How much does the student body actually know about the future plans for Cabrini? So most people now know that the Dixon Center has begun its expansion, but how many are up-to-date with the 15-year Campus Master Plan, if they are even aware of the plan’s existence?
The Campus Master Plan states that over the next 15 years, Cabrini plans on aligning the physical campus with the college’s “commitment to creating a vibrant student-centered living and learning environment.” It plans on accomplishing this in the following ways:
- “Converting to a pedestrian-friendly campus.” They hope with the addition of two large parking structures, the consolidation of the current surface parking will reduce car traffic in the campus center.
- “Strengthening the academic environment.” This will be accomplished with the relocation of faculty departments and offices, along with the improvement of teaching and meeting spaces.
- “Enhancing student life.” This task seems to encompass the most intensive work with the addition of a new Campus (Student) Center, as well as the improvement or replacement of outdated residence halls, improved dining, athletic, recreational, and co-curricular programming space.
- “Fostering spiritual development and fellowship.” The on-campus Chapel will be expanded as well as the development of other contemplative gathering spots.
- “Stewarding the legacy of the Woodcrest property.” This phase primarily focuses on the restoration of the mansion.
- And finally, “Expanding our commitment to sustainability.” This is relatively self-explanatory in that it concentrates on making the campus as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.
This outline of the plan, its objectives, timeline and updates can be located on the school website, which many students seem to be unaware of. And as important as it is for the students to know what the school is doing for them, it is also important for the college to be aware of what the students think and where their priorities lie.
The Loquitur editorial staff conducted an anonymous and optional survey from 100 Cabrini students on what they think is most important in the adjustments to campus. This survey was created only with the intention of seeing what mattered most to students.
Our results found that the top concern of students surveyed was “houses and residence buildings,” with 38.1 percent saying that this topic should be Cabrini’s main focus at this time. Following this was “parking” with 25.8 percent, “Dixon Center” and “other,” both came in at 12.4 percent each, and the Student Center ended with 11.3 percent.
These results illustrate what the students believe the main concerns to be, what will affect them most and which should take priority in the coming plans.
This is understandably an arduous process of approval from multiple commissions, but how is it decided which projects are tackled first? Cabrini has been approved for the currently underway Dixon Center expansion, the construction of two parking lot structures and the construction of a new Campus Center. According to the students, however, what Cabrini should be focusing on most is housing and the replacement or renovation of residence halls or houses.
Many students have asked why the Dixon Center, the campus athletic facility, has taken priority over other projects, like housing or parking. The simple fact is, the students don’t know enough about the status of their school and its coming changes. However, is that the fault of the students or should the administration be keeping its students more updated on the state of their campus? The answer is both. All students should take an active participation in their college’s decisions and news, but that news should also be shared more often and openly than it has been in the past. Both situations need to be amended, but it would take everyone’s efforts to do so, and it is hard to say if we can achieve that level of cooperation.
To view Cabrini’s Master Plan, go to: http://www.cabrini.edu/About/Leadership-and-Administration/Campus-Master-Plan