Students welcomed with new initiatives and building projects

University alters residence life structure, adds women’s center, multicultural center and expands campus rec; Wold Performing Arts Center and Perper Tennis Complex rising

Published Aug. 27, 2009

Today Lynn University welcomed the class of 2013 to campus and unveiled noticeable changes for the coming year. Aside from progress on the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center and the recent ground breaking on the Perper Tennis Complex, changes for the ’09-’10 academic year include a different approach to student life, a new women’s center, additional intramural sports and even a long-awaited ice cream machine in the cafeteria.

Why all the changes? Move-inAs dean of students Paul Turner suggests, “We are continually trying to put more focus on our students and their needs.” In fact, student life administrators are putting more focus – and trust – in students, naming one senior student to community advisor (CA) for each residence hall. These senior students, whose positions will replace Resident Directors (RD), will have the opportunity to live in campus dorms stocked with new furnishings and a flat screen TV. But with the luxury comes much responsibility. Each of the five students chosen to be a CA will be responsible for 80-250 of their peers.

“This is a job we used to reserve for college graduates, typically from the outside community,” said Joy Doliber, assistant director of housing and residence life. “But we have complete trust in our students. These students are given a unique opportunity to juggle a full-time job and school. It promotes experiential learning and gives the students excellent resume material.”

Student Life has also instituted new programs for students including a women’s center and a multicultural center, both of which open their doors this fall. The women’s center will be a resource for Lynn’s female students and will host programs on self-defense, body image and other women’s issues. The multicultural center will focus on providing information and support to Lynn’s Latino, Hispanic and African American student population, among other groups.

Other new student-centric initiatives include more intramural and for the first time co-ed sports. “There will be twice as many activities, games and fitness classes for students,” said Christina Johnson, director of campus recreation. Plus the cafeteria is granting the Student Government Association’s long-awaited wish for an ice cream machine offering chocolate, vanilla and swirl flavors. “The goal is to encourage engagement,” said Phil Riordan, vice president of student life. “Typically, if you’re happy outside the classroom, you’re also happier in it.”