Honors College set for new homecoming this fall

The Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College is expanding in Shocker Hall and expected to open back up in fall 2019.

While its space is expanding, the college has been relocated to the lower level of Hubbard Hall.

Andrew Martin, former chair of the Honors College Student Council and outgoing director of public relations for the Student Government Association, proposed the idea of having a “front door” as part of the discussions for the renovations of the college. Students adopted the term “front door” as a simple way to talk about the benefits of changes connected to having more space for the college.

Honors College Dean Kimberly Engber took the lead on making these renovations possible after sitting in on council meetings and hearing what students wanted. She said it’s important that the Honors College find ways to be more connected in the university community.

“Being more accessible in Honors, more visible, opening out to the academic campus and not being hidden in the back of the residence hall,” Engber cited as goals for her college.

Current Honors College Student Council Chair Abby Jurgensmeier said students played a big role in deciding how the college should go about expanding.

“There were a couple of sessions this summer where the Honors College invited students in and had them draw what they wanted to see in the new college, so there was a lot of planning that went into it with a lot of student input, which was really great,” Jurgensmeier said.

Starting next semester, the college will institute a flat $50 fee next semester to fund the renovations. The student council voted to establish the fee last November. Engber said that in five years, the college will submit a report showing how fees have been used and consulting the council on whether or not the fee should be continued.

“The student council also voted to establish a ‘hardship fund’ using up to $1000 in discretionary foundation funds to cover the fee for a limited number of students each semester,” Engber said.

On top of the expansion, Shocker Hall housing will give two multipurpose rooms to the office.

“This is where we will meet with prospective students because we get quite a few campus visitors,” Engber said. “It gives us a space to meet with them and their parents. It’s not huge, but it’s substantial. They’ve already poured the concrete for the space.”

The new space will also allow faculty from other departments to come sit and meet with students.

“I’m really excited to see it, because the space we had in the lounge was about the size of a glorified walk-in closet, and once you have 10 people waiting to print in there, it got crowded,” Jurgensmeier said. “Now we’re going to have at least three times the space for students, and I’m excited for it.”

The anticipated completion date for the office space is July 28.