SG Update 2/22
by Kasey Mathews | published Mar. 6th, 2019
New Innovation Building
James Yarrington, director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction Services within Facilities Management Services (FMS), gave two presentations regarding upcoming developments around campus to Student Government (SG).
The first of these presentations discussed the planned extension to the Wallace Center. The building is set to fill the space between the existing Wallace Center and Monroe Hall — just behind the Tiger Statue. This proposed structure would house many innovative making and learning facilities.
The official charge provided by President Munson states that “this multi-building complex will serve as an emblem of RIT, and become the heartbeat of campus for decades into the future.”
Benefits of building on this site would include the adjacency to the Quarter Mile, proximity to existing student traffic, its location at the gateway to campus and the connection of academic tunnels to those of the SAU complex.
However, as with all developments, there are negatives as well. These would include the size constraints in place on the site due to existing neighboring buildings, low visibility from roadways, distance from parking, disturbances during construction and the need to restructure the existing water system currently present on the site.
While excited about the possibility of a new building at the heart of campus, SG representatives had a number of concerns.
Of the twenty-member committee advising the building construction, only two are students — a staggeringly low number as pointed out by Director of Programming Tayler Ruggero. For a space promised for student benefit, representatives found it strange that so few were included in the decision-making process.
There is also the question of leftover spaces. Whereas many resources that are currently “hidden away” in the basements or other hard-to-find areas of campus are to be moved into the new building, there is no word as to what will become of the current facilities once their purpose has been removed.
Ruggero also pointed out that whereas moving student makerspace and activities from the basement to such a prominent area may sound great on paper, the students utilizing the current space are often already comfortable there and may not appreciate being placed elsewhere. Administration, she reasoned, should consider the preferences of those student groups and individuals already using these spaces.
Also delivered by Yarrington was an update on Riverknoll apartments. These updates would include a refurbishment of both the interior and exterior of Riverknoll to bring them up to date with current standards.
Specific to the exterior refurbishments, the proposed update would modernize the look and bring it further in line with the appearance of other newer buildings on campus, such as the MAGIC Center or those in Global Village.
Interior specific, major renovations would be made to diversify the types of floor plans available to students. This would include the introduction of single-occupant and triple-occupant units.
In addition to Riverknoll’s updates, the new renovations would eventually extend to the FoodShare and laundry room. Their facilities would be updated and become more accessible, with increased utility. The specifics of this, however, are still hazy.
It is also unclear if Riverknoll’s prices will be affected. While guaranteed to remain constant in the upcoming academic year, long-term pricing is undetermined.
With SG election season upon us, representatives are working on their transition guides. These guides ensure that each representative’s successor will have a thorough understanding of the position they are assuming, as well as the various ongoing projects and responsibilities that go along with it.
In addition, all SG members are expected to meet with their successors one on one to review the transition guide and better acquaint the incoming representative with their position.
A response to a petition to review administration in light of perceived apathy for students was approved.
An update was approved to a petition asking for a dining location to be added to Louise Slaughter Hall.
Another update was approved to a petition for RIT’s pep band to play “Sweet Victory” by David Glen Eisley at the next men’s hockey home game.
Senate closed with a reminder that March 4 kicks off the annual ALANA Week.