Campus Safety Update
August 27, 2012
Dear Clark University Students,
Welcome to the 2012–13 academic year! Jocelyne and I are excited to see so many new and returning undergraduate and graduate students on campus and wish you the very best for the fall semester. I am pleased to extend a special welcome to the Class of 2016. The Class of 2016 is one of the largest incoming classes in recent history with approximately 600 talented and interesting new Clarkies from all across the United States and around the world.
By now you will have seen the new facilities projects completed on campus this summer. The most significant change is the closing of a section of Downing Street and the conversion of this space to a new pedestrian plaza. The motivation behind this project started with campus safety. With our campus a hub of activity — day and night — we became increasingly concerned about automobile traffic running through a busy section of the center of campus. Beyond safety concerns, the pedestrian plaza unites and opens up connections between many of our most heavily used buildings. I will be hosting an all-campus "block party" on September 14th in the afternoon to celebrate the opening of this terrific new outdoor space. Further information on this event will be sent to you soon.
In addition to the work on Downing Street, we continue to make improvements to student residence halls on campus. This summer we completed an addition connecting Sanford and Johnson Halls that provides much needed study and group meeting spaces for students in those halls. As with all of our projects, these improvements increase the accessibility of our campus to residents and visitors with limited mobility, and also allow us to improve energy efficiency and environmental performance. A wonderful additional benefit of this project, coordinated with the closing of Downing Street, is the opening up of the Fuller Quad as a flowing and light-filled space.
Several important offices serving students have been relocated on campus. As part of our new Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) undergraduate program, we are moving to integrate and enhance advising and career support, connecting students with additional internships, mentoring, and other opportunities on- and off-campus. To facilitate this new approach to student support, numerous offices are being brought together initially in a LEEP Center located in Dana Commons. The LEEP Center includes staff from Career Services, Study Abroad, Community Engagement, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Writing Center, and parts of Academic Advising. Note that Academic Advancement and the Office of Intercultural Affairs are now located in Corner House. Disability Services are now located on the fourth floor of Goddard Library in a fully accessible location. The new location of the Graduate School Office is 138 Woodland Street.
Working with our food service provider, Sodexo, we have fully renovated and expanded the Bistro in the Higgins University Center. The new Bistro offers more dining options, new menus, more swap options, and additional seating. New dining options include sushi prepared fresh on-site daily and an Expeditions menu featuring food from around the world with the menu changing on a monthly basis.
Many of the changes on campus respond to comments and suggestions made by students as ways to enhance the campus life experience. One such area of focus is campus safety. Over the summer we have worked with the City of Worcester to install additional lighting on some of the streets in the neighborhood around campus. We are also working to ensure that the Campus Escort Service is as efficient and reliable for students as possible. Our goal is to ensure that wait times for rides do not exceed 15 minutes. More information on campus safety initiatives will be forthcoming as part of our bi-weekly campus safety updates.
Along with new students, we welcome to campus new faculty and new staff members. This fall we welcome seven new tenure-line faculty members in chemistry, economics, education, Spanish, geography, international development, and management. These appointments continue Clark's commitment to ensuring that we have a world-class faculty dedicated to cutting-edge scholarship, and to teaching and student learning.
I will be holding open office hours for students again this year in the President's Office, room 202 of the Geography Building. I encourage you to stop by to meet and talk with me, ask questions, or make suggestions. The first session will be on Thursday, September 13, from 2–3:30 pm.
Best wishes for the fall semester. I look forward to seeing you around campus or at one of the many talks, sporting events, and other activities that launch our busy semester.