CONTINUED FROM FRONT News Editors: Emily Gresbrink & Haley Zblewski
2A • Thursday, May 10, 2012
Late night activities CONSTRUCTION commission gets the green light Comedian shows, karaoke night as one of the possible events, committee says By Tuesday Wustrack STAFF WRITER
As a resident assistant in Towers South, Ben van Vooren, a junior at UW-Eau Claire, said he is always on the lookout for fun activities for his residents. But sometimes it’s difficult to find an event on campus that students will enjoy, he said. “A lot of the activities on campus are done by eight or nine at night,” he said. “They don’t go very late.” He noted that most students in the dorms stay awake well past midnight, but there isn’t much do to at that hour. Students should have the opportunity to do something more exciting than sitting in a dorm room, he said, especially if they don’t want to or are not able to experience the bar life off campus. Van Vooren is not the only one who feels this way. Senior and University Activities Commission Programming Director Kristi Basa said she saw a gap in the activities that she and her colleagues organized with UAC. Current projects, such as music at The Cabin and films in Davies Theatre provide entertainment for students, Basa said. However, they are not as social and interactive as she would like. So the UAC created another branch of entertainment called Late Night AcBasa tivities Committee, which will begin next semester. This will provide activities for students who choose to stay on campus but still want to have fun later in the night. Megan Swanson, chair of the committee, hopes to bring a variety of activities for students on campus. Some ideas include night games such as capture the flag, comedian shows, karaoke night and themed dances. “We’re forming the committee to generate lots of ideas, and so right now it’s super flexible,” she said. “We’re really open to any ideas.” Basa said that most of the current activities UAC puts on occur on lower campus, so she wanted to ensure that students living on upper campus got the opportunity to take advantage of activities as well.
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“Obviously there are challenges with not having the same space that we normally have,” Diggins said. “I don’t see major issues mostly because we will be with them when they need to get places.” Diggins also said the orientation assistants are hoping to reference the construction when introducing the campus to new students. “We’re going to use it,” Diggins said. “I don’t think we’re trying to hide anything. Instead we’re saying, ‘Wow, look at this. You’re going to be the first people to use the new Davies Center.’ We’ll get to say, ‘What a cool time to get to come to Eau Claire.’” For part of the summer, Rindo said Garfield Avenue will have a trench across it for the steam line installation, so the road will be closed. However, the hill will remain open
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Garfield Avenue to be partially closed
this summer for pedestrian traffic. Most of the campus mall will be roped off during construction of the new education building for the better part of the next year and a half, Rindo said, but the sidewalk near Schofield Hall — one of the few ways through campus — will be widened to accommodate more foot traffic. The most “in-your-face” project will be the construction of the new education building, which will put much of the construction in the middle of the campus mall. Rindo said it won’t be easy, but it’s necessary. “You can be disrupted a lot at once, or you can be disrupted a little for a long period of time, so we decided we really needed that education building,” he said. “The campus has not been well-served by Brewer Hall
and Campus School for many, many years. That needed to get done.” Rindo said that after the dust has settled on these large projects, Eau Claire won’t stop there. The university’s 20-year Master Plan has construction work on Garfield Avenue along the riverfront, the footbridge and a new residence hall on upper campus next in line. Rindo said we could see these projects come to fruition in the 2013-2015 biennium. Until then, it could be tricky maneuvering around the construction, but Rindo said Eau Claire will be better for it. “It’s inconvenient, it’s going to cause a lot of disruption,” he said, “But in the end, it’s going to be such an improvement for the campus and the way that we live and the way that we learn.”
