September 24, 2004

S.A. Plans Straight Changes

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The Student Assembly received a promising update on the renovations of the Straight yesterday. Kent Hubbell ’67, dean of students, and Catherine Holmes M.S. ’85, associate dean of students, reported several ongoing changes to the hall.

One of the larger priorities remains the changes to the browsing library, located on the ground floor of the Straight. According to Holmes, it has been frequently “used for sleeping by students and studying, but we want to make it a place where there can be informal meetings, for example.” She added that a pool table may also be placed in the space.

Hubbell suggested the creation of a digital darkroom, where “all kinds of new media tools can be made available to the student body at large,” including “software, music, desktop publishing … just a whole gamut of media.” He added that a first step in this direction could include talking to representatives from Apple, who will be coming to campus to speak in the next few weeks.

“[We could] draw in experts in the field who can teach [this media] to students … and provide instructional support on a volunteer basis,” Hubbell added.

Other parts of the Straight may be renovated into spaces that can be used by performing groups to rehearse.

“There is a real lack of space on campus for performing groups,” Holmes said. She added that the north room in the Straight can be made available for such groups.

Holmes said that several changes to the fourth floor game room are being considered, including installing a self-serve coffee machine and renting out the space to Kinko’s or a similar venue.

“Kinko’s could easily fall through though,” Holmes said.

According to Hubbell, Cornell Dining is also interested in converting the space into a late-night juice bar. Ultimately, Holmes said, “we want to best utilize the space we have.” Other renovations to the Straight include reparations to its gutters and roof.

According to Holmes, new flooring and lighting will be added and chandeliers will be installed throughout the hall. A sound system may also be added to the coffeehouse.

Tim Lim ’06, executive vice president of the S.A., said, “I am glad to finally see that the renovation plans are going ahead.”

Separately, the S.A. dealt briefly with Collegetown housing and safety issues. In its first attempt to counter the recent illegal and inappropriate activity allegedly done by the Collegetown Creeper in the area, the S.A. will be handing out quarter cards in Collegetown during the closing times of its clubs that remind students to lock their doors.

“This is sponsored by the Public Service Center and the S.A.,” said Michelle Fernandes ’06, vice president of public relations. “It is the first step on a program to reinvigorate and restore the integrity of Collegetown housing.”

“Trustee Koppel is the one behind this effort, and the S.A. is the manpower,” added Josh Bronstein ’05, vice president of finance. “It is in collaboration with the city.”

The S.A. acknowledged the delay in the release of freshmen elections results. In the past week, elections were held for freshmen S.A. representatives. Bronstein apologized for the delay and said the results would be in “definitely by early next week.”