University responds to student concerns, will also convert Holmes Lounge, Brookings Quad into office space

Thotiana JD, PhD | Staff Reporter

Beginning in the fall semester, Holmes Lounge and Brookings Quad will be no longer be available for student usage. These transitions come in light of the closure of the Gargoyle and Mallinckrodt 100A in February 2019.

Holmes Lounge will be converted into new offices for Chancellor Wrighton and Washington University Police Department. Brookings Quad will be the site of a new office to house additional staff members for Campus Life and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

“What better way for me to lead the Better Together project than from my office at an elite institution within a wealthy suburb of St. Louis?” Wrighton asked.

WUPD is looking forward to a more central location on the Danforth Campus where they can continue to ignore students’ safety concerns.

“We’re so thrilled about our new office location. That being said, be sure to carry a whistle to summon help. We’ll try and listen for it, but the walls are pretty thick,” WUPD Chief Garth Blinn said.

The Holmes carvery is already slated to close in summer 2019 following the opening of the Parkside Cafe, an eatery inside of the Schnuck Pavilion on the East End. Since the food is gone, students must not have a need to use the space, according to Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration Frank Halston.

“With the closure of the Holmes carvery, we’re concerned that students will have no need to venture to that side of campus,” Halston said. “We know that Holmes and the Quad are very important to students, and we are open to discussing alternatives with students.”

Sam Fox students have erupted in protest, citing Holmes as one of the only food options on the East End of campus.

“The University has shown time and time again that they don’t care about our needs. Limiting our food options is just another example,” Sam Fox sophomore Emma Morris said.

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The new construction on the Quad comes in response to additional complaints and conduct violations committed by on-campus fraternities. Apparently, there isn’t enough room for the personnel and paperwork, according to Assistant Director of Fraternity/Sorority Life Sean Green.

“In order to manage the increased caseload of social event management violations and housing violations, we will be hiring additional fraternity/sorority staff members to help conduct administrative review,” Green said.

Both Social Programming Board (SPB) and All Student Theatre (AST) have expressed their outrage at the closure of Brookings Quad. The Quad is the site of fall and spring WILD, as well as AST performances.

“The University has used WILD as an example of the highlights of student life on campus. We’re really disappointed that they’re taking away yet another space that is so vital to student programming,” WILD director Parker Brosnan said. “The loss of the Quad will decrease the value of the already disappointing WILD selections even further.”

Students have called for additional space for programming space. Some see vast potential on fraternity row, especially after the establishing of the Hamsini Living Learning Community in August 2018.

“The University should follow suit and start using the remaining fraternity houses for activities that will actually benefit students. The Black House was a great move, and I know there’s a lot of other students who would like to have space,” junior Lauren Johnson said.

The University has committed to having additional conversations with students regarding spatial constraints on the Danforth Campus. For context, the conversations surrounding the Gargoyle consisted of students being upset, and the University committing to consulting them the next time around.

Dean of Students Robert Mild recognized the University’s missteps in addressing space concerns on campus.

“I absolutely think that [lack of student consultation] is a fair criticism,” Mild said. “We did not consult with students. We weren’t planning to, which is why we went about it this way. How come you didn’t catch on earlier?”

For the 2019-2020 academic year, all programming spaces will be limited to those in the Women’s Building and on the South 40. According to a source, the University has been conducting initial site surveys for space for a playground for the Olin Business School.

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