This school has seen constant growth and amelioration, and the past four years have been no different. Here are just a few of the many ways UR has changed since graduating seniors first enrolled way back when they were in high school. Freshman housingThe graduating class of seniors are the last class that remembers the days when freshmen could live among upperclassmen. Freshman housing has been a controversial idea, and changes to the program were necessary. In the 2002-2003 academic year, most of the Residential Quadrangle was reopened to upperclassmen, and freshman housing was changed to be Gilbert, Hoeing, and Susan B. Anthony Halls. Freshman housing was intended to unify classes and make better programming possible, and most agree it succeeded. However, its opponents have argued that it hurt special interest housing by making it more difficult for them to recruit. Some also said freshmen were suffering because they lacked examples to follow of how upperclassmen get through college. Meliora Weekend becomes an annual eventIn the fall of 2000, UR celebrated its 150th anniversary. The festivities were so popular that they became an annual event, Meliora Weekend. Students and alumni of all ages attend the entertainment, see the speakers, and take part in activities of various departments. Speakers have included former Senator Bill Bradley, New York State Senator Hillary Clinton, and former drug czar Bill Bennett among others. And comedians featured on Meliora Weekend have included Bill Cosby, Jon Stewart, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood. Goergen Athletic Center renovatedChanges to Goergen Athletic Center first began in 1999. The job was completed in stages, with a fully equipped fitness center completed in March 2000. The new Alumni Gym, with its added viewing area for the Speegle-Wilbraham Aquatic Complex, new locker rooms, and many more improvements, were made available to the UR community in the Fall of 2000. The Hive PubAn attempt to turn the Wilson Commons game room into a bar was not as successful as planners hoped. The Hive opened on Jan. 31, 2002, and was very popular at first, with about 950 visitors on the opening night. However, interest in the Hive faded quickly. It was a popular idea, but the reality didn’t live up to expectations. Class of 2003 graduate Gerald Ung said that the Hive was quiet “because people don’t drink during the day” in a Dec. 5, 2002 article. “On the weekends, if people stay on campus, they would rather get free beer at the fraternities instead of paying for it,” he said.But at the start of the 2003 school year, the Hive made a recovery as the location for Club Express, formerly called the Meliora Express and when it was located in Douglass Dining Hall. The Club Express has been a popular spot for lunch. Lines of students hungry for lunch can often be seen outside the hive before the doors open. But this brings up one thing that, rather than undergoing a single sweeping revolution or renovation, has changed a little bit every year to meet the changing needs of students. Dining servicesUR dining services demonstrates the old saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Unlike the significant revisions in other areas of campus life, dining services has been in a constant process of evolution. Blocks became club meals, the dining plans offered have been tweaked every year, Danforth dining hall has not been open for lunch this past year, the Meliora Express has changed names and locations, more vegetarian and vegan meals are always being proposed, and most recently of all, a sushi bar has been added to the Pit. “The challenge is to come up with improvements from year to year that are financially sustainable as well as attractive to students,” ARAMARK resident district manager Brad Bingaman said in a press release. “It’s an ongoing process of improvement.”Levesque can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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