Forum updates community on campus improvements and enrollment
On Oct.31, the Wilson community gathered together at the All-Campus Forum where President Mistick presented updates, goals, and plans for Wilson. The meeting was casual and light, Mistick even wearing a bright blue t-shirt from the faculty and staff game day bearing the quote “One team, One goal.” Mistick also sported a yellow phone case that was held half-way in her right front pocket. To add to the informality of the forum, Mistick acknowledged the witches of the Business office who dressed appropriately for the occasion. SAGE Dining served Halloween-themed cookies as refreshments.
At the start of the forum, Mistick played a fun slide show of campus facilities, faculty and staff, and campus activities past. Resident Assistant and Constitution and By-Laws officer of WCGA Shelby Erb ‘15 said “the slide show at the beginning was cool; definitely unexpected.”
One of the primary goals for Wilson is to double the undergraduate enrollment and increase enrollment in the Master’s and Adult Degree programs. Mistick shared the forum presentation with Vice President of Communications and Marketing Brian Speers, Vice-President of Finance and Administration Brian Ecker, Mary Ann Naso. Naso referred to the current state of applicants where fourteen percent were male and jokingly added, “Over 6’5.”
Naso includes the report from Oct., “There were over 300 applicants by October, and generally this happens in January. So that demonstrates increased interest in the college.”
This is a twenty-five percent increase from last October’s applicant numbers. What is coming true for Wilson’s enrollment plan is that now, more applicants are interested in Wilson due to the recent co-ed decision. The admissions office set a goal of 180 new students for Fall 2014. This goal excludes the 56-72 student-athlete recruitment goals from the Athletic Department.
Athletic Director Lori Frey spoke about the progression of recruitment in athletics. One of the challenges of going co-ed is recruitment for the men’s teams. Frey said that only one-fourth of the campus community is in athletics. In order to boost enrollment and team participation, Frey hired coaches two years in advance for men’s basketball and track and field. The new fitness center is the start of a new athletic era for Wilson. Frey said of the new fitness center location, “It’s a great start; I think students are utilizing it more than they did before.”
She did not address the difficulty of providing open hours of the fitness center. It is more closed than it is open. It is only run by work-study students and their availability. As a part of the improvement, there are new lockers in the field house and up to date sound system and score boards. Frey hopes that the new additions to the staff will assist in recruitment, sharing of work, and improving the athletic department. The new website is a big step into recruitment. Frey said that it gives a better impression to future student-athletes.
Ecker addressed the mold issue in Warfield, presenting the cause of mold buildup as well as current and future actions to address these problems. Ecker proposed remediation and sanitation as a start. Duct work and water infiltration is assessed along with the mold sanitation. In order to remain ADA compliant, there is a tunnel where students may access the elevator. The air is tested regularly for cleanliness. After the remediation and sanitation, the Warfield auditorium will receive new carpet and possibly new seats.
In addition to the asbestos remediation that began in spring 2013, Ecker gave updates on the construction of the student center and the Mac/Dav dormitory. The dormitory had unforeseen obstacles such as tile and asbestos-filled glue that dates back to the 1960’s. In addition, another layer of tile was placed on top of the old tile. Ecker explained that the safe removal of the asbestos-filled glue took precedence in the project. He also said that the air is tested regularly in order to maintain the progress and safety of the campus. As a result of the deconstruction obstacles, construction is delayed.
The Mac/Dav project date of completion is yet to be confirmed. The goal of completion is set for March 2014. Once construction begins, a date of completion will be confirmed.
With all of the construction on campus, Ecker is positive with prospective students visiting the campus. He said that it demonstrates’ a proactive step in the progression of the campus.
Ecker ended his update with a positive note on the progression of the Student Center. The date for finishing the student center is towards the end of fall 2013; still, the date isn’t certain. The walls are painted and the ADA ramp is near completion.
Wilson College now sponsors NPR’s “Teacher of the Week” on Mix 95 as part of an ongoing marketing effort. Speer presented current work in active lead marketing through a Google Ad campaign. Speer told the community of how many impressions, the amount of possible people that would see the advertisement, through Wilson web page visitors, related online site visits, radio listeners, Google users, and billboard displays that will add to the marketing plan. Speer also gave ideas in print publication rebuilding. In Business Women’s Magazine, there are an estimated 50,000 cir. impressions.
The library is a big issue on campus, yet little was said about the progression. A fund-raiser was set in plan with few donors to match donation numbers. Design #3 is the current choice for remodeling and rendition. However, due to slow fund-raising, the starting date of tearing the back annex behind the old library is nowhere in sight.
A student posed a question that needed to be addressed, asking why there is a long list of representatives on the campus enhancement committee but no students. Mistick acknowledged the student’s concern and stated that the issue will be addressed.
Resident Assistant Morgan “Momo” Lindsay ’15 said, “I thought it was informative. I am glad to see the school thriving.”
The meeting overall gave updates and progressive ideas to enhance the campus and increase enrollment numbers. The forum ended with a great “a la fin” poem, written and eloquently recited by Dr. Dana Harriger.