The Draper Center for Community Partnerships at Pomona College will move out of the Smith Campus Center (SCC) over winter break. The Quantitative Skills Center (QSC) and a tutoring service run by the dean of students are set to move into the rooms that the Draper Center currently occupies.
The Draper Center, which helps students volunteer in the Inland Empire region, has been operating from two separate spaces on the second floor of the SCC because of its increasingly large staff. It will move into a space on Dartmouth Avenue, west of the Student Services Building that houses Monsour Counseling and the Health Education Outreach offices.
“We’re excited about the offerings in the building, including a lounge and a conference, common, and project rooms for students,” said Maria Tucker, Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Draper Center. “We’ll also have a garden on the building’s north side, and seating in the front porch area which stays shaded most of the day and will be a pleasant work and social space.”
Other improvements for the Draper Center include walls that can be written on, light furniture that can be shifted to facilitate projects, and a wall between the conference and common rooms that can be moved to create more space for events. She also added that all staff will be located in neighboring offices and work spaces rather than being split as they are in the SCC.
“I think it’s exciting that we will have more space,” said Rebecca Baiman PO ’15, a student coordinator at the Draper Center. “And it’s amazing that all the staff members will have offices in the same place.”
Tucker noted that the move, which has been in the works for the past two years, will take the Draper Center out of the middle of the Pomona campus.
“The thought of being out of the center of campus causes a bit of trepidation,” Tucker said. “But when I started at Pomona nine years ago, I heard the same story about students not wanting to make the trek up the stairs and around the many corners to SCC 228.”
“In the immediate future, we’ll be working on pulling the center of campus north,” she added. “As the saying goes, ‘If you build it, they will come.'”
The Draper Center may add staff members and launch additional projects as it obtains more funding. Currently, half of the $10 million endowment goal for the Draper Center has been raised, and the college is looking to raise the other half in the coming years, Tucker said.
The QSC, which is moving into SCC 228, is an academic support center that focuses on courses such as chemistry, physics, and economics. The QSC plans to use the new space to expand its services.
“In order to create a vibrant, effective learning center, it’s important to have a physical space,” QSC Director Travis Brown said. “The new QSC will hopefully become a hub of activity where students can meet with a fellow or just hang out and study.”
Brown added that the center will be hiring office assistants from the student body, as well as holding workshops on computer programs such as MATLAB. The QSC will also offer statistical analysis support to faculty members.