New school year welcomes new ventures on Eastern Campus
The upcoming new school year will bring new opportunities for students at Ohio University’s Eastern Campus in St. Clairsville. The campus library was renovated to create a new learning commons and debate and cross-country teams are being created for students.
New Learning Commons
Library renovations include a new learning commons area, complete with updated computers and a design promoting learning outside of the classroom. Renovation began in Dec. 2009 and was completed in July.
The difference between a library and the learning commons is that information is no longer just printed in books and journals and students no longer study and learn by themselves exclusively. Video, audio, and the internet have evolved to the forefront of research and information.
“The Learning Commons is about collaboration," said Donna Capezzuto, reference librarian. " It’s about learning together, studying together, creating together.”
There are several features of the learning commons that were not in the previous library. There is a test center for students who are taking online courses or make-up exams. A new study room is available for group projects and study sessions. Also, a tutoring center is now within the learning commons, moving from its previous space on the third floor amid offices.
Not only has the space changed, but also the way information is presented. Capezzuto explained that they offer some e-books as well as many traditional books.
Debate team premieres
New this fall will also be a debate team, coached by Eileen McCormack, communication instructor. The debate season is September through March, with one or two tournaments per quarter. The new team will compete in the novice division, so they will be competing against other new and emerging teams in the region.
A student in any major can participate on the debate team. McCormack says the students learn critical thinking and reasoning skills, which helps in their schoolwork and future careers.
Cross country team formed
Dr. David Castle, assistant professor of history, will bring his love of running to the campus as he fields the first cross-country team on campus. The first meet for the team will be in September, and the season will end in October.
The women will be running 5,000m (3.1 miles) and the men 8,000m (5 miles). They will need at least five runners each for the women’s team and the men’s team. About a dozen students have expressed interest in running, but there is still time for others to join. The runners will compete in invitationals in Ohio, W.Va. and the 2010 All-Ohio Cross Country Championship the first weekend of October in Cedarville, Ohio.
Castle hopes to lead the way so that other schools in the conference may consider creating cross-country teams in the future also.
The new school year starts Sept. 7.
PHOTO: Students work on computers in the new learning commons area of the library.