By Micah McIntyre, News Editor
As Wheaton undergoes several major structural improvements and additions across campus, smaller changes are also taking place in the northern offices of Lower Beamer.
The Student Activities Office (SAO) has switched spaces with the Office of Christian Outreach (OCO), which now shares an office with International Student Programs (ISP). The Media Team, Kodon and Studio 1:27 have also been moved to the old ISP suite.
According to Assistant Director of Construction Services Scott Scheidt, renovations to Lower Beamer began in mid-July with the moving of furniture and supplies. Two new offices were built for the OCO and new furniture was installed to make the space “better suited for their needs.”
Dean of Student Engagement Steve Ivester led the project. In an email interview, he explained his hope that giving the ISP a larger space would accommodate their work with “a growing international student population in addition to [fulfilling a] need for more privacy for ongoing conversations about immigration advising with the office coordinator and F1 visa students.”
Since students in the OCO are constantly involved in projects off-campus and do not populate the office as much as other organizations, Ivester believes that combining their office with the ever-busy ISP will better utilize office space and benefit the work of both organizations. Ivester’s vision for the new arrangement in Lower Beamer is for the various members of Student Engagement to benefit from working in close proximity to groups that share similar missions.
The new office is more spacious than both organizations’ former offices. While the OCO and ISP do have individual spaces to work within the office designated by different-colored walls, they also plan to use their space collaboratively. In addition to a new carpet, both organizations have shared access to a large chalkboard wall and a coffee station.
“[I believe that] inviting the ISP and OCO staff and students to share spaces protects their unique mission and identity and creates an exciting global synergy and an opportunity for collaborating in stewarding prime space allocation,” Ivester said.
Scheidt and Ivester say that there are still some final changes to be made, but all offices should be unpacked and moved in within the next couple of weeks.