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Attention: Prospective Art and Design Syracuse Students

taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
I found the following thread in the Arts Forum about some art majors being moved 5 minutes OFF campus. You may want to call Syracuse and confirm whether the information contained herein is true. If it is, you may want to reconsider attending Syracuse.

Here is the thread:

#121
jerzgrlmom
Junior Member


Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 39 Was just at Syracuse for an Open House for Accepted Students. Seems the new Chancellor has bought property downtown and SU is "really excited by this acquisition" since they want to promote the arts more. What that really means (a tour guide let it slip) is that the Communications Design, Advertising Design and Architecture Depts are moving downtown (10 minutes away from campus - approx 3-5 miles away). When we asked at the Design admissions dept about this news, we were given the "we don't know for sure what the Chancellor is planning." My daughter wanted more info. Says it will affect her decision. So she pressed the issue. We were then told it's true about the move. Apparently Architecture will be moving back on campus eventually but no one knows what will happen to CD and AD. As it is, the art building is quite a distance away and now this. My daughter was very disappointed to say the least. She had been having a great time and was excited about the program. She's been offered a nice merit scholarship to SU, but the prospect of taking a bus (SU uses town buses for transportation) back and forth every day (and night) is a bit upsetting. I also found it disappointing that CD and AD students weren't told this news. We just happened to hear about it. Another CD student walking around with us said she had come all the way from CA and wouldn't have made the trip if she had known this
Post edited by taxguy on
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Replies to: Attention: Prospective Art and Design Syracuse Students

  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,884 Senior Member
    This is a really important problem. Art/design students need to spend a lot of time in studios, and this often means late at night. The proximity of the studios to their own housing/meals,and to their other classes, and the ease of transportation, are very important. Even at RISD, where most of the studios and classes are within fairly easy walking distance, they've worked out a special tranportation system for the sake of security after hours.
  • jerzgrlmomjerzgrlmom Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    Since we had a hard time even getting this much info, I'd love it if someone else inquired to see what info is being given out. I believe the Chancellor was giving her 1st yr address that night, outlining her vision for the future. I was hoping something would be posted on the SU website but I couldn't find anything. As far as we were told, this will affect Architecture, Advertising Design and Communication design students. The regular foundation course studio classes will continue in the ComArt building. Our guide told us the studio closes at 10pm (usually when my DD is beginning her artwork) but another guide said there are ways around that.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Jerzgrimom, Enclosed is a letter that I sent to admissions. I am awaiting a reply.

    I just read on one of the college forums that some art and design programs are being moved off the main campus about 5-10 minute bus ride away.

    I have to say that, as a parent of a prospective design student, I am EXTREMELY concerned. (Have I voiced enough of a concern?)

    What concerns me is that the city of Syracuse proper is not that safe, not to mention that all travel within the city would be hazardous in winter due to inclement weather.

    Moreover, art and design students, more than other students in the university, tend to work long hours in studios. I certainly don't want my daughter in a studio till 2AM and have to travel back to campus unescourted.

    In addition, one reason for picking Syracuse over a "stand alone art school" is that the art program is situated on a campus with other non-artsy types. This "relocation" would greatly reduce that advantage.

    Finally, gettting from an art class to a liberal arts class in a timely fashion can be a real problem if the art classes are located 5-10 minutes away by bus even assuming the bus will leave for the main campus immediately upon by daughter being ready to leave. Syracuse would have to have a lot of buses coming and going every 10 mintes till at least 2 AM for this to work. This also doesn't take into consideration the increased time of travel due to inclement weather conditions. At least on the main campus,students merely need to walk to class.

    In short, I am very, very concerned over this development. Unless you can clearly show me that my worries are completely unfounded, my daughter will be one of many that will not attend Syracuse! Moreover, from what I have read on some forums, there will be a lot of other concerned parents as well. Someone may have made a really "brain dead" decision, unless this is a very short term arrangement due to building renovation.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    As an update, someone spoke with an admissions rep in the Art and Design admissions group.Here is what they were told:

    1. They had no idea that parents would react like this. Imagine, they had no idea! They felt that puting students in new and better facilites would be welcomed.