GRAPHIC BY BRIAN MILLER/The Spectator
Problems more than financial, budget officer says
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“GE reform is still in a framework phase right now,” McEllistrem said. “It could be stalled by these issues within the college.” Kleine made similar remarks, saying that reform of the current system, which was put in place in the late 1970s, is “long past due.” “Our learning goals are not mirrored in the current GE program,” she said. During the April 17 meeting, the provost brought up an example of restructuring the college as a possible solution, but noted that it was one of many options. After that, rumors ran amok on campus, raising concerns that the college would be split up. The Academic Policies Committee, a committee of the University Senate, addressed those rumors in a May 1 vote to recommend to University Senate that “any proposal for reorganizing any college follow established policy and pass first through the Academic Policies Committee and then through the University Senate for input and recommendations prior to any action
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The Planting Fiesta isn’t the first stride taken toward improving pollination in the community. Last year, the campus sustainable food organization Foodlums worked with the Student Office of Sustainability to bring honeybee hives to campus, where they have since resided behind Phillips Science Hall. “If we didn’t have bees, we wouldn’t have pollination. If we didn’t have pollination, we wouldn’t have flowers, we wouldn’t have two-thirds of the fruits and vegetables that we consume on a daily basis,” said junior Ellen Sorenson, vice president of Foodlums and the primary caretaker of the bees. “We wouldn’t have the colorful world that we have today.”
taken.” The vote was 7-0 with one abstention. The senate passed it with a voice vote on May 8. Neither McEllistrem nor Kleine think the challenges facing the college and university are only financial. Budget records for the college of arts and sciences for the 2010-2011 fiscal year show that the college ended the year with a negative balance of $205,749. In comparison, the College of Business also had a negative ending balance, but the colleges of Education and Nursing ended the year with positive balances. At the end of the year, the balances are collapsed into the general academic affairs fund. The total positive balance was more than the total negative balance, so the colleges as a unit ended the year with a positive balance. Dave Gessner, assistant chancellor for budget and finance, said that the 2011-2012 fiscal year could end up very differently, however, because of the budget cuts and lapse adjustments. Gessner said the budget system is more complicated than just budget
versus expenditures, which means it can be difficult to understand why a college may come in over budget in one particular year. Because Arts and Sciences is so much larger than the other three colleges — all three budgets combined are still less than the budget of Arts and Sciences — it’s more difficult to pinpoint the source of successes or problems. “We should have a more focused use of funds, which will allow us to link sources to outcome of results,” Gessner said. “We simply can’t afford to be all things to all people. “I don’t think the impetus for possibly restructuring the college is based purely on financial reasons,” he said. The notion of change is a problem for a lot of people, Kleine said. “The termination of the dean search made a lot of people angry, but this is a conversation we have to have. It’s the new reality of working in public higher education.” Freelancer Breann Schossow contributed to this report.
Event’s goal is to create a pollinator habitat
Sorenson said she supports the class’s goal of creating a pollinator habitat. “The pollinator class, by researching native plants and researching its native pollinators,” she said, “They’re being very sustainable in the fact that they want to increase the amount of native pollinators.” Sorenson said it’s more sustainable to have native populations and native species because plants and their pollinators have evolved together. “They have a wonderful relationship together,” Sorenson said. “The plant has a specific pollinator that pollinates that plant, that’s why they give out certain colors.” Aside from contributing to a sustainable community, Cronje said the students are
learning valuable life skills through the course. “We want them to learn how to function effectively in their communities to promote some sort of social change,” Cronje said. Junior Laurelyn Wieseman, a student in the course, said she and her classmates learned about important civic engagement practices such as house meetings, powermapping, and one-to-one conversations with community members. Wieseman also noted another goal of the course: to produce, publish, and distribute technical yet accessible information about pollinator stewardship. “Although our class has been studying pollinators this whole semester, our goal is not to go out
and instruct citizens about pollinators, but rather to empower citizens to go out, get excited, and promote pollinator stewardship themselves,” Wieseman said. Wieseman said the class compiled technical reports on such topics as pesticides, how to create a simple and useful habitat for pollinators in your own backyard, and the overarching importance of biodiversity, as well as integrated pest management, a holistic alternative to pesticide use. “People, especially students, need a reason to get in touch with nature,” Wieseman said. “(This) is just one really fun and rewarding way to engage yourself with the greater Eau Claire community and biotic community.”