By Will Fuller ’22

Herald Staff

Exciting times are upon the International Affairs Center. The center, which creates a supportive place for international students, will soon be under renovation.

Ideas and plans for the new renovations have already began. “The process is following the timeline,” says Alejandra Molina, one of the directors of the International Affairs Center. This timeline started in the spring of last year when representatives from Ithaca College and Colgate University reviewed the IC programs, structure and space.

So far, a lot of this process has been heavily student-led, with student focus groups looking at what students want with these renovations. The IC has also informed its renovations focus by surveying alumni who have been affiliated with the center. The goal, the director has said, is to add more space for reception, meetings, and study space that can increase collaboration with the office and give students a chance to flourish. This is also a way to increase our cultural understandings of each other.

This year, architect Frank Delucca visited the IC to get a visual concept for the future of the center, to be created with the renovations that are set to start production soon. This fall he has been meeting with students to review sketches of the renovations and to chat about the center. The extent of construction and expansion hasn’t been determined, but planning is coming closer to completion and all that is left to do is present the program and raise funds.

Still, it’s a bit unclear how exactly funds will be raised because the IC isn’t in charge of gathering funds — that’s done by part of the school. Most students and employees at the IC didn’t have much to say about the renovations. It was hard to get an idea of what the final renovation of the center will be like, and even the date of the construction is mysterious because it depends on the fundraising. Also, the general information from meetings isn’t as well-known as believed because it was mostly a small group that has been working on the renovations and meeting with students.

However, the project seems like it’s under control even if the timing is unclear. The renovations should make the IC even better for students who’ve come from other nations or from many states away to get to Hobart and William Smith. The center means a lot to people, who especially appreciate the many events it hosts to raise cultural awareness and the academic help it offers. Unfortunately, there’s only one International Affairs Center, but with the renovations and management it’s on right path.

The project wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the students and Alexandra Molina. By about 2019, you can expect to see construction work on the center. But depending on how long it takes, some students won’t get to see the new place. In the meantime, there are still weekly events at the IC to go to!



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