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Space reallocation system aims to get students involved in changes to campus

Editor’s note: To see the floor plans for spaces available for reallocation, click here

Belmont senior administration recently introduced a system for students to submit suggestions for the reallocation of space on campus, including the Hitch Science Building, the third floor of Fidelity Hall and portions of the Gabhart Center.

In an email to the student body, Belmont President Bob Fisher explained that space reallocation proposals will be accepted until Nov. 20, after which time submissions will be posted on My Belmont for review by the community as a whole.

Administration will then consider all proposals, with final decisions made by February 2016.

“One of the strategies with Vision 2020 is to ‘pursue transparency, open conversations and positive relationships as tools for creating a renewed sense of mutual respect and collaboration.’ Hosting the submission system on MyBelmont will help reach as many student and faculty groups as possible and allow for transparency in the process,” said Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Paula Gill, who helped develop the submission process.

An empty hallway in the Hitch Science Building

The space reallocation proposal form was designed to be a simple, one page document to gather ideas in a consistent manner. Gill hopes that waiting until after the submission period has closed to post suggestions will encourage more creative proposals for the space.

“Often times, when you start posting ideas from the beginning, people can get stifled by reading others’ proposals and may decide not to submit their own ideas, especially if they think another proposal is similar or a competing idea seems more important,’” Gill said. “I want people to think creatively, to be imaginative, and not to feel like their idea doesn’t measure up to what’s been proposed so far.”

Provost Thomas Burns is pleased with the “significant number” of proposals that has been submitted so far and that the process of deciding which proposals will be acted on will take into consideration the number of students affected by the proposal, the locations of the spaces involved and the university’s overall mission.

Hitch has not been used since its closure in 2014.

“I imagine it will mostly be a conversation with senior leadership to put all of the information together and then begin to examine what we see both as high priorities based on demand and high priorities based on what it is we’re trying to do for the university. There are going to be a lot of competing priorities,” he said.

Students can submit suggestions for the space until Nov. 20 using this form and can attend an SGA-sponsored Town Hall meeting Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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