Campus prepares for arrival of students

Thousands of students will be returning to UMass Dartmouth, beginning this weekend, and will find a campus undergoing a physical and technological transformation designed to better connect students to each other, their faculty, and campus services while also advancing the University's sustainability mission.

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UPDATE (MONDAY, SEPT. 5, 2:15 P.M.) - Due to the potential for rain showers on Tuesday it is important that returning residential students adhere to assigned check-in times. The move-in schedule was created to make sure staff and resources can be directed to appropriate locations and traffic congestion can be minimized.

Also, to protect valuable belongings such as electronic equipment from the rain, you should consider leaving such items at home and having family or friends bring the remainder of your personal property at a later date when traffic and inclement weather are not issues.

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(WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 10 A.M.) -- First-year residential students will move in on Sunday, September 4, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Returning students will move in on Tuesday, September 6, beginning at 8 a.m. In each case, specific times have been scheduled for each building.

The annual new student convocation will be held September 6, at 11 a.m. in the Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial Amphitheater. The keynote speaker will be Psychology Professor Thomas Boone. Following the ceremony students will break into groups across the campus to discuss Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, a book "about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye." Every first-year student was assigned the book to read over the summer and they have been discussing it with faculty via the "Blink Blog" for several weeks.

"This is an exciting time of year for all of us," Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. "Witnessing the arrival of our students and the return of our faculty brings a sense of renewal. We are looking forward to another amazing year of learning, discovery and engagement."

The following represents a sample of the new facilities, programs, and activities students will encounter upon their return:

TRANSFORMED STUDENT DINING EXPERIENCE
The 600-seat resident dining hall has undergone a $1.6 million renovation, and the national food service firm Chartwells is installing a new dining experience based on feedback from students, faculty and staff. Features include: service options ranging from self-prepared to restaurant-style, cameras and video monitors showing how food is prepared, a sustainability effort that includes paperless menus and turning grease into bio-fuels; and food grown within five miles of campus. A grand opening is scheduled for Friday, September 2 at 3 p.m.

MOBILE APP AND CAMPUS WIRELESS
A new mobile application has been fully launched so students can receive campus news and information, ranging from event listings to student job postings, on their smart phones. Meanwhile, the University's first-on-the-east coast WiMAX system, has made campus wireless connectivity available up to two miles from campus.

SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY
Photovoltaic panels were installed on the Tripp Athletic Center and residence hall roofs this summer and energy efficient lighting has been installed across campus. Construction on a campus wind turbine is scheduled to begin this fall and planning for the construction of a co-generation plant is also underway. All combined, these projects are expected to reduce the campus carbon footprint and save the university significant energy costs.

FRESH AIR FOR AUDITORIUM, CVPA; LAB RENOVATIONS
Major upgrades have been made to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Main Auditorium. In addition academic support spaces on the ground floor of the Liberal Arts Building have been upgraded and several laboratories are being upgraded.

BYSTANDER INTERVENTION, "I CAN FIX RACISM," CORSAIR OLYMPICS
On September 5, our new students will experience a series of events designed to help their transition to college. Events include a workshop in Bystander Intervention focusing on community members' duty to act, not just to save ourselves, but to protect the rights, well-being and safety of others; "I Can Fix Racism," a multi-media presentation by Damali Ayo; and the 4th Annual Corsair Olympics, a series of team building events.

FIRST BIO-ENGINEERING AND EDUCATION LEADERSHIP STUDENTS
UMass Dartmouth will welcome its first undergraduate bio-engineering students and doctorate in educational leadership candidates this fall. The new bio-engineering programs, the first of its kind in the UMass system, is designed to prepare students to compete in Massachusetts life sciences industry. The education leadership program is designed to develop a new generation of innovative school administrators to confront K-12 challenges, especially in urban centers.

A NEW FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE
The University has expended its first-year student experience initiative to better prepare students for success. The program includes courses focusing on strategies to be a successful college students, as well as "living and learning communities" that group residential students by interests such as healthy living, community engagement, pop culture, and academic initiatives.

RENOVATED STUDENT GATHERING PLACES
Several projects designed to improve outside-the-classroom student gathering places have been completed. These include the lobbies of the Campus Center and Tripp Athletic Center, as well as some academic building atrium lounges. In addition, a new Corsair Hall of Fame is being built off the Tripp Athletic Center Lobby.

9/11 REMEMBRANCE AND DAY OF SERVICE
The Center for Civic Engagement is recruiting students, staff and faculty to participate in a day of service on Sunday, September 1, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Share the Harvest Program at the YMCA in Dartmouth. The program is designed to honor those lost 10 years ago as a result of the 9/11 attacks and work together to make our community stronger. The project was created to assist the Hunger Commission of Southeastern Massachusetts. Volunteers are needed to plant, cultivate and harvest the produce.

SUPER OPEN HOUSES
The University has scheduled two "Super" Open Houses for October 1 and November 5, from 8:30 a.m. to noon with additional activities in the afternoon. These events are designed for anyone who wants to learn about enrolling at UMass Dartmouth as a traditional first-year, transfer, graduate, professional and continuing education, or online student. An open house for the School of Law has been scheduled for October 22, from 10 a.m. to noon.

CLAIRE T. CARNEY AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS ONGOING
The $50 million Claire T. Carney Library renovation project is moving full steam ahead. The library will remain open throughout the process, which will take until fall 2012 to complete, but will totally transform the facility. Meanwhile, back at the Campus Center, the commuter dining facility is slated for a total makeover next year.



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