We are all busy people, wearing many hats across both our
professional and personal lives, so that the recommended work time of 40 hours
gets stretched all too often. But how
often do we stop, look around, take a breath, and try to understand what our
unions or our campuses at large are saying to us, our students, and visitors? The ways our campuses and our unions are
built and laid out give our institutions a unique culture and history, such as the Oval
at Ohio State or Military Walk at Texas A&M.
But how often do we stop to appreciate this influence, or
have the opportunity to learn something new about our campus? I had a moment of this recently, as my
partner, in his Final Review for graduate school in architecture, featured Bornhuetter
Hall, a residence hall on Wooster’s campus.
Bornhuetter has a unique architecture for Wooster, but my partner
pointed out its construction actually serves to welcome students and visitors
into its plaza by creating an "open gate" or "raised curtains" effect. This architectural creation of an "event" and
community gave me a new perspective on the hall and its influence on our
I wonder, if we took a minute to breathe and take another
look in between our to-do lists and meetings, what we might learn or better
understand about our campus or our buildings.
Are our unions or
campuses telling students and visitors, “Welcome!” or is another message being
communicated? What are ways (other than
major construction projects!) that we can continue to make our institutions
more inclusive and inviting?
is the Program Coordinator, Center for Diversity and Global Engagement at College of Wooster.
Joel Pettigrew is a new professional who already misses school. His professional interests include global engagement, social justice, GBLT issues, and intercultural leadership. Joel received his bachelor's degree in history from Texas A&M University and a master's in higher education and student affairs from The Ohio State University.