A new student-friendly facility has been up and running for almost a month now? Many Kent State students are not aware of this resource that is available for them.
The Center for Undergraduate Excellence was completed while many students were on Spring Break. The building interconnects the Olson and Lake Hall dormitories and serves as the headquarters for undergrad studies at Kent’s main and branch campuses.
“All of the services that we offer are ones for students to be able to achieve their goals,” said Dr. Eboni Pringle, the interim dean of undergraduate studies.
The amount of students who frequent the center is moderately high now. One reason is this is the only building on campus that can help undergraduates in all area of study. Undergrads will not always have to scatter to the library or different academic halls for tutoring, for example.
A few things that are offered by the center are assistance for undecided students with degree and career planning; assessing the basic skills of all entering freshman students; providing tutoring services that promote student learning; and providing support tools and resources for low-income, first generation and precollege students.
One tutor, junior Emil Shirima, finds himself in the new building every day helping others.
“I just love when you’re helping a student and they have this wow moment. That keeps me going,” Shirima said.
But, it must be remembered that the everything about the building is new. It still has that new “empty space” feel and even a new smell. It’s not uncommon to see upgrades being made within the walls and it is guaranteed to see either construction or yard work being done in at the front entrance. This week, landscapers were laying down sod on what was previously nothing but a bunch of dirt.
One of the landscapers, Jim Connors, said their biggest responsibility is “fundamentally putting [sod] in, structurally-wise so it’ll last and correctively putting [sod] in; install it.”
Simply put, it is not taking very long for this building to be treated just as operational as other buildings on campus, even though it has been open for less than a month. Resources are being made more readily available for students and there are many accommodations for undergraduates with different concerns.
(I was given an extension on this story due to an interview being postponed until Wednesday.)