    2. They also had no idea that this was discovered so quickly. They don't have response as of yet.

    3. They did, at least, consider safety. They felt that having busses back and fourth would eliminate the safety issue.

    If I find out more, I will post this information on this site and on the Syracuse forum.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,884 Senior Member
    Taxguy, FYI here's how Brown and RISD handle this. They have regular shuttle buses til 3 AM as well as rides on call. I think the issue of operating hours, as well as where the buses will run to/from are both very important.
    http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Finance_and_Admin/saferide/

    Also here for map and more information:

    http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Finance_and_Admin/saferide/Fall%202004-05/safeRIDESystemMapFall04.pdf
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Yes, but it is graduate programs that are located off campus. To me, this is a very important difference.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,884 Senior Member
    Were you referring to RISD graduate courses? The bus system and on-call transport system at RISD applies to all students, whether they are living on or off campus and whether the building is on or off the central campus. If they are a RISD student, they can use the rides.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Mackinaw, I wasn't clear. Yes, all students can use the bus system. However, RISD graduate programs are the ones that are off campus, to my knowledge and not their undergraduate programs. At least with graduate students, they are older and hopefully wiser than young undergrads.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,884 Senior Member
    OK, but let me add, in the interest of true-life experience here, that RISD and Brown students even in and around campus have to be concerned about their safety, especially at the beginning of the school year when some of the townies like to take advantage of students who aren't yet street smart.

    My daughter was mugged her sophomore year, right on the edge of Brown campus and RISD campus (on Prospect Street). It happens. So students do learn to use the On-Call services and other services, especially when they're working late.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Enclosed is Syracuse's response to my letter. What may alarm some of you is that this relocation may apply to a number of majors in the School of Visual Art and not just to Communication Design and Advertising Design. I think his letter is self-explanatory, but I have another letter that I sent him asking for some more details:
    __________________________________________________ ____

    My colleague Jeff Charboneau passed your message on to me. I'd like to try to address your concerns and respectfully disagree with your contention that "no one is happy."

    It is true that the School of Architecture, the Communications Design and Advertising Design programs in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), and the Goldring Arts Journalism Program (a graduate program) will all be located in downtown Syracuse beginning with the Spring 2006 semester.

    The University's Admissions Office, Parents Office and students, faculty and staff in Architecture and VPA are all apprised of the move. The site is a large warehouse facility that the University has purchased and to which has committed several million dollars for renovation.

    The move is a necessity--in order to carry out the renovation of Slocum Hall, the current home to the School of Architecture and the two VPA programs--that we are turning into an educational opportunity for the students. The Warehouse is located at the edge of the Armory Square District, a thriving portion of the city that features old buildings that have been renovated and are now filled with restaurants, specialty shops and artisans. The Warehouse provides students with an opportunity to be immersed in a prosperous downtown environment that can serve as a living laboratory for the study of urban design.

    I won't deny that the students (and some of the faculty and staff) had some initial concerns, but as they have learned more they are embracing the opportunity. In all, more than 500 students, faculty and staff will be located at The Warehouse.

    The initial concerns focused primarily on transportation, food and safety.

    Transportation--A free campus bus shuttle service will run 24 hours per day, seven days a week during the times classes are in session. Point-to-point (express) service will be offered from College Place (on main campus) to The Warehouse and back.

    Food--Food services will be offered via a cafe in the building, which will honor student meal plans and the SUpercard. The cafe will be open likely for 12 hours a day, dependent on class schedules. Vending machines will also be available during all hours. Wireless Internet access will be accessible in the cafe seating area, and hard-wired computer access will be available elsewhere in the building.

    Safety--SU's Department of Public Safety will staff and monitor the building on a 24-hour basis, similar to their coverage of SU's other academic buildings. During peak hours, two DPS officers will patrol and secure the premises. Cameras will be installed to monitor activity in specific locations.

    In addition, a small retail shop will be located in The Warehouse to cater to the academic supply needs of the VPA and Architecture students.

