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Moves to Collis Center bring student organizations together

Six Dartmouth student organizations, the Student Assembly, Class Councils, Programming Board, Council on Student Organizations (COSO), Sexual Assault Peer Advisors (SAPAs) and the Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisors (DAPAs), are enjoying improved location and office space, thanks to their recent move to Collis Center.

Collis Center
Six student organizations moved from Robinson Hall to Collis Center during March.  The moves are part of an initiative to make Collis more student-focused. (photo by Charles Rountree '05)

Formerly housed in Robinson Hall, the organizations began moving into Collis during spring break. "Student opinion was that Collis was too administrative," said Joe Cassidy, Director of the Collis Center and Associate Dean for Student Life. "One of the priorities for Collis is to make it more student-focused."

The Career Services office moved from Collis to 63 South Main Street (above the Bank of America) three years ago. Last month, the International Office left Collis for a location at 44 North College Street. The moves served the dual purpose of opening space in Collis while providing better accommodations for the administrative departments.

Before the move, Career Services had an overcrowded office and struggled to locate space to hold workshops and host employers and graduate school representatives.  The 63 South Main Street office is larger and includes workshop and interview rooms, as well as reception areas. "It allows us to have all of our services under one roof, rather than spread out over several locations," said Skip Sturman, Director of Career Services.

This centralization has benefited students as well. "The students know where we are. They know we are here to answer questions and that they can use the facilities for research," said Maria Waite, Office Manager.

The only drawback, said Waite, is being further from the heart of campus. "That wonderful energy that Collis has, we miss that," she said.

The student organizations now in Collis will benefit from and add to that energy. "It is higher visibility for them," said Cassidy. "Collis Café is the most popular lunch location on campus and this is the first building all admissions tours come through."

Kirsten Murray '07, Class Representative to COSO, is thrilled with her organization's new address. "In Robinson, COSO did not formally have an office. Moving to Collis has been great because we can have set office hours and a place to meet with organizations and discuss their funding proposals. We are adjacent to the Programming Board's office and now hold joint office hours so that COSO organizations can benefit from the Programming Board's input as well."

Collis offers the convenience of formal meeting rooms, as well as common lounge areas such as Collis 303, which organizations can use for meetings without needing to reserve a room.

The newly available space in Robinson Hall will be put to good use by Dartmouth Outdoor Programs and the Dartmouth Outing Club.

"Everything that we are doing has involved collaboration," said Cassidy. "I appreciate the support we have had from other departments to produce a win-win situation."

By SARAH BENELLI

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Last Updated: 12/17/08