While many students are having trouble calling the new building in the heart of the campus by its proper name, the building is quickly taking a central role in the life of the Drew community.
Once known as the “UC,” the sparkling new Ehinger Center (or “EC”) not only houses a completely re-created snack bar and pub, lounge areas and commuter lounge, but it also brings together all student life programs into custom-designed spaces and under one roof.
Among the excited new tenants is the Student Government Association which has space in a suite of offices especially for student groups. SGA President, Janelle Hoffman ’13 remarks that, “The Student Government office in the EC is beautiful, and much more accessible than our old office. We are located in the same wing as Student Activities and the Acorn, which is very helpful as we work very closely with these offices,” she said.
The Dean of Campus Life and Student Affairs, Dean Sara Waldron also thinks that the centralization of offices will be very helpful. “Now that Campus Life has a presence in the building it will help eliminate some of the running from office to office students often had to do to get information or get things done,” she remarks.
In addition, Dean Waldron believes that the office’s new location in the EC provides a more comfortable, drop-by-to-say-hi feel. “Often the Dean’s office is associated with crises or serious student issues, so when we were in Sycamore Cottage students didn’t just drop in,“ she observed. “My hope is that the new location will foster informal interactions between students and faculty and staff and help to strengthen the Drew community.”
Nicholas Klein ’13, host of WMNJ’s “Nick at Night,” and the Director of Programming for the campus radio station, feels the relocation of the radio station provides better visibility. “WMNJ’s move from the basement of Tolley to just off the lobby of the Ehinger Center has provided us with a brand new studio and will greatly improve our profile on campus, two invaluable features which will enable us to play an even greater part in campus life,” he said.
Justin Camejo ’14, Editor in Chief of The Acorn, observes that the office has been transformed from its previous cramped quarters to a comfortable, three-room space. “My staff now has the room they need to work more efficiently and the new office brings welcome joy to hectic weeks,” he said. Acorn photographer Eva Alvarez, ’13 feels the same, though notes that, “The EC closes at 2 a.m. so we have to leave by then, but that might be a good thing. In past semesters I have stayed until 6 a.m. and ended up missing some classes,” she said with a smile.
Even students who weren’t part of an office move are effusive about the new EC. Jonathan Katz ’13, Economics major, says the EC is a great place to do homework. “It’s very warm and welcoming. I can sit by the fireplace and getting my reading assignments done. It’s relaxing,” he said.
“My favorite thing about the new EC is definitely the cheesesteaks,” said Alana DiPietro ’13. “I know people are feeling sort of emotional about the change in the snack bar menu, but I think once people try the cheesesteaks they’ll feel better,” she said with a laugh.
Seniors were especially enthusiastic about being the first to experience the new C’80 Pub on opening night last week. “Since the pub was closed all last year, it’s refreshing to be someplace on campus where everyone can hang out together,” said Sociology and Education double major, Alyssa Iapicco ’13. “The pub staff really went out of their way to make sure everyone enjoyed this memorable night,” she continued.
– Kimberly Ammiano ‘13