    The renovation of Slocum Hall is expected to be completed for the start of the Fall 2008 semester, at which time the School of Architecture will move back to the main campus. At that time, additional VPA programs are anticipated to move to The Warehouse, along with some other SU departments and community arts organizations.

    It should also be noted that The Warehouse is also serving as a high-profile anchor for Syracuse's Connective Corridor project (http://sunews.syr.edu/fullstory.asp?id=3150515), which has drawn a lot of attention in our local community.

    We are in the process of creating some Web materials describing the University's space initiatives, including The Warehouse, the planned edition to the Newhouse School and the $107 million Life Sciences Complex. This site will offer a great deal of information, including drawings and schedules.

    In the meantime, if you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

    Best regards,
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Here is another letter by Kevin that addresses some of my concerns based on an additional letter that you will find at the end. At least kids will be shuttled to the campus. The bus stops will be covered in campus. At the Syracsue stop they can at least wait in the building for the bus, which is a big relief as to safety and cold. Personally, however, I hate the idea of having them bused 10 minutes away, plus having to wait for the bus each way. This denigrates the whole campus concept.
    _______________________________________________________
    Sandy,

    I will confirm the frequency of the bus runs Tuesday a.m. and will get
    back to you. Regarding your other questions, I have answers now.

    First, I am a parent with a 21-year-old, and I understand and respect
    your concern. A good parent is concerned. That said, I hope you take my
    response seriously. I am not speaking disingenuously when I say that I
    believe we have the bases covered.

    The main bus stop on campus is roofed and is located on College Place,
    just outside of Slocum Hall, the current home to the School of
    Architecture and the Communications Design and Advertising Design
    programs. The College Place bus stop is also adjacent to the
    headquarters of SU's Department of Public Safety in Sims Hall. The
    Department of Public Safety maintains foot and vehicular patrols of
    campus around the clock, 365 days. Students catching the shuttle buses
    at The Warehouse end will be able to wait inside the building. The buses
    used are the same buses we use in the intra-campus shuttle system. They
    are owned and operated by Centro, the local transit bus company. The
    Warehouse-College Place buses are provisioned exclusively to the
    University and are intended only for the students of the School of
    Architecture and the Communications Design and Advertising Design
    programs.

    It is not expected that the travel time will interfere with students'
    schedules either at The Warehouse or on main campus. If you have
    specific questions about scheduling, it'd be best for you to address
    your questions directly to the VPA or Architecture dean's office. I can
    provide name and contact information for either school if you want to
    specify which you'd like.

    I don't doubt that some parents are concerned about the move from main
    campus to downtown. This is why we are trying to share as much
    information as possible with both students and parents. You made the
    comment: "I am sure that many in the administration are thrilled." Yes,
    we are, because we believe this will be a great educational opportunity
    for the students. Relocation is necessary for the Slocum Hall renovation
    to occur. There were other--and less expensive--locations scouted for
    the relocation, but the deans were especially taken with The Warehouse,
    its position in the Armory Square neighborhood, and the possibilities it
    holds.

    You also commented that it's too bad we didn't do this with grad
    students. Frakly, we don't really have a choice in this instance. Almost
    all of the Architecture and VPA students currently taking classes in
    Slocum are undergraduates.

    Kevin

    Kevin Morrow
    University Spokesman
    Executive Director, News Services
    Syracuse University
    (315) 443-3784
    ________________________
    This is my second letter to Kevin:
    >>>
    Dear Kevin, thank you for your nice email. I did have some questions;

    1. How often will these buses run? Kids, and these are kids, will be
    waiting at the bus stop in the freezing cold. I am wondering how long
    they would have to wait at each stop each way?

    2. I am not really concerned about the security in the Armory building.
    I am concerned about the security while waiting on the bus stops and
    possibly on the bus. What security will be available at these bus stops?
    We don't want our kids mugged at the bus stops while they are waiting.

    3. If kids have to do this once or even twice a day, how will they be
    able to take course in the main campus if it might take 10 minutes plus
    bus waiting time.

    4. Will the busses pick up right near the dorms or at least on campus?
    If so, will anyone be there to watch our kids as they walk to their
    dorms as late as 2 AM, which art and architecture kids may have to do?

