Tag Archives: changes

Campus Dining Welcomes Changes for 2018

Aaliyah Parson, Staff Writer

W.T Harris Dining Hall welcomes new and returning students after making several new improvements over the summer. The caf has made renovations that not only improve the quality of service to students but the dining experience as well. Accommodations were also made during the renovations for the large influx of new students.

One of the many noticeable changes is the relocation of the pizza station. A new salad prep and fresh fruit station were also added as well as a new Yogurt and Dessert station and two new beverage stations.

David Penny, general manager of Aramark, stated his goal when making improvements was, “To overall improve dining. The goal is long reaching. I have a five-year plan of continuously improving.”

While making these improvements Penny’s biggest challenge was time, “Never enough time where students aren’t on campus. Everything has to be done in short time periods.”

Many students occupied campus over the summer during summer camp and training. While returning students have watched these changes unfold, what Penny has in store next is sure to be a surprise.

Penny exclaims, “The amount of improvements we have planned over the next five years will not be recognizable to anyone right now!”

Edited by Rachael Robinson

Wingate makes changes to the safety protocol in reaction to the campus lockdown

Mariah Anderson, Staff Writer

“Wingate University has issued immediate lock-down procedures for the main campus. Please lock all doors and windows and await further instruction.” With this 11:35 a.m. text, Wingate University instituted a lockdown on Monday, February 26, 2018.

Rumors of an active shooter on campus caused students in the dining hall to race to their dorms since they had no place to hide in the open hall.

Students and faculty in classrooms immediately moved to lock the doors, but some rooms had no locks. The people in these rooms used chairs and tables to barricade the entryway as they awaited further instructions and details from the university staff.

During the lockdown, students and faculty were notified that the shooting had happened across the street from campus on Jerome Street earlier that morning. However, Wingate took precaution and placed the campus on lockdown to ensure student safety.

After the lockdown, the question at hand became: Was Wingate University prepared for a lockdown, and how could they better prepare for similar events in the future?

One possible way to prepare for the future would be to ensure that proper communication occurs with everyone: faculty, staff, students, and parents. Professor Karen Dunn stated that she was unaware that there was a lockdown until a student told her because she was busy teaching when the message was sent out, and the alarm was not audible from the classroom.

Another professor, Dr Jim Coon, stated that he did not receive the text alerts because he had mistakenly subscribed to the weather alerts.

Both professors were uncertain about what procedures to follow, with Professor Dunn stating, “As a professor, I felt that I should have known what to do, but I didn’t know what to do.” In fact, she found herself asking her students, “What should we do?”

The students and professor jumped into action, but overall the classroom felt unprepared for such an emergency, suggesting that one area of improvement Wingate might pursue would be to have mandatory training for faculty and staff on how to handle emergency protocols.

Some parents expressed reservations at the lack of communication in place, with one parent stating, “I think they could have been a little more forthcoming with the fact that the students were following safety protocol. It was not until I was contacted by my daughter that I found out that a safety protocol was not in place or worse had not been previously practiced by Staff and Students.”

One student, Cameron Smetak, criticized the amount of time it took to alert the students, “We should have been informed that there were shots fired across the highway right when it happened, not an hour later like we did.” An immediate alert system in the future might save lives.

Wingate University has already started instituting changes. A recent email to the campus community stated that the university was working on the doors without locks, posting lockdown guidelines in each room, improving communication with Union County, planning to conduct drills for each emergency, and adding additional sirens on campus.

However, this email was not sent to parents of students, so some parents are unaware of these upcoming changes, with one parent stating that he was “not aware of any improvements since the incident.”

However, students have noted that Wingate University is already implementing the promised changes, with new deadbolts being installed on doors that previously lacked them.

The faculty have noted positive changes as well. Dr. Coon stated, “We have gotten a couple of emails as faculty and staff, they are going through all of the procedures and looking at what worked and what didn’t. They’ve gotten feedback from lots of people, too.”

Although the recent lockdown was frightening for the campus community, it helped Wingate identify strengths and weaknesses in its emergency system. One parent, commenting on the success of this lockdown, suggested, “Simply have a plan. Practice it as well. The campus is a simple one that makes security in such an event more possible.”

With the improvements in place, Wingate will become a safer community, one that is fully prepared for emergencies and able to respond in a timely fashion in order to prevent tragedy.

Wingate University is advising all students to update their contact information on WUSync so that future alert systems can reach the entire campus community.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Res Life opens the door to new housing changes

Caitlin Bailey, Staff Writer

Housing sign-ups is one of the most dreaded times of the year for students. Friend groups are split up as students scramble to find who they are rooming with. This is not a decision to be taken lightly either.

Decisions made can determine where you will live for a year. Sure, students can change housing at the beginning of the semester, if things don’t go well, but the alternative may not be as ideal if  they would have just gone with another friend to begin with. These decisions require thought, but housing sign-ups sneaks up on students before they know it.

This dreaded time is currently going on. However, this year has been unlike any other. This year brought a few changes to housing. One of them being that the housing process is being done online.

This started with students signing up to get their rank on Feb 20. After students got their rank, they could talk with their friends and decide who they want to live with. The deadline to select roommates or get matched with one is March 21.

After this, the group will get their rank number and selection time slot. Then the group will sign up for housing and get confirmation that the housing selection has been completed.

Another change coming in this fall is the new housing buildings. These new buildings will be called Wilson Halls East and West. Hilltop which opened in fall of 2017 will no longer be for freshman. Starting in fall, it will be for returning students. Also in the fall, Helms Hall is going to be for first-year students.

Wilson Halls East and West
Wilson Halls East and West

The most surprising changes is the co-gender housing. Co-gender housing was tested out this school year in Alumni Hall. Freshman, Courtney Finley is currently living there. Speaking of her experience this year, “ I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s not for everyone. I like having guys on the hall because it helps me feel a little more safe, and we all get along pretty well. I would recommend co-ed housing.”

Starting in the fall, co-ed housing will be offered in Beam Hall in Watson Village, Rushing Hall in South Village, and half of Bridges Hall.

In order to help with the housing process, the Office of Residence Life sent out instructional videos of how to go through the process. They also offered eight housing sign-up information sessions.
The first one was held on Feb 20, and the last one will be on Mar 14 in Helms Hall Lobby with Roommate Mixer at 6 p.m. However, even with these tools students found the housing process still a little complicated. Sophomore, Reiley Richardson said, “I feel like they need better communication on where to find all of the links, and a better way to get to them rather than through email.”

Edited by: Brea Childs