Written by Bradley Bommarito
Though the end of the spring semester means nearly four months off for most students, many of RC’s dedicated faculty and staff stick around long after students travel home. College employees have worked hard over summer break to improve the RC experience for all.
The Buildings and Grounds Department has been laboring tirelessly to physically improve and beautify the campus. In addition to performing their routine maintenance and landscaping, Buildings and Grounds is also responsible for tackling long-term updates to facilities. Two walkway bridges were replaced over the summer, the A/C units in several buildings were updated or replaced, and numerous fire alarm systems were replaced. Multiple porches and patios were repaired or newly constructed, boilers have been replaced, and Crawford is now home to new basement showers.
Students may have noticed an ongoing sidewalk construction along Market Street, adjacent to the faculty/staff parking lot next to Bast. Another ongoing project is the renovation of the Monterey House and Quarters. This historic building, located on a hill somewhat behind West Hall, is primarily used to host guests of the college. The President’s Guest House is currently under renovation as well, and the main campus sewer line is being worked on.
Both new and returning Maroons should be aware of exciting changes that have been made within Dining Services. Previously contracted to CUPS and the Little Green Hive, Dining Services has taken over operation of the coffee shop in Fintel Library. Though Rooney’s Brews does not currently accept meal plan exchanges, customers may use Dining Dollars, Maroon Money, cash, and credit/debit cards. New video menu boards have been installed in Commons, Cavern, and Rooney’s Brews. Dining Services plans to expand the use of these to include better promotions of specials or upcoming events, daily features, and cross promotion of events. They would also like to look into having video station signage at the various stations in the Commons.
For those of you who really wanted a milkshake in Cavern last year but had no money to spend on one, fear not! Milkshakes are now listed as a meal exchange item, and you can get one today for one swipe (two sides included). If this doesn’t interest you, perhaps you’ll be elated to hear that Dining Services is working to finalize a “Take Out” program for the Commons and Cavern that will utilize reusable containers. This program would start on a trial basis this fall before becoming a permanent option if successful; more information is forthcoming.
RC is working to bring in a dietician to support Dining Services and help with programming, nutrition, and allergen options, along with other program needs. Due to an expansion of vendors, locally grown hydroponic lettuce is now available all week long in the Commons. After over 18 years of service, the old dish machine was removed over the summer and replaced by a new highly efficient, water reducing, energy saving machine. This modern machine, manufactured in Germany, will provide water savings of about 65 percent, energy savings of close to 50 percent, and reduction in chemical cost by over 30 percent.
For the men and women who protect and serve our campus, work never stops. Campus Safety has decommissioned their iconic red Dodge Durango and replaced it with a Ford Explorer that was obtained through a law enforcement vendor. Some restructuring and promotion have occurred as well. April McCadden was promoted to a sergeant and will be overseeing a new neighborhood outreach initiative. Kevin Assenat was also promoted to a sergeant, and he will be working to improve internal efficacy. Campus Safety has reopened hiring for its Salem Ambassadors program, a town-gown relations initiative that aims to bridge the gap between RC students and residents of Salem.
RC is constantly growing and expanding, and with this growth comes tremendous responsibility. Our faculty and staff are committed to providing a quality college experience. Next time you’re in line at Commons or you see a grounds worker weed whacking or you see a Campus Safety officer on patrol, consider taking the time to thank one of the many people who make this experience possible.