Late last month, Boston College released its new 10-year plan, Ever to Excel: Advancing Boston College’s Missionwhich describes four strategic orientations for the University to pursue and has as its most ambitious plan a Institute of Integrated Sciences and Society (IISS). But the plan lacked something BC has wanted for years: a student center. Last year, the BC undergraduate government called for building a student center to be a top priority in the new strategic plan, but when it was omitted, some students wondered why. According to BC administrators, however, a student center is still an integral part of BC’s plan.
“It is not unusual for a strategic plan not to name specific buildings when it does,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Barb Jones.
Jones explained that the previous strategic plan also did not name a student center building – rather, the plan described student education as one of its main principles, and named a student center, new residence halls and a new recreation center in the capital plan, which came separately, in 2008.
According to Jones, after the approval of the strategic plan, there is a process to consider, based on what is described in the strategic plan, the capital projects that must accompany it.
“We’re not far enough along yet for capital projects to go off plan,” Jones said.
Mary Nardone, associate vice president of capital project management for British Columbia, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Vice President for Planning and Evaluation Kelli Armstrong said she wouldn’t add to what Jones had already discussed.
Many projects that were in the strategic and master plan 10 years ago were delayed due to the 2008 financial recession, Jones said, and a number of buildings are happening later in the sequence than originally planned. . For example, the IISS has been in the works since at least 2007, when British Columbia created a website, but it has been shelved for several years and won’t open until fall 2021 at the earliest.
BC has reached the project stage of building a student center of at least twicefirst in 1995, when there were delays in permit approvals, and again in 2005. According to Jones, the site of the future student center remains where the Flynn Recreation Complex currently stands.
While plans to build a student center are still in their infancy, the Office of Student Affairs is looking for ways to open up spaces on campus for students to meet, study, or use as space. programming in the meantime.
This year, the Office of Student Affairs is partnering with UGBC and the library to continue to extend its opening hours on Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m. Hillside after dark will also be back this fall, with an extra food twist. Over the summer, the Office of Student Affairs and Food Services talked about providing food for students during the Hillside Cafe’s extended hours. Instead of staffing the cafe to deliver food, students can use the Dining Service online app to order food directly from the Hillside Cafe.
While it has been more than a decade since the last effort to build a student center reached the master plan stage, the project is still in the University’s master plan.
“The student center is still in the master plan of the University”, Jones said. “That’s not to say the student center isn’t in the future yet.”
Featured Image Courtesy of bc.edu