While students were out enjoying the sun and catching up on sleep during spring break, welcome changes were being made to several hot spots at Notre Dame. The Student Life offices, Gator Alley, a new softball field and many more places on campus were changed or created to improve their visibility and appeal to students. Perhaps the biggest change was the announcement of Notre Dame’s 14th president, Dr. Marylou Yam, the week after spring break.
“I am honored to be selected to serve an institution that truly lives its mission every day, Dr. Yam said. “Notre Dame is a visionary institution that has never wavered in its commitment to provide superior academic programs that are enriched by the proven value of a Catholic, liberal arts foundation.”
In order to better serve the Notre Dame community, the Student Life offices were relocated to the former offices of Human Resources, or the “fishbowl” in MBK.
Sharel Legaspi, community assistant and president of the class of 2015, initially had doubts about the relocation of the Student Life offices.
“Personally, I wasn’t quite sure how it would work- moving the Student Life professional staff away from the Student Life Information Center (SLIC) Desk,” she said. “But, from what I’ve heard, the move has been effective in regards to having more student traffic to MBK.”
With the relocation of the offices, new influxes of students have been in MBK, which also attracts attention to the new Civera Fitness Center.
Geri Larsen, director of human resources, believes that these changes will be beneficial to students. “With the opening of the new fitness center located in the former Gator Lair,” Larsen said. “The perfect location for student organizations and offices for the student life staff was in the Human Resources and Conference Services spaces.”
“As a part of the Notre Dame community, the offices of Student Life, Human Resources and Conference Services came together and set a plan into place knowing it would improve the Notre Dame experience for all our students.”
The Dining Hall and Gator Alley are popular places for students and visitors to stop by on campus. With new enhancements to the café, guests are anticipating new dining options and faster Gator Alley service, which is essential for students on the go.
Kara Yendell, director of auxiliary services, said, “The new layout will lend itself to more efficient service. As always, dining services is a work in progress so we welcome feedback and suggestions from our students.”
The Doyle Dining Hall is going to experience a makeover in the coming weeks as well. Sherry Cohen, the Food Director of SAGE, said “[SAGE] is still working with architects, engineers, [and others] to get the plans in motion. Renovations will begin in May, when plans are to be finalized.”
In addition to these changes, Notre Dame now has a softball field, which was a primary concern for the players and coaching staff. This improvement will allow players and students to practice and play on their own field, rather than traveling off campus as they did before.
The University Academic Building (UAB), which is still fairly new, houses the nursing program, but all students are welcome to use the rooms and study areas. The building’s unique interior sets it apart from any other building on campus.
“The UAB is sleek, modern, and clean-cut,” said Sophomore Yemariam Tekola. “It is so different from any other building, and students actually had a say in the interior design. Also, the classrooms are more spacious in comparison to other classrooms I’ve been in, which creates a more relaxing environment.”
The selection of our new president and the accumulating renovations will bring more excitement and vigor to the Notre Dame community. It will be great to see how members of our community react to these changes and additions.