by Rachel Wilson | Staff Writer
Beginning this year, the Eileen Hendrick Hall has undergone significant changes. These remodel plans come in the wake of several construction projects ongoing on campus. The skyline on campus is quickly changing, and Hendrick Hall is seeing change as well.
Hendrick will be experiencing internal changes as well as external changes to its facility. Internal changes that have already occurred are new furniture, new countertops and flooring.
Christopher Eichorst, Assistant Vice President of Facilities, is involved in Hendrick’s remodel.
“We knocked out a wall and remodeled the kitchen so it has a much more open feel to it,” Eichorst said.“Their old conference room was kind of small. It got converted and split into two offices.”
Meanwhile, a start date to outside renovations have not yet been released.
The plan is to entirely remodel the exterior of the building and replace it with a gabled roof, brick work and a patio. These changes allow for the buildings purpose as a hub for students to grow.
“The building functions as quite a gathering space for the ever-growing population of our campus,” Eichorst said.
Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, chief diversity officer and associate vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, sees Hendrick Hall as a “home away from home” for international students.
Hendrick Hall houses the Intercultural Student Center (ISC) which consists of the intercultural center and the International Education Center. From the ISC, staff and faculty work with international students, train campus Cultural Diversity Advocates, engage with the Act Six program and work with students who will be studying abroad.
This fall, Whitworth saw the most diverse incoming class in its history, with 40% being from underrepresented racial or ethnic backgrounds, 38% being first generation college students, and international students make up 5% of the 698 first-year students.
Senior Abdul Haq, one of Whitworth’s student ambassadors to the office of the president, said that the ISC champions that diversity.
“I want to think that it’s one of the most diverse places on campus because there’s a lot of different faces that you would not see elsewhere on campus, because it’s a place with a lot of different people from different cultures,” Haq said.
Last spring, a demonstration took place outside Weyerhaeuser Hall, while Whitworth’s Board of Trustees gathered for meetings and various tours of campus and construction projects. Students hoped to engage in conversation with trustees about what they perceived as the neglect of the building, and consequently, the international students on campus.
“That’s part of what the students were saying. If that’s our home, our center, and it looks like it’s falling apart, it doesn’t feel good,” says Jarvis.
Before demonstrating, students heading the movement met once a week in the Intercultural Student Center, often exceeding the maximum capacity of the building.
For those who are close to the project, like Jarvis, the remodel will be a good start to creating a useful space for students.
“As we continue to increase the diversity of the student body, it becomes more important that those spaces are really appropriate to address them…” Jarvis said.
“This is not a building that only serves certain students, as been historically understood. It really is for everybody, and we want to invite everybody to be part of it, so that they can come in to develop their intercultural humility,” Jarvis said.
For more information on the remodel, contact Chris Eichorst at email@example.com.
For more information on the international community at Whitworth, contact the International Club President, Anujin Munkhbat at firstname.lastname@example.org.