    I don't know if you are a parent,but I am sure that you can see the
    problems that we parents are concerned about.

    Also, I never meant to say that "No one is happy." What I meant to say
    was that "no one (meaning parents of kids) who have posted on the
    college forums about this issue is happy about this situation. I am sure
    that many in the administration are thrilled. I think that you will
    find, once this situation becomes more well-known, that you will find a
    lot of other parents just as anxious about this situation as I am . It
    is too bad that you just didn't do this with grad students. They are
    older and should be able to handle this better
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Here is a recent letter elaborating on bus schedules:
    Sandy:

    I spoke with my colleague Mike Riley, director of SU's Office of Parking and Transit Services, who is the architect of the bus plan, working with assistant deans in both VPA and Architecture.

    It is a rather extensive plan, so please bear with me.

    The plan follows the premise that architecture students and most VPA design students are studio-oriented. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all 450+ architecture students will be collectively in studio classes at The Warehouse from 1:30 to 6 p.m.

    Bus schedule:

    Weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon, buses will depart College Place bound for The Warehouse (and conversely leave The Warehouse bound for campus) every 20 minutes.

    Since we know of the afternoon studio classes, weekdays from 12:30 to 1 p.m. six dedicated buses will be lined up at College Place to take students to The Warehouse.

    Weekdays from 6 to 6:30 p.m., after the studios let out, four dedicated buses will be lined up at The Warehouse to transport those students who want to return to campus. We know, based upon knowldege of architecture and design students' work habits, that some students will want to go and others will likely stay at The Warehouse later.

    Weekdays from 7 p.m. to midnight, buses will depart both College Place and The Warehouse every 20 minutes.

    At all other times--throughout weekends and during the 1 to 6 p.m. and the midnight to 9 a.m. weekday hours--buses will depart from College Place and from The Warehouse every 40 minutes.

    Every student who will be studying at The Warehouse will be informed of the bus schedule. In general, our students tend to be very savvy about bus schedules.

    This is the initial plan approved by both the School of Architecture and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. As it goes into operation in January 2006 it may be adjusted to reflect any changes noted in students' study and riding patterns.

    Kevin

    Kevin Morrow
    University Spokesman
    Executive Director, News Services
    Syracuse University
    (315) 443-3784

    My original letter to him:
    Kevin, thanks again for your response. I do feel better that kids can wait in the building for the bus. This avoids both the bitter cold and possible mugging. I will be waiting for your response on bus frequency. I will be coming to Syracuse to see how long it takes to drive to the Armory building from campus.

    Admittedly, I do feel a bit better IF there will be a lot of buses with little wait time. However, feeling better is still not great. I would have MUCH preferred for her to be on the main campus.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Here is the reason for this move. I will let you parents decide on its validity. It seems to me to be more of trying to benfit the city of Syracuse than the students. However, you decide.
    Sandy, in response to your first question, the University concluded the purchase process for The Warehouse earlier this month and has already begun work on the structure. It is our intention to have all of the renovation work completed in time to begin moving faculty and staff, office equipment, classroom equipment and computers, etc. to The Warehouse in December in preparation for the start of spring semester classes in January. The basic structure will remain intact, so it will have a nice feel, and additional windows and interior amenities will be added.

    Please note the potential for disruption to student learning because of construction is the principal reason why students, faculty and staff now working in Slocum Hall are being relocated while that building undergoes its renovation.

    Regarding your second question, I believe you'll find the answer in this excerpt I have pulled from an article in the Spring 2005 issue of Syracuse University Magazine, which has just come out:

    [School of Architecture Dean Mark] Robbins believes the downtown move is particularly appropriate for the architecture school, which will occupy the renovated West Fayette Street building for two to three years while Slocum Hall is renovated. “Architecture intersects with our daily life at literally every turn,” he says. “The earlier students can begin to learn about interacting with people who may be neighbors or clients, the better. Our obligation is to educate students as broadly as possible in a liberal arts tradition, in a history of ideas. When our students graduate and design buildings, those buildings will have more profound links to the city and the community—links that are based on an innovative, inventive understanding of the realities of culture and society.”



