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      A Beautiful Campus

      Students Take the Lead on Enhancing Widener’s Green Spaces

      Theresa Tran, biology, '19 and Arvind Bussetty, biology, '19

      students in chairs

      Adirondack Chairs

      Widener juniors Theresa Tran, left, and Arvind Bussetty led a beautification initiative to get Adirondack chairs on Main Campus.

      When we first stepped foot on Widener University's Main Campus two years ago, we were allured by its suburban charm, even though it was labeled a city school. We love the open green spaces and campus life, but also wanted to see more students enjoying the outdoors and more activities around campus during the day.

      The best way to attain this vision, we believed, was to advocate for increased outdoor furniture for students to access at any time throughout the day. After being elected to join Student Government Association, we embarked on our journey with several other senators to enhance this wonderful campus.

      The aim for our initiative was to provide students with the facilities they need in order to feel as comfortable as possible, like the backyard of a home. Widener – our home away from home – is the place where students feel as though they belong. We hope to enhance that feeling, and help all students find that comfort in the campus atmosphere.

      Since the fall of 2015, we have met with multiple administrators and student groups to enact our beautification vision by 2021. This past summer, we were granted a budget by the university, allowing us to turn our vision into a reality. With this funding, we looked at the university as if we were prospective students, comparing college campuses and thought, "What else could we add to make this college campus more home-like than it is already?" The Student Government Association also helped gather additional feedback regarding this project in order to implement ideas we never even thought about.

      For our first step, we decided to start small with blue Adirondack chairs. In a recent survey we conducted, a large percentage of students showed positive and favorable feedback toward these chairs and other future projects.

      We are expecting more picnic tables this fall, a special winter surprise, and some more hammocking spaces and gardens this spring. Many of these ideas were offered and supported by students around campus, and we hope to enhance the student-friendly atmosphere that Widener already has.

      This could not have been done without the support of the Student Government Association, Widener University administration including President Dr. Julie E. Wollman, Chief of Staff Katie Herschede, Director of Operations Carl Pierce and the maintenance team, Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement Gretchen Mielke, and Assistant Dean for Student Life Austin Duckett.

      Any comments, questions, and/or beautification requests can be directed to Theresa Tran at tntran@widener.edu or Arvind Bussetty at asbussetty@widener.edu.


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