Curry Invests in Academic Expansion

BY COLE McNANNA // Feb. 12, 2018 //

To the tune of $22 million, Curry College is building on its academic strengths in healthcare and the sciences.

The new Science and Integrated Learning Commons, the college’s first new academic building in 12 years, is scheduled to open in January 2019. It will eventually connect the Science Building and Levin Library, enclosing the southwest corner of the academic quad.

Following SILC’s debut, the Science Building will receive an interior renovation set to finish in August later that same year.

The Academic and Advanced Performance Center, which opened in 2006, was Curry’s most recently constructed academic building. Bell Hall, which opened in 2014, is largely a residence hall but also features classroom and learning spaces.

CBT Architects, which designed many of the college’s newer buildings, including the Student Center and Bell, produced a video of what SILC will eventually look like.

The addition has been in the administration’s sights for a long time, said President Ken Quigley, noting a need to improve academic facilities, especially the aging Science building. He said Curry is working to provide students with the best opportunities for success in their fields of study.

The new building will feature approximately 22,000 square feet over three floors, with classrooms, labs, offices and study spaces throughout. And although “Science” is in the building’s name—until someone makes a sizable enough donation to earn naming rights—the facility won’t be restricted to only those students.

SILC will feature individual study spaces and rooms for group collaboration, some of which will be open 24 hours of the day. In addition, the building will house a first-floor café.

Susan Pennini, vice president of institutional planning, said the college wants to “wow” students with architecture that revives the campus while at the same time better serving their needs.

She mentioned drawing students into the building and ultimately getting them to think, “Oh, this is here, too? I need this.” To that end, SILC will house various academic enrichment offices, including the Writing Center, the Speaking Center, and the Academic Success and Advising offices.

Pennini went on to echo President Quigley’s thoughts of creating the “Student Center of the quad,” giving students another option for study spaces, dining, and places to relax and take a breath.

Freshman Communication major Dan Coughlin said he looks forward to making use of the new space.

“I’m excited for it to go up because I’ll have a spot to do my homework,” said Coughlin. “I never do it in my room; I’m too distracted. But it’ll be good to go somewhere and bang it all out in one sitting.”

However, another student was hesitant to jump onto the bandwagon of acceptance for this new building.

“The issues Curry has been having with the student body and how they’ve been interacting with the hate crimes…is there a way to put [the money] towards that kind of stuff?” asked sophomore Communication major Mark Vranos.

“But if this building is going to be helpful in another way, then great,” he added.

Pennini said the building is part of an ongoing effort to bolster the college’s retention rate—the percentage of first-year students who return for their second year—and to improve academic support services.

“Buildings are a reflection of the ideas we have,” she added.

Those ideas clearly involve a lot of glass, as one side of the building is almost entirely windows, adding a modern touch to the traditional brick-and-mortar and Tudor-style campus.

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Windover Construction taking up valuable real estate in the parking game. // Image Credit: Cole McNanna ’18

The building’s extension into part of the library’s parking lot will force the disappearance of a handful of parking spots on a campus already dealing with parking issues. But with Public Safety now in the building previously used by Health Services, more parking spaces are available in the Mayflower lot.

Senior Maddie Libuda believes students will enjoy the new facilities and is only moderately disappointed that she won’t get to make use of them herself.

“I think I’m OK with it because the last four years we’ve had the new Bell building and a few new buildings come…1016 [Brush Hill Road] is nice,” the Sociology major said. “It would have been nice to have 24-hour study lounges on campus, but other than that I don’t really think we’re missing out on anything.”

If she’s going to miss anything, it could be the overhanging tree that always welcomed you to the Quad on a brittle 10-degree day; “I think the sad thing was that they ripped out one of the most beautiful trees on campus to put this building in,” the soon-to-be-graduate ended.

President Quigley Officiates Public Forum Responding to Biased Incidents

BY SYVANNAH LOPEZ and COLE McNANNA // Sept. 30, 2017 //

Friday afternoon saw a Public Forum outside the Student Center, hosted by President Ken Quigley in response to the recent bias-related incidents.

All around were signs that stated, “Hate Has No Home Here,” although some had clearly infiltrated otherwise students wouldn’t have gathered in Westhaver Park.

President Quigley took the podium and introduced members of the Senior Staff and the Executive team as well as Public Safety and Milton Police Officers.

He continued into his speech where he made similar statements to ones already made following other incidents. He recited the College’s Diversity Statement and felt upset that students had not been following its policies.

 

He continued into his speech where he made similar statements to ones already made following other incidents. He recited the College’s Diversity Statement and felt upset that students had not been following its policies.

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Students and Faculty alike join arms to show solidarity during President Quigley’s Speech // Photo by Christianna Casaletto ’18

 

 

While making his speech, students just outside of the rock patio, on the walkway leading into the Student Center, formed an interlocking chain of diversity. Men and women; black and white; faculty, staff, and everything in between added onto the chain to show unity.

Vice President of Student Affairs Maryellen Kiley took the stage next and after a brief speech of her own, many students in the chain took a knee to signal this was not the end.

President Quigley offered his closing remarks and thus ended the Public Forum where only two members of the executive staff made speeches.

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Students take to a knee to protest the end of the Public Forum // Photo by Christianna Casaletto ’18

 

 

The students kneeling remained cemented while Quigley thanked other students for coming out, walking right around those hoping to chat.

He seemed to be running out of time to listen to the students protesting, checking his watch while attempting to walk in the direction of his office. However, he eventually circled back to the students with Vice President Kiley to hear their concerns.

After the brief conversation, the students stayed put for another chunk of time without much to feel good about.

A pair of philosophy professors, Bette Manter and Alan Revering, both explained their frustration that “students feel unsafe and unable to express themselves without fearing hate from others.”

“There will always be ignorant and hateful people but never be discouraged to be yourself,” Professor Manter continued.

On top of that, Professor Revering added that he wished students informed the faculty better around campus so they could do more to help.

Sophomore Jesse Warrington, a member of the Curry Football team, later stepped up and showed his support for all the students still protesting, regardless of their orientation or background.

“Many of my fellow teammates felt the same way but are less vocal about it since they don’t want to be ridiculed by those who oppose,” Warrington mentioned. “But I don’t really care who disagrees with me, it’s atrocious what occurred here at Curry and nobody should feel unsafe and insecure, especially where they live and go to school.”

Senior Hayden Lombardozzi knows that insecure feeling all too well, unfortunately.

“It’s too late for Quigley to start trying to make changes since these problems have been happening way before I started here,” Lombardozzi explained. “I’m transgender, my best friend is gay, and we feel like we’re prime targets for future biased attacks and incidents. Quigley has failed to respond to this behavior in the past and is only responding now due to the heavy amount of press on Curry.”

One sociology professor was heartened to see the kind of response from students supporting Lombardozzi and others, however. Professor Amanda Kennedy said, “There should be more focus on how students feel after these incidents happen and how it affects other students rather than just focusing on the incidents themselves.”

After gathering input from both students and staff it was clear that the majority of responses to these incidents was frustration, but more importantly, support for one another.

Many understand that the actions of the few do not represent the whole but it is safe to say that actions like these will not be tolerated in the future.

However, there is likely still more work to be done to be sure that hate truly has no home here at Curry College.