Support for the proposed campus center was strong last week as over 400 students attended an open campus meeting last Monday while nearly 1000 students signed a petition calling for the immediate construction of the center.
The fevered attitude at Monday's meeting sent a message to the committee in charge of, among other things, authorizing the campus center. The committee agreed with the students that a campus center should be a high priority.
SGA President Matt Freimuth spoke at the meeting on behalf of the students. He spoke about how for students, a campus center has been a dream at WPI since the 1920's, and interest in it surged again in the 1960's. To date, however, the efforts expended at these two periods of time have been unfruitful, while millions of dollars have been spent on other projects.
"The school cannot continue to ignore our voices," Freimuth said.
He then presented a petition calling for the immediate construction of a campus center, which was signed by nearly 1000 students.
"This is ridiculous. We've been neglected for so long," echoed Jim Pavlat '97.
The committee promised to bring these thoughts to the trustees in the hopes of getting them to approve the construction of the center.
Other students wanted to meet with the trustees face-to-face to express their desire for a campus center.
At the trustee meeting on Friday, Janet Richardson presented in her report to the trustees a slide composed of five points regarding the recent initiatives of the student body: Over 400 attended an open campus meeting in support of the campus center; nearly 1000 students signed a petition for the center; the center should be made the highest priority; the students want to meet with the trustees; and funding should be procured immediately. Freimuth then spoke to the trustees.
"The need for a campus center is critical," Freimuth stated. He mentioned how hundreds of students make their home at WPI, "and right now we live in a home without a living room."
The trustees agreed that a campus center is needed. For a while, the center has been intended as the cornerstone of the next capital campaign, which will be commencing shortly. At least $2.5 million has already been earmarked for construction of the center.
"I don't think there's a trustee here who doesn't want to see the construction of a campus center," said a couple of the trustees.
The Board of Trustees wants to make sure that 90% of the funding for the center (or for any large project) has been identified before construction of the facility begins.
It sounds as if the voices of the students have been heard.
Look at http://www.wpi.edu/~jbarnett/cle.html for more information about the campus center.
See also a letter from President Parrish regarding Friday's Board ot Trustees meeting, printed in this issue.
You can also search the Newspeak archives on the World Wide Web (http://www.wpi.edu/News/Newspeak) for past articles on the campus center, including reports about the location and contents of the center.