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Students join Office of Student Affairs staff to discuss Ladd renovations, new student spaces

March 3, 2023

With the main structural renovations of Ladd House completed, the Office of Student Affairs hosted an informational session for students to hear about how the space will be utilized to serve the Office of Accessibility, the Center for Multicultural Life (CML), the Sexuality, Women, and Gender (SWAG) Center, the Rachel Lord Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and THRIVE.

Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs Janet Lohmann and staff members from the CML, the SWAG Center, the Rachel Lord Center and THRIVE attended the event to share their enthusiasm about the new space and blueprints for how the building will be transformed into a center for student events.

“The purpose was to be educational, as was articulated at the start of the meeting so people could understand how we’re thinking about this and really answer any questions [and] share our excitement for how we are envisioning this space and how we want students to see what the space will offer,” Lohmann said.

Last year, the College announced that Ladd House would be decommissioned as a College House and renovated into a center for inclusion and diversity.

“I’m really excited about the ways in which each of these programs can sort of begin to work more concretely with one another. It’s been working—it’s been working well—but they’re in three different buildings and to think about how that energy of each of those programs can come together under one roof.… We have no idea how exciting that’s going to be,” Lohmann said.

Ladd’s renovation into a student-centered space was reflected in blueprints shown at the event, which highlighted three large event spaces that will be in the building next year: one in the basement and two on the first floor. There will also be many smaller, more intimate spaces where students can study, pray and meet with staff members.

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Inclusion and Diversity and Director of Multicultural Student Life Eduardo Pazos is particularly excited about the prayer room, which will be part of the Rachel Lord Center on the third floor of the house. Adjacent to the prayer room will be washing stations where Muslim students will be able to cleanse themselves before prayer.

“We’re almost quadrupling our space for student engagement,” Pazos said. “There’s just going to be a lot of space for a lot of different rooms.”

Though current visions of the new Ladd House focus on its practical and structural features, Pazos noted his eagerness to collaborate with students to decorate the space.

“Once everything is done and completed, we do want to work with students, which would likely be in the fall semester,” Pazos said. “It’s going to help us make the space our own—make it homey.”


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