By Amanda Jesse
There have been a number of changes on campus in the past semester, and for those returning in the fall, more await.
Perhaps the most noticeable addition has been the building of the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business. Its construction began at the start of the semester. Students should expect to still see construction underway in the fall.
“The business building is moving forward as I am sure all can see by now,” Dr. John Plotts, vice president of enrollment and Student Affairs, said in an email statement. “We have had some construction delays due to the rainy spring. The building should be open in the spring of 2016 — so no fall 2015 classes are scheduled for the building.”
The university will also be taking further steps to beautify the campus. The past semester saw the addition of a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe near the Art Village.
“We do have some campus beautification plans [for the coming years] being explored,” Plotts said. “The only item that I can confirm that has funding at this point is some renovation to the Mall between Haggar and Gorman.” These renovations would include new bricks and the addition of flowerpots and furniture.
Discussions are also underway to renovate or replace a number of structures on campus, including Carpenter Hall.
“Plans are underway to build a building to replace Carpenter. However, funding needs to be secured before construction on a ‘new Carpenter’ can start. We are all hopeful that funding for the building can be obtained by the end of 2015,” Plotts stated.
Plotts said that the administration is also seeking funding to replace Lynch Auditorium, “as a second phase” of campus renovation.
The student apartments will undergo renovations this summer.
“We are getting new desks for each room, new stoves, and some apartments will get new HVAC units, along with some minor cosmetic changes,” Plotts said.
In addition, Plotts said that the fitness center will be upgraded with new equipment and a “more user-friendly and contemporary floor-plan.” The administration is also looking into determining a new location for the rugby/intramural field that would be closer to the other athletic fields.
Students will also experience changes in the services covered by their comprehensive fees. The university will no longer provide students with DART passes on their student identification cards.
“Due to increased cost of the program from DART to UD, we could not afford to continue the relationship,” Plotts said. “In an effort to keep tuition and fees increase to a minimum we decided not to continue this program. Students will be able to secure a discounted student pass directly from DART if they desire. It also appears that ridership on the DART was not as widespread as we had originally thought.”
The new meal plan, which requires students living in the dorms to purchase the “All-Access PREMIUM” or “All-Access PLUS” plan, will also take effect next semester.
“We are working with Aramark and Student Government to improve our food service in a number of different areas,” Plotts said. “This was one of [student body president] Joey [Kelly]’s campaign pledges and we are working with him and other student leaders to improve dining services.”