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Students’ Council Approves Five Facilities Fund Projects, Creation of Asian American Resource Center

Every year, the Haverford Facilities Department devotes $25,000 towards student projects. Past projects have included the Lunt student lounge and revamping the Makerspace. Students who wish to utilize this fund can apply by discussing their projects with Facilities, Students’ Council (SC), the Dean’s Office, and other relevant members of the community and then submitting an application to the SC Co-Secretaries. Once the deadline has passed, the co-secretaries head a committee comprised of the officers and class representatives to determine funding for the projects. Once they reach consensus, they submit the proposals to SC for consensus as well. This year, the Facilities Fund will be split between five projects: upgrades to the Barclay first floor common room, the Peer Awareness Facilitator (PAF) room, the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) Lounge, and the Crypt in Union, plus installing four water bottle stations on campus. SC also decided to fund the Asian American Resource Center with separate SC capital.

Barclay First Floor Common Room
The Barclay first floor common room will be repainted, recarpeted, and fitted with new furniture and a new TV. The heads of the project see the upgrade as a chance to bring the freshmen together, since Barclay is naturally sectioned by customs groups.

“There is no hang-out space in Barclay currently-the common room is very beat up and underused,” said Ben Mackay ‘19, one of the project heads. “We hope that updating the space will incentivize people living on all floors of Barclay to use the space.”

PAF Room
The PAF room is a little-known room in the Health Services building that has not been used for several years. With the funding, the walls, carpet, and furniture will be renovated, providing a favorable place for the PAF Committee. Although the room is too small to hold PAF sessions, it would be fitted with snacks and other supplies for PAFs for use during sessions. With a central headquarters for the PAFs, the committee could hold check-ins and office hours.

“This would benefit the PAFs because it would give them a central support center they can turn to for help in whatever way they need and in turn it would help the first years have more successful and thought provoking PAF sessions,” said Nhi Nguyen ‘18, PAF Committee Head.

SAGA Lounge
The SAGA Lounge, located in Jones basement, will be renovated with updated floors, ceiling, lighting, furniture, and utilities. The room will also be split into three sections: a lounge area with tables and chairs, a kitchen area with simple appliances such as a coffeemaker and a microwave, and a social area with a television and a library of relevant media.

“We intend for it to be a generally welcoming and inviting space for any Haverford student or group. We do not intend to create a party space, rather, a space for discussion, collaboration, socializing, and community events,” said Christopher Bechen ‘18 and Chelsea Richardson ‘18, SAGA Co-Heads.

In addition to the renovations, Bechen and Richardson are aiming at making the room more accessible to the Haverford community as a whole through public one-card access or staffed lounge hours. Currently, access to the lounge is limited to the SAGA co-heads. They hope that with these changes, the lounge can be a more readily available resource for students.

The Crypt
The Crypt in the lower floor of Union will be refurbished with paint, furnishings, and retouching of details to create a new piano-lounge study space, according to Rio Morales ‘17, who helped create the proposal.

Water Bottle Stations
Water bottle stations are being installed in Zubrow, Magill, Stokes, and the GIAC lobby. The intent for these stations is out of concern for both the environment and student well being. More water bottle stations would decrease the use of disposable plastic bottles, consequently reducing litter and helping the environment by preventing waste. Additionally, the increased availability of water would allow for students to more easily stay hydrated while exercising and studying.

Asian American Resource Center
Though the project originally emerged as a Facilities Fund application, SC decided to fund the Asian American Resource Center (AARC) with other capital since it currently has no designated space. To gain support for the AARC, the heads of the project filmed interview videos of Asian American students describing their experiences as people of color.

“The thing that stood out to me most in these interviews was how often people talked about feeling alone, and yet also talked about similar concerns that many of the other interviewees had expressed,” said Miriam Hwang-Carlos. “We actually aren’t alone, we just haven’t found each other yet.”

Although there are currently few set details about the AARC, the space would be an open place for conversation and social events. It would also house resources about Asian culture. The heads of the project are hoping that the creation of the Center would act as the first step towards an Asian American studies program in the Tri-co.

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