Although the Lawrence trustees and administration made the initial decision to build the new campus center and decided where to put it, we are thankful that they are including students in so much of the planning process. From information sessions, to suggestion boards in Downer, to making “green building” plans for the center part of the environmental studies curriculum next year, planning for the campus center has become a community effort in which Lawrence students play a major part.Students have not just been allowed to attend planning meetings, but invited to give their input and suggestions. Representatives from student organizations, such as the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden club, will be attending another meeting in a few weeks to discuss logistics such as future meal plans. The administration and trustees are making it clear to us that not only are our opinions and concerns valid, but our knowledge and ideas are useful.
In line with the ideals of many Lawrence students, the Center will be certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a national committee that sets standards for environmentally sound buildings. The prospective LEED ratings of the center can be viewed on the university Web site. Also on the Web site is a history of planning for the campus center, the names of those on the planning committee, and notes from committee meetings.
The campus center is meant to be a place primarily for students, and we are being given the chance to make it truly our own. Whether you are interested in the color scheme of the new coffeehouse or the environmental implications of the center, your questions and opinions are welcomed by the Campus Center Planning Committee.
Although students were initially left out of a few key decisions, the administration has been open with their reasons for the decisions they have made, and even more open with current discussions that will lead to new decisions. These measures are in sharp contrast with past unpopular decisions, such as the the lack of information given to Lawrence students on the shutdown of WLFM’s FM signal. The Lawrentian applauds the administration for encouraging student
involvement in the future of our campus.
For more information, visit http://www.lawrence.edu/taskforce/campuscenter/.