Upcoming campus changes discussed at Senate meeting
By Odilia Mentari, Staff Writer
The St. Catherine Experience
At the Senate meeting on April 8, Ellen Richter-Norgel, the Associate Dean for Students and Retention, spoke about the St. Catherine Experience, a program that has been developed for students to better understand their educational opportunities as a Katie. To create this program, many student focus groups were formed to determine eight themes that are similar across all majors with the purpose of identifying holistic experiences for each major and putting out research and internship opportunities related to the respective majors. Also connected to providing students with more resources is MAP-Works, which was also introduced. MAP-Works is an online communications tool built and designed for the students so that they have access to job opportunities, internship resources and career advice. Its surveys will also help students stay on track for graduation.
The Core Curriculum
Also joining Richter-Norgel was Martha Phillips, the Director of Core Curriculum. Phillips encouraged students to use the degree evaluation tool—which can be accessed through Kateway to help students evaluate their academic progress—and the St. Kate’s course catalogue (available in the Academic Advising office or online). New students with majors that are associated with Bachelor of Science degrees will not be required to take a foreign language if they are able to transfer their foreign language credits from high school with a B- or better. Moreover, since fall 2013, the minimum grade required to pass a class has been a C- instead of a D. Additionally, The Reflective Woman (TRW) and Global Search for Justice (GSJ) classes will have a combined book so that students and faculty are able to better see the connections between TRW and GSJ. The Core committee is also working to implement physics as a major and a minor and provide international-intensive courses through the global studies courses offered on campus. Lastly, those pursuing chemistry majors (or biochemistry concentrations) will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree instead of a Bachelor of Arts degree.
The Butler Center
One of the most anticipated changes that will be seen this coming fall is the reconstruction of the Butler Center. Eric Stacey, the Director of Athletics, mentioned that the Fontbonne gymnasium will be renovated to become classrooms, and the walkway on the third floor of Fontbonne Hall will become class spaces and academic offices. These spaces will be up and running by next fall. Starting this summer, the Butler Center entryway will be renovated and the walls will be repainted with St. Kate’s colors. There are currently many entrances to the Butler Center, but this will be changed to one single entrance in order to control access and keep track of the people coming in and out. The entrance under the clock tower will be the only entrance, and a control desk will be constructed. Students will need to show their St. Kate’s ID in order to get in. Both sets of stairs in the Butler Center are also being taken down, and in their place one staircase will be built that will lead to the lounge outside of the current gymnasium. The first story will be turned into a varsity locker room, and the second story will be turned into an aerobic dance studio with a space for cardio equipment. The dance studio and the cardio area are expected to be complete by February 1, 2015. Due to construction, there will be limited access to the Butler Center in the upcoming months. However, during the renovation, the waiting room, pool and cardio space will be kept open.
For the past seven months, Ryan Sinn, the general manager of Sodexo, has been working on changes in the Pulse and the dining hall. The Pulse menu was rewritten, and Sinn worked with the chefs to add variety to the food. Vegetarian options are offered through Meatless Monday, and the entrees in the Classics and International sections offer vegetarian options as well. The Pulse has also released a special app called Q-BOT that rewards students for purchases made there. It can be downloaded on all smartphones. During the survey conducted in December 2013, students were asked about the ways in which healthier options could be more available in the dining hall. One of the chefs is now working on a gluten-free menu, and information will be made available to students as to which stations they can go to receive gluten-free food.
Odilia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.