    The building, now referred to as “The Warehouse,” is a 1920s concrete structure adjoining the city’s Armory Square district, one of the most vital, pedestrian-oriented areas of downtown Syracuse. The renovation project is consistent with the mission of the School of Architecture’s Upstate Institute, a newly created design think tank that will focus on rejuvenating the upstate New York region. Nationally prominent architects will be invited to collaborate. When renovated, The Warehouse will include design studios, classrooms, and faculty and administrative offices. As the project evolves, a street-level bookstore and café overlooking Onondaga Creek and gallery space are envisioned. “The building provides the ideal flexible space required for studio and gallery space,” Robbins says. “The industrial loft space mirrors the professional environment that architecture and design students will one day work in. The setting provides a unique, creative laboratory for our students—the future architects of our cities and neighborhoods.” The new facility will also encourage interdisciplinary work with VPA design students, who will have studios in the building.

    Robbins acknowledges that several logistical considerations are inherent in this undertaking, but affirms that careful thought has been given to such issues as security, transportation, and making this a seamless transition for students. A shuttle-bus service from Main Campus will be in operation, class schedules will be adjusted to allow for travel time, and security will be provided for the building and parking lot. “There are definite challenges,” Robbins says. “But the benefits in terms of curricular enrichment are worth all the very real issues, which we will resolve. We have an exciting opportunity to make a real difference in the education of our students and their development as architects—and as citizens.”



    Long-range plans for The Warehouse include a permanent home for the Upstate Institute, as well as residences for visiting artists and architects. “What is most important to me about the downtown space is that the University’s presence in the Syracuse community is now tangible, not simply symbolic,” says VPA Dean Carole Brzozowski ’81. “We can use this opportunity to collaborate with other arts organizations—as we have done in the past—but with the advantage of a physical presence.” Brzozowski is working with CRC director Leo Crandall to identify community partners who will share space within the facility. “I view our presence downtown as a chance to further develop mutually beneficial relationships with local arts organizations,” Brzozowski says. “These groups often provide our students with critical practical learning experiences, and if we can offer additional space for meetings, exhibitions, and rehearsals, the arts community as a whole can only grow stronger.”

    The magazine's online version, with the complete article titled "Creative Connection," has not yet been posted but will be soon, found at http://sumagazine.syr.edu/

    Kevin

    Kevin Morrow
    University Spokesman
    Executive Director, News Services
    Syracuse University
    (315) 443-3784

    My letter to him:

    Kevin, in addition to the bus schedule that you will be sending me, my wife raised two other questions, if I may:

    1. Will the Armory building, which will currently be used for Architecture, and some Design disciplines, have a lot of constructiona and remodeling going on while the kids are taking classes there? If so, this could be hugely disruptive to the kids.

    2. You mention that there are tremendous educational benefits to this relocation. Frankly, all I see are negatives to the kids. However, maybe I don't know the whole story or am being too closeminded. Thus, what exactly are these tremendous benefits? Will the new building be getting all new computers and software and drafting tables? What are these benefits?
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,884 Senior Member
    Taxman, you did a great job eliciting this detailed information from SU. It seems to me that they've done a rather large amount of planning on this.

    They also deserve kudos for responding so completely and so quickly to your letters. (As a university-person myself, I am especially impressed by the speed of turnaround of those responses.)
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Yes, I will give credit to Syracuse where they deserve it. They really got back to me in a thorough and timely manner. In fact,I am indeed surprised at these responses. However, I do believe that they were using me as a test case to see how well their responses worked.

    Although I do feel a bit better about this situation, I am still not thrilled that my daughter would have to take a bus every day each way to all of her classes. Not only is this a giant hassle,but many things can happen that are outside of her control. For example, inclement weather can cause delays in the bus schedules. Accidents and break downs can occur. Thus, although I am not alarmed about this busing situation, I would suggest that my daughter go elsewhere as a result of it unless the new facilites are amazing. However, it will be up to her.

    Just as an aside, I will be check out Syracuse early May and driving from the main campus to the new building in downtown Syracuse. I want to see for myself how long the drive takes and what the area is like.
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