By Kassondra Granata
The perception that student life at CCSU is plummeting led to many organizations on campus devising different approaches to bring in students.
Our goal is to do whatever wte can that’s practical and in budgetary means to make the halls as nice as possible for students, and to improve the quality of residential life,” said Laura Tordenti, Vice President of Student Affairs.
Tordenti said that there has been a lot of discussion lately on the lack of activities to do on weekends, and it is their goal to encourage students on and off campus to attend these events.
Jean Alicandro, Director of ResLife, said that ResLife has spent a majority of the summer reforming the eight residence halls on campus.
According to Alicandro, ResLife spent the summer renovating the dorms. Barrows Hall received customized furniture by a company called Foliot, and its bathrooms were refurbished. In the other halls, the bathrooms were also refurbished, and the working crew fixed the dents, leaks, and any type of plumbing issues as well.
“We’re getting a lot of rave reviews from the students,” said Alicandro.
Alicandro has been meeting frequently with Fred Bonvicini, Associate Director of Operations, to discuss ways to improve campus life. Alicandro said that Bonvicini supports the facilities in the halls and stands as the liason for ResLife.
In their latest project, Alicandro and Bonvicini will be collaborating with the Inter Residence Council by performing recreational facelifts, such as the redevelopment of the basketball courts on campus as well as installing beach-like volleyball courts with sand.
One route that Student Affairs is taking is an initiative called,”Weekends Central,” where a group of leaders on campus will get together and plan activities on campus for students to do every weekend.
“There’s real energy between the SGA, SALD, IRC, and CAN to roll out this weekend programming schedule,” Tordenti said. “There will be something fun, interesting, and engaging on the weekends to make students on and off campus have a reason to stay.”
Student Affairs and SALD are also offering mini grants to clubs. The clubs can write proposals in order to receive money for programs, events, or other needs.
“We really want to encourage that dialogue and input,” said Tordenti. “Students are paying money and we’re here to serve students and make sure that the facilities are safe, and that there are activities to do. The more input the better.”
This fall, CCSU will be breaking ground on a new 630 suite-style residence hall located behind the Student Center parking garage. Tordenti said that once the building is completed, she hopes more students will live in the new building, thus allowing the University to take older halls offline to give them “much needed facelifts.”
The long term goal is to increase the number of students living on campus,” Tordenti said. “When we get the other buildings up to standard, the campus will be attractive enough to bring students back.”
At the Student Center, Otis Mamed, Director, said that Central is losing students on the weekends, and that he is finding ways to generate traffic in the Student Center.
Mamed calculates the amount of students who go in and out of the Student Center, and noticed that there were fewer student visits on Fridays. The usual goal is to have 2 million people come through the building per year. Last year the Student Center reached 1.9 million on Student Center stops.
In order to do so, Mamed and his board have been making a lot of changes like adding charging stations, which was a student generated request. At these charging stations, students can approach the station and attach their phone to the many different connectors.
“Each device is self protected, and within five minutes, you should be at about 70 percent charge,” Mamed said. “The idea is that you plug it in, go grab a cup of coffee, come back, and your phone is charged and ready for class.”
Mamed also said that the staff does its best to make the Student Center appealing to students. One example is keeping the building well-kept and maintained.
“We try hard to keep the building clean and keep it maintained,” said Mamed. “I want students to feel comfortable here. We try to keep up with the requests, so we can give students what they want. My personal goal is to make this place more inviting.”
Part of Mamed’s job is also to promote activities on campus. The Student Center places AMP (Activities and Monthly Programs) posters at 25 different locations throughout campus, as well as the residence halls.
My main focus is on student activities and student programs, I will promote any type of events that is ‘official CCSU,’” Mamed said. “I’m trying to find out what is the best way to get to students.”