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The Blue & Gray Press | October 17, 2017

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University Center creates a sense of unity on campus

University Center creates a sense of unity on campus

By MONA OSMER

It is absurd to think that it has already been two weeks since I arrived in Fredericksburg for my junior year at the University of Mary Washington. I remember the first thing I did when I turned onto College Ave. in my 2006 silver Volvo. I parked right in front of Seacobeck St. and took a walk down College Ave.

I was thoroughly thrown back by the new University Center. All I could think of was how it looked just a few months ago when I was waking up in Custis Hall and seeing mounds of dirt and piles of bricks. Now, as I looked the building over top to bottom, I was excited. Mary Washington felt complete. Gone is the fence that divided Ball Circle and College Ave., and gone is the noise of construction in one of the busiest areas of campus.

There was a lack of energy on campus last year that, as I walked around the new building, I felt recharged. Having space on campus such as the Student Center and the ITCC now allows students of UMW to collaborate and connect on a social level as well as an academic level, which is essential as UMW welcomed 1,001 freshman to campus this year, one of the largest freshman classes to date.

For me, one of the biggest issues I had as a freshman two years ago was that campus felt dead. It never seemed like anything was happening and there was nowhere to go. Now, I can pack my backpack with my notebooks and go to either the ITTC or the University Center, do homework and grab a cup of coffee. I have met so many more people on campus this way and it feels good to enjoy campus in a way that I previously had not.

Unification and acceptance are key in any professional environment, and I now feel that UMW has created that.

For example, just the other day I was in line at the dining hall and I started talking to a group of freshman students. I asked them how they were liking the school and not one person out of the five standing before me had a negative thing to say. In fact, they were smiling and talking about all the friends they have met.

Having a conversation like that with new students and watching this campus grow before my eyes has shown me that I should appreciate this school a lot more than I do. I intend to keep that close to me as I finish this year and embark on my senior year.