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The Blue & Gray Press | May 22, 2018

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New Semester Brings Changes

New Semester Brings Changes


A number of changes to buildings on campus greeted students and faculty returning to the University of Mary Washington this semester.

These changes include the opening of the Anderson Center, the reopening of Monroe Hall and alterations to the dining centers in Woodard Campus Center. The décor of the Underground has also been modified to match its new dining option, Naturally Woodstock.

After two years of renovation, Monroe Hall was completed over the summer and is again functioning as an academic building. It houses the school’s departments of anthropology, economics, geography, history and American studies and political science and international affairs.

The Anderson Center opened for use this past August after being under construction since 2009. The Anderson Center is a multi-use facility created to host concerts, sports games and other special events, according to the university website.

The dining facilities in the Woodard Campus Center were also renovated. In addition to changing some of the décor on the ground floor, previous food providers in the Nest have been replaced by new ones, such as WOW Café and Wingery, and Vocelli Pizza.

Also, some of the dining options previously in the Nest, such as the café and sandwich station, have been moved to the Washroom. This allows for more seating in the Nest but less space in the Washroom for lounging areas and games.

The school is very proud of the recent changes, according to Rick Pearce, vice president for administration and finance and chief financial officer.

Changes were made to fit in with President Rick Hurley’s push to have UMW recognized as the best public liberal arts school in the country, according to Pearce.

David Domanski, a junior and political science major with five classes in Monroe, said he was especially happy with the changes in that building.

Sophomore Leanna Papp added that the classrooms and swivel desks in Monroe make discussion much easier in seminar classes.

Papp and Domanski both had problems with the new dining facilities in the Woodard Campus Center, though.

“The Washroom is less accessible and efficient,” Papp said.

Other changes include bringing Jazzman’s Café to the library, redoing the diner in Seacobeck, small renovations on some of the campus houses and work on aspects of the University Apartments, including the railings, sidewalks and curbs, in order to enhance safety and keep up general maintenance.

The school also converted one of the Battlefield playing fields into a turf field and one of the practice fields is getting turf and lighting to allow late night use by intramural teams.

Future changes to campus include the construction of a new campus center, slotted to take the place of Chandler Hall.


  1. Why, oh why, does it now cost me a meal AND flex to buy good food from the new nest? If you’re going to add meal options while also raising the price, then you should raise the amount of flex students get as well.

    Also, I understand the need for more seating, but those couches and chairs were what made the washroom. I could care less about the game tables, but where the hell did those couches go? And the electronics station, with xbox, DDR, and all of those? While there may have been some improvements, but we’ve also had to give up some other things.

    PS – I don’t like faux wood – It makes me feel like I’m back in a high-school cafeteria.

  2. Matt M

    I have to agree with Fleur de Lulz, they took out most of the things that made the washroom enjoyable and and gave it a lived-in feeling. It definately seems like a hospital or high-school cafeteria now.

    The cost issue isn’t just for people with meal plans — it really hits commuter students who only eat 2-3 meals per week on campus. Last Spring they randomly decided that everyone without meal plans should pay a lot more. For the 2 slices of pizza and drink I used to get at $4 it now costs almost $8. A meal plan with 5-7 meals per week just isn’t worth the cost when you won’t even use half of it, and buying with cash isn’t reasonable with the prices going up and so many off-campus options that cost less, even counting time and gas to go as far as Central Park.

    And then on top of all that, the first day of class there was a problem with the cash registers so they couldn’t take cash…which left a number of people roaming the lounges looking for people with meal plans to change cash into food.

    As for the electronics station, you can always do what I’ve done occationally to watch DVDs — bring a laptop or game system and the right cables to plug it into the TV.

  3. And now, with the layout, there is a lack of space for when you order items, and when you’re paying for said items. I give up on eating on campus for the day.