Student groups affected by the potential restructuring of Walker Memorial may soon learn more about the plans for the future of the space. The administration is hosting an open meeting on Monday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. in Morss Hall to provide information and updates on the current status of the Walker review process. The meeting will consist of a presentation by Associate Provost Martin A. Schmidt PhD ’88, a question-and-answer period, and a tour of the facilities.
The meeting is the first public engagement on the situation since the start of the semester. The administration announced plans late last term to repurpose Walker for use by Music and Theater Arts. The Graduate Student Council (GSC) has taken the lead in representing the affected student groups and conversing with relevant administrators. The GSC has also made formal student engagement proposals to the administration and met with representatives of student groups.
“We are hopeful that the relationship with the administration will continue to improve over the coming months,” said GSC President Ulric J. Ferner G, “and we look forward to contributing both to the strategic planning of this project as well as to its due diligence.” Ferner added that he and the GSC expect the administration to cooperate with the student community.
Neither the affected student groups nor Music and Theater Arts have heard much about the status of the project since the start of the new year. The administration brought in professional architects and surveyors to evaluate the building during the closing weeks of fall term, but, according to the GSC, the results of the evaluations have not yet been released to the student groups.
“Everyone is unclear on the situation,” Music and Theater Arts department head Janet Sonenberg said. “We did all of the work we could do. We know that there are issues beyond our expertise to be dealt with and we have not yet had the experts come in.”
Since December, the administration has been meeting with select student groups historically tied to Walker. The meeting on Monday will be the first time the administration will be opening the floor to all Walker groups — and other students — and allowing them to share their specific concerns with the restructuring proposal.