This summer, the Helen Lerner Amphitheater in McNulty Hall underwent renovations. The amphitheater now features designs compatible for meeting the learning styles and needs of all students who take classes in it.
Michael Marconi, project manager for Facilities Engineering, explained in an email what the renovations entailed.
“The finishes for the entire amphitheater were updated with new carpet, new fabric wrapped panels along the back and freshly painted ceilings and walls,” Marconi said. “New cushioned seating includes tablet arms and an electric outlet at the armrest providing power for laptops.”
The amphitheater’s updates create a more inclusive level of comfort for the entire student body, as it offers seat locations aligning with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It will give students more opportunities to interact with the lessons their professors are teaching them, through updated digital technology.
Students who have classes in the amphitheater shared their thoughts about the new additions.
Adah Beck, a junior studying biochemistry, is taking Principles of Physics I in the amphitheater this semester.
“It was a very pleasant surprise to walk into a newly-renovated classroom for sure!” Beck wrote in an email. “I have had at least one class in that room every year here at Seton Hall and I have to say that the new upgrades are very exciting.”
She noted the importance of the updated lighting as well as the visual and auditory accommodations.
“The lighting specifically designed to light up the whiteboards below the screens was amazing to see because it was actually possible to then see both the PowerPoint with the lecture notes on the screen and the notes the professor was writing at the same time,” Beck said. “Finally, the option for a professor to record themselves during a lecture is huge! There are several professors who allow students to use their cell phones to record their voices, but that takes up a lot of storage on students’ phones and doesn’t provide the benefit of being able to see the professor, which, for visual learners especially, is just as important as hearing what they say.”
Kishan Patel, a junior biology major, is also taking a physics class in the amphitheater this year.
“I think that a lot of the new features will be a benefit to the students,” he shared via email. “The TV screens on the sides of the room allow for students to view the presentation even if they are sitting off to the side of the room or further back which would originally make it hard to view the screen.”
“I think that the new touchscreen controls are a great addition as it is more user friendly and there are fewer instances of technical difficulties when connecting. Also, I think that the addition of outlets next to each seat is great as most students like to take notes on their laptops so that provides access to an outlet which was not there in the past.”
Claudia Valverde, a junior who studies secondary and special education and Chemistry, believes students will benefit from the visual, audio and lighting improvements.
“I think professors being able to record their lessons would be such a help. Especially if the professor moves on from a slide you were on and you didn’t finish taking notes on what was said or if you’re sick and missed class,” she explained in an email.
Marconi said that the renovations were completed on Aug. 17.
Kaitlyn Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.