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Construction builds optimism for potential new students

[caption id="attachment_17080" align="aligncenter" width="838"] According to University officials, construction shows new students that SHU is “investing in our campus.” Greg Medina/Asst. Photography Editor.[/caption]   While the construction on the new Welcome Center is affecting current Seton Hall students, it also has an impact on prospective new students. According to Dr. Alyssa McCloud, vice president of Enrollment Management, “the construction projects on campus are very positive and show prospective students that the University is investing in our campus infrastructure to provide the best environment for our students.” McCloud said via email that investments in facilities, such as adding a Dunkin’ Donuts, fitness center, additional parking, renovated classrooms and residence halls has given SHU students a better campus life while strengthening enrollment. She added that enrollment has been strong in the last few years and while there are many reasons for the increase, she says “the enhancements to our facilities help.” On discussing the impact on enrollment of investments in facilities, McCloud added that it is not just about prospective students. It is also about serving current students to make sure they are happy and have a good campus life. This helps retain current students so they will want to continue their education at SHU and graduate as a Pirate. Seton Hall students who serve as Blue Crew members and act as tour guides witness first hand the impact construction has on prospective students. Blue Crew tour guide, Cody Laska, a senior majoring in finance and minoring in legal studies, said in an email that he discusses the ongoing construction during his tour. Laska adds that he viewed a video released months ago about SHU’s master renovations plan and he relays the details of the plan during his tours. Laska said the plan includes making Mooney Hall the new communications building. He also tells prospective students and their parents about how Duffy Hall will be transformed into apartment style dorms and the University Center will be renovated, including the cafeteria. Laska said parents seem excited about the construction, especially when he mentions that renovations will be done before or during their incoming student’s time at SHU. While the construction may look messy, Laska said “it is a welcoming sight because it means that as a community we are not staying stagnant; that we are actually making good on our promises to try to overtake the other major schools in the region.” Another Blue Crew tour guide, Morgan Smith, a junior psychology major, said that before the tour starts prospective students and parents watch a video that tells them about the construction. She said via email that no one seems to be concerned about the construction. Rather, her tour guide groups seem excited about the renovations to campus and how they will affect them if they choose to attend SHU. “We pay a lot of money to attend this beautiful school, and it is nice to see that some money is going towards things that will bring more students to our campus, and will make us stand out,” Smith said. She added that when the fitness center was under construction, families on tours liked seeing the updates to it. Construction does not seem to be negatively impacting prospective students in their decision to attend SHU. Katie Carpenter, a prospective new student who would like to major in political science with a focus on pre-law, recently toured SHU. “Construction can only make a place better,” she said via email. She added, “SHU is a beautiful school regardless of construction,” and that it would not sway her from attending. Another prospective student, Mackenzie Fletcher, who intends on majoring in diplomacy and international relations, said that construction has no effect in her decision to choose SHU. She toured SHU in May 2015 and the construction on the fitness center did not change her mind so the ongoing construction does not affect her decision either. Fletcher said in an email she thought “it was a good thing that Seton Hall is keeping up with any repairs that needed to happen, or redesigning to make it more appealing.” Prospective student Nelson Mercado, who wants to major in criminal justice or psychology, or double major in both, said he is impressed by the ongoing construction. He said via email the construction will be another great thing to happen to SHU. “Seton Hall is showing future attendees and applicants that they are committed to making the campus and its facilities even more beautiful and great than they already are,” Mercado said. Samantha Todd can be reached at


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