Meghan Kidd and Samantha Pawluczyk
The Future of West Chester University
At West Chester University, the campus is divided into two major sections, academic and residential. This style of campus can be very effective as to how students and professors interact and learn from one another. Although, with this layout, students and professors are only able to see each other in class or for office hours rather than around campus and in common areas. According to Friere, society believes that professors can only teach students. Although, students have the ability to teach their professors inside and outside of the classroom and vice versa. Both of these groups shed light upon different lessons and create a more knowledgeable environment for one another. If West Chester was redesigned, adding multipurpose buildings, mandating on campus living for professors, and requiring all students to live on campus during their entire duration would make the overall experience more beneficial.
A coffee shop is defined as a cafe serving coffee and light refreshments. This kind of environment is a relaxing place that people of all ages can visit in order to unwind and destress. This kind of place is great for building connections between people because it is a relaxed and casual setting. If West Chester University were to redesigned their campus to center around a coffee shop, this could be beneficial for both students and professors. Having a coffee shop accessible to both students and their professors would help for them to see one another in a different settings other than the classroom. This shop would show professors what their students are like outside of class and they would see students with all of their sports equipment, instruments, tired eyes, and exhausted minds. On the other hand, students would see their professors with their graded papers, spouses, children, or with a friend. These two groups of people would have to understand that the opposite has many other challenges and priorities on their plate, besides in that one given class that they spend an hour and a half together three times a week. Supporting Freieres theory, professors and students will be able to have intellectual or casual conversations where they will ultimately create stronger bonds through teaching. This coffee shop would work to mold together a better university. It is important that students and professors share a different interaction in a public environment because it creates better relationships.
After creating this coffee shop, it would need a constant influx of customers. These customers would be the students and professors that are mandated to live on campus. During their entire duration at West Chester, all students and professors will be mandated to live on campus. The main point is to create deeper interaction between students and professors. By creating this housing rule, professors could change their office hours. It should be taken into consideration that professors have lives too, but if they have longer or more flexible office hours, they will be available to students more often. Perhaps, during the week before finals or major exams, students may want to ask questions at odd times and will need to access their professors. Some students any have night classes and are unable to meet with their professors at given times. However, if the professors lived closer to campus they would have more flexible hours to meet with students.
Along with professors, students living on campus while they attend the university will also help to create stronger relationships. It is common to see freshmen and sophomores living on campus, but after that most students move off campus. This means they are a bit further from common places like Lawerence, the Rec Center, and on campus eateries. Although, if it were a requirement for all students to remain on campus, it would create a new dynamic and possibly bring students and professors closer. By having all students live on campus, those who originally lived off campus would spend more time around campus and could help newer students get used to the community. This would help to mix on and off campus living and create stronger bonds. This would also help off campus students to be around campus more often where they would spend more time at places like the library, Lawrence, and dorm rooms.
Currently, West Chester University is divided into two major sections, academic and residential. If it were to be redesigned, adding multipurpose buildings and requiring on campus living for both students and professors would help to create a better environment. These few changes would help to bring West Chester’s community together, especially for students and their professors.