our history – statues, benches, plaques, other things that remind us of our history and traditions.
- There are limited outdoor spaces for students to congregate informally. If the Quad were more attractive, it might serve that purpose, but is just blank.
- Highsmith Union is not as well utilized as it could be. Students could make better use of it with some design changes.
- Parking: We have to change our mindset about parking. We should include covered bike racks, pedestrian thoroughfares where people can visualize where they are going. A redesign of the campus roadways and walkways with pedestrians in mind would help, as would raised cross walks [like we have in front of Owen Hall], and protected walking in front of Phillips/Highsmith. It’s the busiest car and foot traffic spot on campus.
- More non-resident student spaces – this is 2/3 of our students and they should be made to feel central and welcome all over campus.
- At one time we considered a conference center on campus. Asheville is a destination almost all year round, and we could generate revenue if we formalized this process. It would free up Highsmith Union to become truly student centered, as it was intended. This should be considered again, perhaps in conjunction with our Alumni.
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