Getting It All Ready
KSU is prepping for the new academic year
(Aug 8, 2019) — The old adage that “it takes a village” is fitting to describe Kennesaw State’s preparations
for the 2019-20 academic year.
Departments and units throughout the university have been busy getting both campuses ready for approximately 36,000 students to begin fall semester classes. From renovating on-campus housing areas to increasing the number of textbooks available digitally, here are some of the many steps being taken to welcome students to the new school year.
Feeling at Home
Several upgrades have been made over the summer to KSU’s on-campus housing. Along with high-speed WiFi being installed in all nine residential communities across both campuses, the Hornet Village lobbies in Marietta have new furniture, and the Howell Hall lobby has a new mural highlighting the university’s history. On the Kennesaw Campus, University Village Suites residents will notice improvements to exterior windows, awnings, walkways and structures.
The Housing and Residence Life professional staff is brushing up on policies and procedures, crisis response and mental health awareness, and supervision and management in preparation for student move-in on Aug. 16 and 17. The student staff (resident assistants) are in the midst of two weeks of team building and training related to their on-call responsibilities, stress and conflict management, and leadership skills.
Plans for the year include “Free Friday” events hosted by each housing hub, starting on Sept. 6. Residents are invited to meet the Housing and Residence Life staff, ask questions and enjoy free refreshments.
As it does throughout the year, Kennesaw State’s Office of Emergency Management is testing the various emergency notification platforms on campus, including Rave Alert (text, voice and email), the computer pop-up and the outdoor siren warning system. Emergency Management also has scheduled more than 20 training classes that are open to anyone at KSU, including the approximately 215 volunteer crisis coordinators who are stationed throughout both campuses.
Have you downloaded the LiveSafe app? The start of the school year offers a good reminder about the free app that provides Kennesaw State students, faculty and staff with a direct connection to campus police to easily communicate any safety needs.
Emergency Management is gearing up for Campus Safety Day on Sept. 5 on the Marietta
Campus and Sept. 19 on the Kennesaw Campus. The annual event builds relationships
with the university community and external public safety agencies, highlighted by
a visit from the public safety dogs from the K-9 unit.
Protect and Serve
Kennesaw State University Police will be even more visible than before, as the department is increasing its bicycle patrols on both campuses. Also, University Police will be reaching out through its CORE (Community Outreach, Recruitment and Engagement) Unit to conduct programs such as classroom presentations, ride-alongs and internships, as well as other requests to address the needs of the community.
Leading up to the start of the school year, University Police gave presentations and participated on wellness panels during new student orientation and presented during training sessions for the Housing and Residence Life staff. The department also is looking ahead to ensure that it adequately staffs football games and other special events.
And keep an eye out for University Police during the two on-campus move-in days in August. The command staff will be on hand assisting students and parents and providing bottled water.
Moving Right Along
More parking is available on the Marietta Campus following the addition of 300 spaces to Lot P38 on the east side of campus. Meanwhile, all of Kennesaw State’s parking decks are being pressure-washed and 10 pavement re-striping projects have been completed.
The Big Owl Bus fleet is ready to roll, as each of the 22 buses received a minimum of 10 hours of maintenance and inspections before the start of the school year. Each returning driver underwent a re-evaluation with a certified instructor, and newly hired drivers received 120 hours of training.
KSU’s Parking and Transportation department reviewed ridership and efficiency data from last year to make any necessary tweaks to its shuttle routes. Keep in mind that you can download the live tracker app to know when a Big Owl Bus is approaching your stop.
As summer winds down, Student Health Services is stocking up on vaccines at its health clinics on both campuses, in case students need to finish any series they started at home prior to coming to KSU. Also, the clinic staff will attend several Week of Welcome events to answer students’ questions.
A new addition this year will be a psychologist working in the clinic in support of the medical team. Also, the amount of time the dietitian has for individual patient counseling has been increased.
Most importantly, Student Health Services simply wants to make students aware of its
comprehensive services available on both campuses. Student Health Services is supported
by the student health fee, so students do not pay a co-pay or an office visit charge
to see a physician or nurse practitioner.
Change in Store
University Stores has taken a big step with Day One Access, its program that makes a student’s course materials available digitally on or before the first day of classes. The program saves students money since they don’t need to purchase a printed book.
When the Day One Access program began last fall, it involved only two courses for a couple hundred students. For fall 2019, the numbers have jumped to at least 24 courses and 11,000 students using Day One Access materials, according to Paul Oliphant, director of University Stores.
While many more textbooks now are available digitally, the Kennesaw and Marietta campus stores still are stocked with books, school supplies, technology products and KSU clothing and gifts. To accommodate the high volume of business set to come their way, University Stores is in the process of hiring the approximately 200 student assistants it employs during the year.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.