2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College Columbia University

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What’s New at Student Life

The Student Life Center, including the Office of International Affairs, Student Activities, and the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, moved to the first floor of Thorndike Hall.

"The location is wonderful," said Suzanne Nanka-Bruce, Director of Student Life, "because it is clearly visible to the public, it is in a well-traveled area, and all of the rooms are accessible." In addition, she noted, the new office housing International Student Services is much larger, with a reception area for students to wait in.

Nanka-Bruce said the new location draws students who didn't normally go to the former location in Whittier Hall. "People are coming in for movie tickets, asking for maps and handbooks, and inquiring about parking and travel information," she added.

Although they have been there since late August, Nanka-Bruce calls the relocation a "work in progress." A sign company is working with them to provide signs indicating direction and office locations. They want to add telephones, Web stations and student organization mailboxes to their hallway. But their biggest dream is to replace the furniture in 157 Thorndike. "It is a classroom," Nanka-Bruce said, "but we can use it for a conference room, student government meetings, small workshops, and leadership training programs."

While discussing the move to Thorndike, Nanka-Bruce and colleagues Yvonne Destin, Associate Director of Student Life, and Marion Boultbee, Coordinator of International Student and Scholar Services, talked about the Center's services and their plans for the upcoming semester.

Fitness Center and Pool

The fitness room, located on the 4th floor of Thompson Hall, is now in its fifth year. To use the facilities, a member must come in with a partner and sign out the key from the security desk. "We insist on a partner for safety reasons," Nanka-Bruce said. Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekdays, and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends.

The provisions include ten Nautilus machines, two step machines, two stationery bikes, a treadmill, and a free-weight set-up. The pool is open approximately 70 hours per week for lap swim, family swim and instruction and has a staff of lifeguards and instructors.

Pool and fitness room fees are charged separately, but combined membership passes are available.

TC Time-Out and TC Coffeehouse

TC Time-Out means free food and company for students at Whittier Café on Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. beginning this semester on January 21. Nanka-Bruce hopes to start a similar program on Mondays or Tuesdays in Thorndike Hall. Later in the evening at Whittier Café from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., the lights are low, the coffee is free and the mood is relaxed for TC Coffeehouse. There's always coffee and social gathering, and frequently some form of creative entertainment, such as musicians and poets.

Tickets

The Student Life Center sells passes for Manhattan SONY movie theaters for $6 each. Students, faculty and staff can purchase up to four at a time. Passes can also be used at Cineplex and UA theaters. Members of AAA can purchase books of passes for an even lower price per pass. For many Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, the Center has "two-fer" discount coupons available.

Doctoral Student Directory

The Doctoral Student Directory, which will make its debut in the spring, will list the name, department, and dissertation topic of doctoral students at the College. "We did a mailing to about 5,000 people and got a response from close to 400 of them," said Destin.

She sees the directory as a way to create an awareness within the TC community about student research topics. It also provides them with an opportunity to contact people with similar interests. "They can share resources and insights with others who wouldn't otherwise know about their research," Destin said.

Faculty Colloquium

During the months of February and March, featured faculty members will share personal experiences and research projects as part of a series of colloquia. The series ran last February and March and was quite successful, Destin said. "Students are interested in how faculty members built their careers and moved through the ranks, and what their research topics are," Nanka-Bruce added.

International Students

According to Boultbee, there are about 500 students from 65 countries enrolled in the various departments for the spring semester. "Our numbers are strong despite the Asian crisis," Boultbee said.

An orientation for new international students is scheduled for January 22. For time and location, those interested should contact Boultbee at 678-3406. International Week, which normally takes place shortly after spring break, includes an international bazaar, where small items from abroad are sold to raise money for activities for international students and to provide an emergency loan fund. She is looking for donations from the entire TC community of artwork or craft items from abroad.

Women's Visions

A juried art and poetry exhibit, entitled "Women's Visions," takes place in the Student Lounge in March. Six first place awards will be given to participants. Contact Yvonne Destin for details on entering the competition.

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