Campus updates: Slow but steady

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Boxes of soap and paper towel dispenser replacements line the wall of Braniff foyer. Photo by Rosa Venditti.

University of Dallas students and faculty may have noticed the recent campus updates inside the bathrooms and floors in major buildings like Braniff and the Haggar Student Center on Feb. 1, 2022.

The paper towel and toilet paper dispensers have been replaced in the bathrooms across campus after the university had the opportunity to change toilet paper and paper towel providers, according to Dr. John G. Plotts, the executive vice-president of UD. 

“This opportunity came to us via contacts with our new facilities provider, HES,” said Plotts. “The uniformity of the dispensers on campus not only provides a more consistent look, it also reduces cost from a supply and maintenance perspective.”

The older paper towel dispensers were smaller and had a lever at the bottom that, when pushed, released a paper towel sheet. While the new paper towel dispensers are bigger, they automatically use motion sensors to release a paper towel sheet. 

The university also replaced the old toilet paper dispensers, which only held two rolls, with new ones that had four rolls of toilet paper. These small improvements were quickly noticed by the students and faculty and received positive reviews. 

“The restrooms are a common area that the students use every day, and they looked like they were getting destroyed,” said Amry Arienza, a freshman English major. “Almost in every other bathroom, I saw broken towel dispensers.”

Joey Natvig, a senior biology major, said it “spruces the place up.” While he does feel that the new toilet paper dispensers are bulky, he said, “I like the automatic paper dispenser instead of having to repeatedly tap the button to get my paper.”

Junior biochemistry major Evan Apolinar also agreed. “The new dispensers are so much easier and efficient to use,” he said. “Some of the [old paper towel dispensers] were a little broken . . . [people] really had to push down, or it’d get stuck, or there was some other issue.”

He also appreciated the change in Haggar Student Center and Braniff floors. “It gives Braniff a whole new look,” Evan added, saying that the new floors go with the library, giving the building a “rustic vibe.” 

However, some students disagree with the changes in Braniff and Haggar, whose floors previously had glossy enamel before being changed to a matte finish. “I think it makes the building look darker and dull, rather than warm and welcoming,” said Arienza, “it seems that changing the floors was not all necessary.”

Both Natvig and Apolinar said that the older buildings, like the Haggerty Science Center, should be prioritized for future improvements. 

Arienza said that she thought the Mall should be improved, saying, “There have been many times when people have tripped, myself included, [when] walking from Haggar to Braniff.” 

The area surrounding the Church of the Incarnation should also be improved, she added, noting, “People outside of UD can’t really tell where the church is unless they walk on the Mall.”

When asked if the University of Dallas has any more plans to update different parts of campus, Plotts said, “The University is constantly looking for ways to improve the aesthetics of the campus, increase efficiency, and reduce cost.” 

He said, “We have plans to improve our internal HVAC systems to bring more consistency and comfort to our indoor spaces on campus. We also have plans to upgrade our doorway mats in the major buildings.” The new mats were seen on campus this past Thursday, Feb. 10. 

Overall, the students at UD are happy to see the new physical changes on campus. “It’s not a drastic change,” Arienza said, “but it definitely is a starting point for the improvement of the campus.”

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