How Seton Hill is Meeting the Ever Changing Needs of Its Community

Pictured above is the recent update to Westmoreland County Community College who have also updated their commuter lounge. Photo from L.Pogue/Setonian.

“You need a group of people who want it to happen, not just one or two because if there’s only one or two people who want a change; then there’s not enough to make it happen,” said Roger Hayden III, who is one of the commuter senate representatives for Seton Hill. 

“The last time the lounge was updated was about four to five years ago when new furniture was purchased,” said Rosalie Carpenter, the vice president for student affairs.  

Commuter students have been meeting with some of Seton Hill’s staff to talk about what changes commuter’s would like to see in the work space. 

“When students come and advocate and talk about ideas that they have, we love to work with them and support them to create a space that they can use as effectively and efficiently,” Carpenter said. 

Some updates that are being made in the lounge include air conditioning, as well as new flooring and furniture.

Some other updates would be, “adding some new whiteboards and spaces where you can have a group meeting and write on the whiteboards,” said Adriel Hilton, who is the dean of students and a diversity officer. “We have vendors coming in to assess those items to see what costs would be.”

“So, what we need to do is just determine the costs and then we figure out the money. Kind of from that way we can figure out how much, where the resources that we can allocate to this are and then determine from there. So, I would say by next fall we should have as much completed as possible, it may be a phased approach spring, summer, into the fall,” Carpenter said. 

Hayden along with other Seton Hill students met with SHU’s staff members before the fall semester began and started the discussion about the possibility of changes being made to the lounge.

“I’ve been talking about it since I got here, like for three years. What really sparked it was this summer I was an orientation leader and we were sitting at a meeting talking about things being done on campus,” Hayden said. 

“The best way for change to happen is for students to come and talk to us so we know what they need and what kind of issues they have,” Carpenter said. “It’s so great to then partner with them and say yeah this is because you guys came to us.”

Seton Hill plans on making changes to the commuter lounge as they have recently made other updates and renovations around SHU’s campus. 

“So, it’s all of these little spaces. How do we continue to improve and upgrade? I’m not sure I’d put them on the same par as the new resident’s hall. I think that is a whole new facility, a huge undertaking, but while we do that, when we build new, we also need to up keep the older to keep current with those things,” Carpenter said. 

Commuters are not the only members of the SHU student body that use the work space. Syndey Miller, who is a sophomore residential student, also uses the commuter lounge during the semester. 

“I study in the commuter’s lounge because it’s closer to my dorm, and that way I don’t have to go outside. I also do my tutoring sessions here because it isn’t as crowded as the library,” said Miller. “I would appreciate the changes. It’s either too cold in the room, so I have to bring a coat with me or sit near a window because it’s too warm.” 

Published by Caitlin Srager

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