Every new academic year brings change. As Fairfield students recently trickled back onto campus this past month, they were greeted with many new and exciting advancements. The grand opening of the Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Recreation Complex and the start of construction on the Egan School of Nursing were not the only additional changes made to campus.

The Fairfield University Student Association kicked off the 2016-2017 school year by introducing their newly renovated campus center office.

Located in the Lower Level of the Barone Campus Center, the FUSA office was home to many new and exciting upgrades this past summer. Along with increasing the size of the workstations and storage areas, some of the new additions included a new conference table and a television. The stained carpet squares were also replaced and the walls were given a fresh coat of paint.

According to Jeremy Kaler, Associate Director of Student Engagement, the FUSA advisors recognized the need for additional workspace in the office. “A more organized workspace, with additional storage, and with additional workspaces directly impacts the work that they do and enables them to better serve the students that they are elected and selected to serve.”

Given the ever-growing student involvement in the association, many of the FUSA staff advisors saw the need for expansion.

Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Thomas Pellegrino ‘90, reported that these necessary renovations were initiated in the Spring of 2016. “FUSA has grown in size by students and by structure with the addition of two new branches/boards, a Diversity and Inclusion Board and Judicial Branch. The resources in the office were not sufficient enough to accommodate the 60+ student leaders who use the space at various times.”

Pellegrino added that “there were, for example, not enough chairs, storage and there was a desire to reconfigure the office to accommodate the expansion of the two boards/branches.”

These renovations will allow for FUSA to operate more efficiently when carrying out their functions.

When asked about the recent office space renovations, FUSA Program Coordinator of Cultural and the Arts events, Matthew Marshall ’19, had a favorable reception.

“It’s great to start off the year with a nicely organized office,” said Marshall. “Being able to have a fresh, new work area will easily allow us to always have a member of our student association present in our office, which is visible to everyone on campus.”

FUSA President, Zoë Ferranti ‘17, also found the renovations to be an exciting and positive change. “The changes are a huge help to the FUSA community as a whole. The new design allowed for us to include more workspaces with desktops for each branch and board to have now a monitor, as well as either overhead or desk space.”

“The layout also allows for the windows to remain clear that way everyone can see what FUSA is up to and hopefully creates a more welcoming environment for people to pop in and ask questions and learn about FUSA,” Ferranti added.

The renovation had also brought many to question why this was one of the only offices to be renovated. “Although FUSA is a central part of Fairfield, there are other offices in need of funding and renovations. WVOF is a trademark of the campus and has been in need of equipment and proper repairs. We broadcast to not just the students, but to the residents of the area,” said WVOF member Gianna Llewellyn ‘19.

However, according to Pellegrino, there were other minor renovations over the summer around the BCC. “There was a glaring need to renovate/modernize the Commuter Lounge. Also, Residence Life and [the Office of] Student Engagement had minor renovations in order to provide greater access and fluid movement between the offices, and also a better reception area for students and parents visiting.”

Many students are pleased with the continuing changes being made around campus.

“Since it’s such an important part of the school, it definitely deserved to be upgraded, and with the bigger workspace, things can run even more efficiently,” explained Barone Building Manager Maggie Willerup ‘17.

FUSA Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Nina Poosikian ‘17, also favored the recent progress. “The newest additions besides decorations are our new conference table and television, which help make our meetings so much more efficient inside the office.”

As mentioned by Pellegrino, the ongoing progress around campus will allow for many students to have effective physical environments and meeting spaces. “The renovations will allow FUSA/COSO to operate more efficiently when carrying out their functions, whether it’s working behind the computer at a more functional work station, or being able to conduct meetings.”

Following the improvements being made, many believe that these changes will help enable faculty, students and staff to further advance Fairfield’s mission.

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