At the beginning of this school year, we found new features and upgrades around campus that were not around last semester. The features added to USF make campus a pleasant place. USF is trying to improve campus life at a time when other schools are cutting budgets and increasing tuition do to a poor economic climate. We know there are others not mentioned in our list, but these are the ones that stand out as the best.
1. New Hand Sanitizers
When students walk into the cafeteria, Kalmanovitz Hall, or other areas around campus, they can keep their hands clean with the new automatic hand sanitizing dispensers containing Purell, a trusted brand of hand sanitizer. With the Swine Flu scare, having an easy way to keep hands clean will help prevent students from passing germs and acquiring illnesses, which is easy to do at a university. Some of the hand sanitizers have run out of Purell or are not working, but the idea is perfect for busy students running around campus on their way to class to feel clean. Washing hands is the best option, the hand sanitizers are a good alternative and can keep campus a cleaner and healthier place.
2. Kalmanovitz Connection to Cowell
When venturing around the on campus maze known as Kalmanovitz Hall, there is now another way to get lost when trying to get the annex. When entering Cowell, there is new flooring and a desk, along with a connection to the K-Hall entrance way. There you can find an elevator leading to the second floor of Cowell or higher floors of K-Hall. It is confusing when you think you are taking the elevator to the second floor of K-Hall and you end up near the Learning and Writing Center of Cowell, but it is more convenient for students instead of having to leave K-Hall and walk around to the entrance of Cowell. Also, a lot of students who have classes in K-Hall also have classes in Cowell and vice versa. This allows an easy transition from building to building.
3. War Memorial Gym
At the end of the 2009 Spring Semester, the gym was being completely torn up for a new floor. Now that the construction in War Memorial is almost finished, there is new flooring with the new graphics. The basketball hoops have been redesigned and are no longer hanging from the upper deck of the gym. They are mobile and can be easily be moved for the Volleyball games so the teams can play without worrying about hitting the hoop. The wooden bleachers in the upper deck have been upgraded to more comfortable and sturdy plastic bleachers, which bare the USF green and gold colors. There is also a new glass barrier wall in front of the bleachers. The only thing that is missing is the old San Francisco city skyline that used to be on the gym’s floor. It was a unique aspect of our gym and it is definitely missed.
4. Café Outtahere
The new Café Outtahere gives students a new on-campus meal choice. The food in the main cafeteria gets old quickly, so it’s nice to have the option to liven up your diet in the middle of the week. However, the smoothies don’t live up to those served by Jamba Juice, which stood in the location previous to Outtahere. The organic food is a positive aspect for students who want to eat healthier and the hours of Outtahere are great. Students usually complain that the cafeteria closes too early, but they now can go to Outtahere for some late night breakfast. But the food left out, like the pre-made breakfast sandwiches, are sometimes left out too long and taste stale or as if it came out of the microwave. Making the sandwiches made to order would make them a more popular item.
5. Improved Phoenix Above the U.C.
One subtle improvement that was made over the summer was the “be-dazzled” Phoenix, which can be seen in Harney Plaza. Previously, the Phoenix was not very noticeable. Now its glittery green and gold highlights are hard to miss. After visual arts professor Father Tom Lucas enlisted a group of students to decorate this symbol of hope and rebirth, the Phoenix is now a prominent figure when walking through campus. The green and gold squares add a positive emphasis to an aspect of USF’s architecture that was being overlooked.
Other improvements on campus such as the new quiet areas in the library and new food stations that are offered at certain times in the cafeteria are worthy of an honorable mention, but these five are the ones that stand out and have improved campus life the most. Take advantage of the new aspects that are now on campus. Students at other universities are not getting the same upgrades, and we should appreciate them by maximizing their use.