August 24, 1996 · Cavalier Daily

Women's Center to Add Presence in First-Year Housing

Cauthen House, a new Alderman Road dormitory, offers multiple amenities, including a satellite center of the University's Women's Center.


1996-08-24 Cavalier Daily Women's Center to Add Presence in First-Year Housing (part 1).pdf
1996-08-24 Cavalier Daily Women's Center to Add Presence in First-Year Housing (part 2).pdf
Cavalier Daily
Women's Center to Add Presence in First-Year Housing
Cavalier Daily News Editor
Cauthen House, the new first-year Alderman Road dormitory, is promising to provide more than a place to study and sleep. University officials are touting the facility as an innovative resource for a wide variety of student needs.
The 38,000 sq. ft. air-conditioned dormitory houses not only 120 first-year residents, but also a computer lab, lecture hall, seminar classroom and a room which could contain a satellite center for the Women's Center, Counseling Center and Institute for Substance Abuse Studies.
Martha Wynne Stuart, assistant to the associate provost, said the 4000 sq. ft. ground-floor public space area, where these services will reside, will add an important aspect to a resident's living experience in Cauthen House.
"It's been designed more as an inclusive life idea, separating less where you live and where you have class," Stuart said. "It's a wonderfully designed building from my point of view."
Spanish, English and University seminars currently are scheduled to be taught in Cauthen House classrooms, and officials are working out how best to implement the satellite center, located in a spare classroom area on the ground floor.
"At this point, we're just getting together to talk about the space," Women's Center Director Sharon Davie said.
But Davie said having a satellite center located within a first-year dormitory is an exciting prospect to bring information and other services directly into a first-year housing area.
“This is a great opportunity that we have which could benefit first-year students,” she said.
Dean of Students Robert T. Canevari agreed.
“These agencies work hard at providing information, programs and services to first-years,” Canevari said.
The addition of a satellite support center “will make [their work] a little easier,” he said.
Angela M. Davis, interim associate dean of students, said the Residence Life program also supports the idea of adding counseling resources in a dormitory environment.
Housing Director Mark S. Doherty said the new features of Cauthen House represent a shift in the University’s thinking about the purpose of student dormitories.
“When we plan residence halls, we ought to look at…not only building accomodations [sic] and common space, but to look at what other community needs could be served in the building,” Doherty said. “The kind of facilities that we build need to be responsive to students’ needs.”
Stuart, who is also a French professor at the University, said the 40-person ground-floor classroom space should seem particularly attractive to faculty teaching there.
The two classrooms will be located in Cauthen 112 and Cauthen 134.
“The registrar’s office is still placing classes on demand,” she said. “They are being used more than was expected.”
They “have movable chairs, they have air conditioning, they have wonderful roomy windows and good lighting,” she added.
The ground floor is open to the University community and includes both the classrooms, a graduate advisor suite and a computer center, all of which officials hope will promote social interaction with members of the community at large.
The computer center includes 22 workstations with full access to phone and cable connections. Washer and dryer facilities, along with an adjacent common room, also occupy the floor.
On each of the second, third and fourth floors, the dormitory houses a limited-access lounge area as well as two study rooms for students. The three upper floors are accessible only to its residents through a system of crypto-cards.
Stuart said the area surrounding Cauthen House behind the Alderman Road dormitories is a safe and comfortable setting.
“for those instructors that like to go outside [to teach class], I think there might be space to do that,” she said.
She added the location of the classrooms within the dorm is a positive safety precaution as well, because first-year students attending evening classes or meetings will not have to walk as far.
The dormitory was named in memory of former College Dean Irby B. Cauthen, Jr., who taught English at the University. The Roanoke-based Branch and Associates completed construction in July. The building received a certificate of acceptance Aug. 6.
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Date Added June 11, 2016
Date Modifed December 24, 2017
Collection Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination

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