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Thursday, January 16, 2014 Vol. 124, Issue 31 Will you walk the Lawn? University administrators meet with student leaders to discuss ‘creative’ solutions to Rotunda renovation restrictions Caroline Houck Managing Editor At a private meeting Monday afternoon, University administrators told several student leaders that the next phase of Rotunda renovations will impact Final Exercises for the Class of 2015 and potentially 2016. Though graduating students receive their actual diplomas at separate ceremonies organized by their majors, Commencement annually takes place on the Lawn. Students gather on the north side of the Rotunda, process around the building, down its steps and south along Rotunda Photos: Jenna Truong Top Center photo: Dillon Harding Bottom Right: Mallory Noe-Payne the Lawn to attend the ceremony. Dean of Students Allen Groves, Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Lampkin and Assoc. Dean of Students Francis Laushway told the student leaders that the next phase of Rotunda renovations — set to begin in May — will be extensive enough to disrupt this process, multiple attendees said. University spokesperson McGregor McCance confirmed that construction on the Rotunda will impact Final Exercises in 2015 and potentially the following year as well. “The bulk and the primary work for the second phase [of renovations] will begin right after this year’s Final Exercises in May,” McCance said. “It’s going to be a two-year project and the Rotunda will be a construction zone during that time.” Saying the administration wanted the students involved in the conversation, Lampkin told the meeting attendees the class councils could find a way for the Lawn to still play a part in Final Exercises — just in a substantially different way. “Lampkin reiterated it was up to students to figure out something, [keeping] in mind that a significant portion of the north side of the Lawn will be closed off — where students normally process and gather — so they’d have to get creative about what to do,” said one student leader who wished to remain anonymous. But even after the renovations conclude after two years, administrators said the changes to Final Exercises might be made permanent due to capacity issues with the Lawn, according to several meeting attendees. “The administrators said they were [also] dealing with a growing student population … and this might limit the family members students can invite — so that’s a problem in and of itself,” the student leader said. “Lampkin said see ROTUNDA, page 3

January 16, 2014

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