No U.S. post office on campus in 2009, but new seating may come

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Director of Student Activities Ricky Gresh addressed the Undergraduate Council of Students about the upcoming renovation of Faunce House into the Stephen Robert Campus Center at its general body meeting Wednesday evening in Petteruti Lounge.

Gresh announced that the renovated space will not feature a U.S. post office because the Postal Service is unwilling to have an office on campus after its current lease expires at the end of the 2008-09 academic year.

Renovations to the J. Walter Wilson Laboratory will be complete before next year’s orientation, relocating many of the offices currently in Faunce, Gresh said.

Gresh asked UCS members to express thoughts about the plans for renovation. Council members mentioned increased bathroom availability, the potential to add a late-night eatery that could accept meal credits, the importance of a space similar to the current Underground and additional open spaces.

Several UCS members also mentioned the importance of increasing Faunce’s accessibility. Gresh said Faunce is a hard building to make completely accessible, but the renovated J. Walter Wilson will not have this problem.

Gresh said he wants the new campus center to be a more comfortable place for students to simply hang out in, citing problems with finding spaces in Faunce currently. If you simply go to Faunce, “you’re going to find a lot of closed doors,” he said.

UCS also held elections for a vacant at-large representative position. After a heated debate on the merits of electing a current associate member over a former UCS member, Michael MacCombie ’11, an associate member of UCS since September, beat Associate Member Jerry Cedrone ’11, Kieran Fitzgerald ’10 and former Campus Life Chair Brian Becker ’09, who was not on UCS while studying abroad last semester. Associate members attend UCS meetings but have no voting power.

Melea Atkins ’10 was elected Corporation liaison. The position was left vacant by the recent resignation of Martin Bell ’10, who addressed UCS to explain that he resigned for personal reasons.

UCS also confirmed the first seven members of its UFB oversight task force, who include Herald University Account Manager and UCS Alumni Liasion Ellen DaSilva ’10, UCS’ representative on UFB Stefan Smith ’09, Alex Seitz-Wald ’08, Beth Dresdale ’10, Nicholas Leiserson ’09, Brian Lee ’09 and Ji-Hee Shin ’09 .

In other UCS news, Facilities Management allowed students to express their views on 11 different classroom chair options today in the Sharpe Refectory after the council suggested that it solicit student input.

Drew Madden ’10, student activities chair, told The Herald that he served on a task force created to examine various options for classroom renovations after the Office of the President made funding available for the purpose.”There are so many things that could be bad about a chair,” he said. Gresh said he suggested the Ratty as the location since students go there anyway.

Students reacted well to the chair display, which included an easel to allow students to vote their preferences. “I think it’s a good thing that they’re considering students’ preferences instead of just going over our heads,” Julian Jimarez-Howard ’11 said. “We can only hope” that Facilities Management will actually take students’ input into account, he added.

“The Ratty is the kind of like the one unifying factor throughout Brown’s campus,” said James Rowan ’08, praising the location of the chair display.

Other students were skeptical that their feedback would be acted upon. “It seems like a great way to make us content with whatever comes out of this,” Madeleine Avendano ’11 said.

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