Posted February 25, 2020
With the new renovations in Rodli Hall being completed over winter break, students, administrators, faculty and staff at UW-River Falls have already found convenience and abundance of space within the building in the first few weeks of the spring 2020 semester.
As the renovations and services in newly furnished Rodli Hall are geared toward students, members of the campus staff and administration are already finding a lot of use out of the building.
“I have been in there almost every day for the last couple of weeks,” said Provost David Travis. “I don’t live too far away from there as well, which is convenient on my walk into campus and my walk home. I often try to go in there and buy a cup of coffee and visit with people, or I schedule a lot of meetings over there.”
“I have already noticed the ease of students finding other services on campus,” said Mark Huttemier of Counseling Services. “I feel like what they said (the administration) this place was supposed to do in actually is happening. And also interacting with the other staff. Sometimes we don’t see them very often, now we can see them often so that’s easier with different departments than our own.”
The building that formerly housed the campus dining hall is now home to more than 14 student services on campus that include Financial Aid, the Writing Center, Health and Counseling Services, and the Office of International Education.
“There’s a couple advantages,” said Travis about all student services being under one roof. “One is that it reduces confusion so that students don’t have to figure out where services are, as it used to be nine different buildings vs. one. There is also the convenience aspect because if you have multiple things you need help with, you can ideally take care of them in one trip instead of running all over campus. I think there is a synergy to the whole idea where students are coming together in a building where we are there to help them.”
“I think it shows that the campus does have a focus on helping students who might otherwise struggle to focus on the things that they need to do for themselves so that they are successful academically,” said Huttemier. “I feel that the whole premise behind the building is able to play out here.”
Although Rodli has only been open to students for several weeks, there are already conversations within the campus administration on what could be added into Rodli in the future.
“We already have some ideas emerging that would create new programing for freshmen,” said Travis. “For instance, we may have more learning communities, which are really focused on living and learning arrangements of students that have a common interest on a topic. Learning communities are very popular across the country. They have shown to be very successful in helping freshmen be successful, and some of that is already coming together a bit with this arrangement in Rodli.”