The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


    Campus to reopen in September

    For the past five months, the students have not been able to go to class on the Dillard campus, pass the squirrels playing in the grass or see the cars passing by on Gentilly Boulevard.


    Now they pass by Hilton conference rooms, their peers laughing on the second floor lobby, their teachers holding meetings and groups of people waiting restlessly at the elevators to go to and from their classes.


    On Sept. 5, 2006, Dillard’s home on the Avenue of the Oaks will finally reopen after being closed for 12 months. Since January 2006, students and faculty have used the Hilton Riverside Hotel, the New OrleansWorldTradeCenter, as well as office space on Poydras Street as their headquarters. In September, they will finally be able to return to their beautiful campus.


     The academic school year will start in September instead of in late August as normally scheduled in order for construction on the campus to be completed. According to the frequently asked questions sheet distributed by the Office of Campus Life, the renovation projects are on schedule with Phase I scheduled for completion Aug. 11, 2006.


    The campus’ appearance is making headway more and more day-by-day. “I’ve heard that the buildings are sparkly white and clean, the shrubbery has life and that the campus looks wonderful,” said Marc David, dean of students.  


    Residence halls will open Sept. 16 for new students and Sept. 21 for upper class students. First year students and sophomores will occupy Williams Hall, while juniors and seniors will reside in the Dillard University Limited Apartments (DUALS), Gentilly Garden, and Elysian Field apartment complexes as well as the new Gentilly Apartments on St. Anthony near the University of New Orleans.


    The freshmen halls: Camphor Hall, Hartzell Hall and Straight Hall will all be under construction during the fall semester. Dillard hopes to renovate the freshmen halls the same way that Williams was and provide students with the same arrangements it currently offers, according to David. “In the past, a lot of students have had trouble adjusting to residence hall life. Through the renovation we want to ensure a successful transition in the residence halls,” said Dr. Freddye Hill, vice president of campus life and enrollment management.


    “At this point, not enough housing isn’t a concern, especially with our new addition of the Gentilly Apartments. In the past, the Gentilly Gardens have been available to faculty and students but now the apartments will be solely for students. We have more than enough adequate space,” said David.


    Although the issue of housing has not been a noted concern for the faculty and staff, the students are worried that it might be one.

    “The only concern I have would be where I would live, but if everything works out it’ll most likely be the apartments,” said Arthur Arnolie, a junior criminal justice/sociology major, from New Orleans, La.


    “I’m worried about housing because we don’t know exactly how many people will return and there’s limited space,” said Britini Hills, a sophomore international business and Spanish major from Shreveport, La.


    Dillard’s faculty and staff are excited about returning to campus, according to David and Hill. They have made plans to work extremely hard to guarantee a new and improved campus life.


    In July and August while students are having summer break, the faculty and staff will be busy planning for the upcoming school year through brainstorming meetings and possibly a retreat. Hill said. “I envision many more activities, programs and workshops for next year. We want to engage students; we want to have ongoing activities based around critical topics students are interested in.”


     Leahanise Hogan, freshman mass communications major said, “I have a lot of expectations of campus; I expect the food to be better, campus to be convenient for us to have classes, to hang out, all that stuff. I expect us to be provided with a lot of extra curricular activities as well.”


     The New Orleans native said, “I’m very happy to leave the Hilton, but its bittersweet. I don’t want to leave the luxurious lifestyle but I’m ready to get back on campus, to get back home.” 


    Arnolie said he is very excited about returning to campus and especially leaving the Hilton. “Leaving the Hilton is great, because it feels like jail. I’m tired of waiting on elevators, the Hilton security, everything. I can’t wait to go back to campus. Leaving here means the city is progressing.”


    Students say they are happy to see what the future holds for Dillard and do not plan to abandon their home in a time of need. “I’m staying at Dillard even if they have to give us oxygen tanks to go to school under water I’m still staying. Nothing is going to take me away from Dillard,” Arnolie said. The support Arnolie will give is the kind Dillard will need to rebuild their campus and maintain a successful institution.


    Though Arnolie said he supports Dillard wholeheartedly, he still has worries when it comes to other students. “I think moving back on campus is a good move for us but I don’t think we’ll have as good of a turnout as we want due to parents and money. Nobody wants to see their children go through that (Katrina) again.”


    With hard work and perseverance Dillard’s campus will be up and running in no time, university officials say.




    Leave a Comment
    Donate to Courtbouillon

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Dillard University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to Courtbouillon

    Comments (0)

    All Courtbouillon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    Campus to reopen in September