New website, DKE renovations, dining services, administration changes arrive in time for new year
Lafayette College sometimes undergoes changes during the summer, to avoid interfering with students’life while they are on campus.
This semester is no different. Students returned to campus this week to many shifts and new arrivals at the college.
The Lafayette staff will be doing more in-depth reporting on many of these storiesover the next couple weeks. Until then, The Lafayette will give a brief summary of these events.
The college unveiled the first step in switching to a new website in late July. The project began last summer and hosted some focus groups and testing sessions over the past year.
“The idea here wasn’t just to give it a new coat of paint,”Director of Web Applications Development Ken Newquist said, “but also to rethink how we were presenting content on the website…Our expectation is that it will evolve over time.”
Newquist said he expects the completion and full implementation of the website to last about a year. The project partnered the communications division with web development services and totaled over $200,000 in cost, including a contract with web developer Fastspot.
The renovations of the Delta Kappa Epsilon house on campus finished on time for the members to move in. There are still some minor details to be completed, DKE President Ryan Flynne‘17 said, and the renovations went as planned.
“Many parts of the house were the brand new but some old parts were kept and the integrity of the house largely maintained,” Flynne said.
Marquis opened again after a summer of renovations, and facilities planning aims to complete its modifications in the coming weeks. The remaining furniture will be delivered Friday, and signage and artwork will be hung soon after, according to Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Mary Wilford-Hunt.
“We had changed dining services providers a couple years ago,” said Vice President of Campus Life Annette Diorio, referring to the switch from Sodexo, the college’s previous dining services provider, to Bon Appetit in the fall of 2013. “As part of that change we committed to make some changes to better suit the way we do food preparation.”
Two new positions have been created out of the position previously occupied by Pam Brewer, who was the Director of Student Involvement for 27 years but retired last semester. Associate Dean of Students Jodie Frey now oversees the leadership program, which includes leadership conferences and orientation activities. Brewer oversaw this programpreviously.
“We needed help with both the Connected Communities program and other student programming at lower level than the director, so we hired two coordinators,”Diorio said.
The new Connected Communities program places first-year students in one of five groups, called ‘commons’, with other first-year students and upper-level advisors. They will meet throughout the year for academic and social activities.
Gene Kelly left his position as Director of Gender and Sexuality Programs in June, and Cristina Usino is scheduled to take his place on Sept. 15. The circumstances of Kelly’s departure are unclear. Diorio would not comment on personnel affairs.