Participants of the Michigan Community Scholars Program, a University living and learning community centered on community service, will continue to live and learn in East Quad Residence Hall instead of returning to the program’s original home in Couzens Residence Hall next year.
MCSP was relocated to East Quad this year. The program was initially supposed to move back to Couzens in the fall after renovations to the buildings are finished. But Phil Deloria, LSA associate dean for undergraduate education, said the decision to keep MCSP in East Quad for the long-term was made on Friday after administrators from the LSA Dean’s Office deliberated with University Housing officials and MCSP leaders.
MCSP students were notified that the program would remain in East Quad via e-mail by MCSP Director David Schoem on Sunday. Deloria said he and Schoem agreed to keep the MCSP in East Quad.
However, for the 2012-2013 school year, MCSP and the Residential College will be relocated to another residence hall due to future construction on East Quad. The East Quad renovations are scheduled to begin sometime after the winter 2012 semester and end before the beginning of the fall 2013 semester, according to Deloria.
He added that the two programs are set to continue operating side-by-side during the hiatus from East Quad.
Marjorie Horton, LSA assistant dean for undergraduate education, and Deloria met with the MCSP students yesterday to address their concerns about the future of the program. At the meeting, Deloria offered the students his apologies for such late notice on the housing changes. Students expressed disappointment that they’ll be living in East Quad again since they were looking forward to residing in Couzens next year.
LSA sophomore Andy Clark said he had two main worries. He said he’s concerned the students weren’t involved in the decision and MCSP’s identity will be affected. Clark said he appreciates the optimism from the administration, but the current situation is less than ideal.
Engineering sophomore Tony Lucchesi, a future MCSP student leader, also attended the meeting held by Deloria and Horton. Lucchesi said the situation at East Quad could be improved with the addition of more lounges and better access to wireless Internet, but said he still has some concerns about how the renovations will impact the program.
“The worst-case scenario would be that MCSP, you know, kind of loses its identity, and it loses interest because the facilities we are in aren’t conducive to the program,” Lucchesi said.
Deloria said he would share student suggestions with University Housing and those in charge of construction. He said MCSP students should take advantage of this opportunity to shape East Quad’s forthcoming updates and the future of the program.
“We know that we’re asking a lot of you guys,” Deloria said. “And so we want to do everything we possibly can to ameliorate and mitigate the situation.”
Additionally, LSA will move the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program to Couzens while Alice Lloyd Residence Hall is being renovated next year.
Deloria said LHSP, MCSP and the RC were supposed to be placed together in East Quad, but after meeting with architects and his colleagues in University Housing, officials realized this would make the living situation too crowded. He added that he thinks MCSP and the RC are a strong fit given their community-oriented goals, which is what pushed the decision to keep them under the same roof.
“We think the possibilities and payoffs here are great,” Deloria said.