BHC Scholars,

What has the Burnett Honors College been up to during this time?

Well, I’m so glad you asked. Through various means (having conversations with you before campus closed, reading your responses to our surveys, and listening to you during our many Chatting Over Chai Zoom sessions) we were able to get a good sense of what you wanted: a more versatile and comfortable space to be in. With the BHC building currently closed, we have used this time to respond to your request and refresh our space accordingly. I’m so excited to tell you about the changes!

First up, the computer lab has been redesigned with a focus on collaboration. We have added tables that more easily allow for group work, updated our computers with the software you requested to support your academic needs, included wireless printing, and added laptops that are available for check out so you can work anywhere in the building. The lab has become a more open space and is currently getting a face lift – say goodbye to the old wallpaper, and hello to a fresh coat of paint!

You also asked for a designated space to collaborate and meet in groups. BHC 131 (the classroom at the end of the long hallway in the building) will soon become exactly that space. Classes will no longer meet in that room, but it will be used often and serve several purposes. We are adding rectangular tables and chairs so you can study together and work on group projects. Though I enjoy seeing you on the couches in the lobby while you work on your assignments and projects, something tells me tables and chairs would make you happier. Don’t worry – I will be stopping by this new space to check on you and find out what you are up to from time to time.

Additionally, though we know you love sleeping on the benches in the hallway, it is time to upgrade the furniture there to provide more ample seating. (You can still take the occasional cat nap before class – you deserve it.) The entire hallway will have sofas, tables to separate them, and lots of outlets to charge your devices. We hope you can enjoy this additional seating while you are waiting for class to start, or simply appreciating our beautiful garden in the comfort of air conditioning.

Speaking of the garden, we upgraded the outdoor sofas with new seating cushions as well as a supersized umbrella, which offers a shaded space to meet and enjoy the fresh air. The koi pond continues to be a beloved place of tranquility; the fish are doing well, but they do miss you and are awaiting your return.

Finally, I wanted to let you know about our new event tents! Once the weather improves, and as policy permits, our new event tents will provide a place where we can be outside together with shelter from sun and rain. One of the first events we’d like to utilize these tents for is our Dean’s Welcome Frito Pie Friday outside the Reading Room. Can’t you taste the food already?

We hope to have a building tour video highlighting these updates and others soon, and we’re so excited to show you what we’ve done. When you return, you will find that your beloved BHC building has been refreshed into a more inviting space where you can comfortably build community with each other. See you soon!

Sheila

BHC computer lab (rendering)

BHC hallway (rendering)

BHC 131 (rendering)

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