Drexel University is an extremely fast-paced college, and that’s not limited to the quarter system. Over the last year alone, Drexel’s campus and administrative policies have grown and changed drastically. Just to give the incoming freshmen class an idea of what’s new, The Triangle has compiled a list of some of the things you missed last year while you were rotting away in the confines of high school.
Several new construction projects were either announced, started or completed during the 2015-2016 school year. The most notable of these was Drexel’s Schuylkill Yards project announcement in March 2016. Schuylkill Yards is a 20-year, $3.5 billion project that will vertically expand Drexel’s campus by five million gross square feet. The idea is to take 30th Street Station, one of the nation’s biggest transportation hubs, and capitalize on its proximity to campus by transforming Drexel into an innovation neighborhood for businesses and students alike. President John A. Fry hopes to re-imagine University City and create a thriving community filled with businesses, classrooms, living spaces, retailers and more.
Additionally, The Summit, owned and operated by American Campus Communities, was open for its first year of residency starting in the fall of 2015. With the opening of the Summit came the addition of Urban Eatery to Drexel’s food and dining services. With only the Handschumacher Dining Center (Hans) for company, Urban Eatery became the largest dining center on campus and quickly became a student favorite.
The Study, a new hotel located at 33rd and Chestnut streets, will be open for business in fall of 2016. The Study broke ground in the spring of 2015, replacing the previous building which housed the James E. Marks Intercultural Center. The Study will be owned and managed by a third party developer, Hospitality 3 LLC.
Additionally, the new Korman Center expansion and Korman Quadrangle broke ground June 14. The New York architectural firm Gluckman Tang Architects will be responsible for the design of its renovation and expansion. Landscape architecture firm Andropogon Associates will design the brand new Korman Quadrangle. This project is expected to cost $16 million dollars and is slated to be complete in the fall of 2017. It was made possible by a gift of $8 million from the Korman family, which Drexel matched.
Aside from new construction, Drexel has also announced some very important policy changes in the past year. One which will impact students most directly and immediately is the add/drop period policy change. Previously, students were able to add or drop a class from their course load during the first two weeks of the term through the Sunday of Week 2. Now, however, students will only be allowed to add and/or drop courses through the end of Week 1. Students will also have less time to decide if they want to withdraw from courses. Previously, students were given until the end of Week 8 to withdraw from a course. Now, students must withdraw by the end of Week 7.
A student advisory board for Provost M. Brian Blake, the Dragon ’24, was announced in the beginning of 2016. The Dragon ’24 initiative works by engaging a panel of 24 students for an 18-month term to provide student input and feedback to the Office of the Provost. The initiative was started by Blake, who just celebrated his first year at Drexel in August. The group meets with the Office of the Provost on a quarterly basis and the team is made up of students from a wide variety of majors and backgrounds.
A few crazy things have happened in the city of Philadelphia in the past year as well — and Drexel students have been on the sidelines for all of it. Most recently, the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) was held in Philly’s Wells Fargo Center in July. The convention saw the nomination of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic party’s presidential candidate and brought hordes of people to Philadelphia.
Almost a year ago now, was the incredibly notable and widely-attended Papal Visit (#PopeinPhilly) that began Sept. 22. Pope Francis delivered mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway the morning of Sept. 27, 2015. He spoke to an audience estimated to be between 80,000 and 140,000 people. City schools were shut down for a long weekend, streets were closed off, the National Guard was on every street corner and the world basically felt like it was ending. Students who were stuck at Drexel for the legendary “Pope-acolypse” are still talking about it.
In less holy, but still very exciting news, Drexel also welcomed a new therapy dog, Chai, to its team in 2016 after saying a sad goodbye to the previous therapy dog, Jersey. Jersey’s last day was Jan. 7 and Chai started her Drexel career May 31. Chai’s schedule is visible on her Facebook page, and she is also available for events held on campus. The name of the page is Drexel’s Therapy Dogs, but you can also find Chai on Instagram and Snapchat under the username chaiatdrexel.
Drexel clubs are known for being incredibly involved and great resume-builders, but the award for hardest-working club in 2015-16 definitely goes to the Drexel Hyperloop team. To get into all the intricacies of the story following the Hyperloop team would be an article in and of itself. If you haven’t read it yet, Drexel students have created a prototype of a pod that can travel at incredible speeds as part of a year-long design competition hosted by Elon Musk and SpaceX. Go check out their Facebook page, called Drexel Hyperloop, for more information.
For more information on all of these exciting developments from the past year browse through The Triangle’s website. We’re the newspaper of record for Drexel University and we document everything that goes on here. If you’d like to get involved in documenting campus history, reach out to us at [email protected].