Facilities focus of BOV’s
Student Affairs meeting
by Andrew Shurtleff
facilities like the new John Paul Jones Arena now under
construction on Massie Road, “are only part of the
Athletic Department’s long-term plan,” said
director Craig Littlepage. “U.Va. is also pursuing
championships, top recruits and a 100 percent graduation
By Virginia E. Carter
A new office to help students with off-Grounds
housing decisions, renovated space in Newcomb Hall and an update
on the John Paul Jones Arena were on the agenda for the Board
of Visitors’ Committee on Student Affairs and Athletics
when members met Jan. 16 in Richmond.
Marisa Nelson from the College
of Arts & Sciences and Gregory Moore from the School of
Architecture reported on their efforts as representatives to Student
Council to create an Off-Grounds Housing Office for the benefit
“The task of finding off-Grounds housing at the University
is a difficult and time-consuming one for the entire student body
and especially for first-years,” said Nelson, referring
to the pressure some first-years experience to sign leases for
second-year housing off Grounds within weeks of entering the University.
To inform students of the many housing options available, the
office will restructure the annual Housing Fair, give dorm talks
to answer students’ questions and concerns, publish an off-Grounds
housing handbook and provide a program to help match roommates.
In addition, the office will create a student database and Web
site with information on housing choices, and it will help students
with housing issues by working closely with University Mediation
Services and Student Legal Services. Moore said they hope to locate
the office centrally and have it operational by late spring.
“This is an excellent initiative. I’m sure it will
be a huge help,” said Tom Farrell, vice rector of the board
and chairman of the Student Affairs and Athletics Committee.
In a sub-report on housing issues, Leonard Sandridge, executive
vice president and chief operating officer, spoke about the University’s
long-range housing needs, which will include rehabilitation of
housing built in the 1970s and construction of new student housing.
Instead of segregating faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduates
in the future, Sandridge suggested exploring the concept of building
housing communities replicating apartment living where faculty,
staff and students would be neighbors.
“We think a new type of housing environment more like apartment-living
may better meet the needs and expectations of some students in
the future,” Sandridge said.
Bill Ashby, associate dean of students and director of Newcomb
Hall, reported on renovations to support student groups, which
now number 536.
Recent changes in Newcomb have focused on enhancing existing space
to include state-of-the-art technology and to provide the flexibility
to serve as many students as possible, Ashby said.
Newcomb now has a new Student Activities Center on the building’s
first floor, which is open to all student groups, and has two
meeting rooms, computers, a photocopier, a mailbox for each group,
and various supplies and workspace available during the day and
late into the evening.
Newcomb’s third-floor Informal Lounge will soon feature
a diversity resource center, expected to open Feb. 20, that will
accommodate casual social gatherings and small performances, and
will contain resources and materials related to diversity. The
space is envisioned as an open, safe and welcoming place where
differences can be explored.
Also, this summer, the third-floor meeting rooms in Newcomb Hall
will be updated with new technology, fresh paint and other aesthetic
improvements. In the fall, the Forum — a flexible performance
and rehearsal space — is expected to open in the new Observatory
Hill dining facility. By early 2005, students will see an updated
lobby outside Newcomb Theater.
Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage reported on construction
of the John Paul Jones Arena, which is scheduled to open in 2006.
Littlepage said audiovisual and technological features of the
new basketball arena and multipurpose center will be top-rate
and that fans can expect a full array of “blinking lights,
instant replays and pop-ups.”
In other business, the committee approved changes to the Student
Activity Fee Statement of Purpose and Funding Guidelines.