Amid bustling students and faculty members last week, the Wall Street Journal paid a visit to our #NewUniversityCenter. Beyond what New Schooler’s already know about the place (like how the building boasts one of downtown Manhattan’s largest auditoriums, includes an open and light-filled library, cafeteria, plus ample studio and study space), the article also touched on what our new campus hub means for a more cohesive New School.
“It’s difficult to have a singular identity if you don’t have some physical common space,” said President David Van Zandt, alluding to the push for greater unity across divisions. To help advance this cause, the building comes equipped with “plenty of space to just hang out,” where “cadres of artfully disheveled young students [can] pass the time together.” Recent Eugene Lang College grad Miles Kohrman also commented on the potential rebranding opportunity that comes with the University Center. “I walked in and it’s like, ‘Wow, I’m at College!’” he said in the article. “That’s completely unfamiliar in The New School setting.”
Historically sprawled across much of Manhattan, (from Bank Street in the West Village all the way up to West 85th Street) The New School has not really had a “central spot for socializing or studying” for the entire student body, which in turn, the article notes, has not furthered a more unified community. That changed nearly a decade ago, when plans behind the 375,000 square foot University Center first took shape. Since then, The New School has taken many steps to more fully integrate the academic divisions, including a campus-wide bell system, more interdisciplinary courses and collaborations, and a focus on the “intersection of design and social sciences” as the way forward in a still-recovering economy and uncertain job market.
View the article here (subscription required).