New committee formed to see if observatory can be reopened
THE SANTA CLARA
November 10, 2016
Last week’s Associated Student Government meeting began with an optimistic presentation about the administration’s vision for the future of Santa Clara. In his speech to the student leaders, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dennis Jacobs highlighted parts of the university’s Facilities Master Plan.
According to Jacobs, the plan is “designed to foster strategic partnerships within and across academic clusters.” The recent completion of the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building exemplifies this strategy as it “joins existing facilities for music, theatre and dance to complete an arts district on the northwest corner of the campus.”
Going forward, Santa Clara is looking to create more unity between the School of Law and the rest of campus. The Charney Hall of Law is currently under construction on the northeastern corner of campus and according to Jacobs, it will “bring together most of the law school’s clinics, institutes and programs under one roof for the first time in more than 40 years.”
The university is also planning to construct a STEM facility in the middle of campus. The building will house the School of Engineering, the natural sciences and mathematics departments and the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Jacobs said that the facility will provide “adaptable cutting-edge laboratories, shared instrumentation facilities and state-of-the-art classrooms.”
After Jacobs’ talk, multiple clubs made pitches to the Senate, hoping to get funding for events, retreats and conference trips.
Following this portion of the meeting, sophomore senator Alex Perlman presented the Ricard Observatory ad hoc committee.
The observatory, located next to Varsi Hall in the Mission Gardens, closed down back in the 1990s due to misuse of the facility.
“There’s been instances when students misused it and something broke, so they shut it down,” Perlman said.
But ever since it closed, there has been a strong push to reopen it. Perlman said the purpose of the ad hoc committee is solely “to see if it’s even possible to reopen it,” as the project could be very expensive.
If reopening the building is possible, Perlman would like to see the observatory used as a resource for scientific research.
“Ideally, in my eyes, that is what I would like to see eventually,” he said.
The ASG Senate will meet again next Thursday at 7 p.m.
Contact MarkAnthony Vogel at email@example.com.