A Letter to Le Moyne: What the Students Think the Campus Needs.


Cassidy Picciano, Editor in Chief

With my time as a Le Moyne student winding down, I’ve started to look back on my experience here. While my time here has brought about many great memories, I wanted to write a piece to voice the opinions and ideas of myself and many other students regarding what we feel the campus could use to better our experiences here even further.

Since the Dunkin in the bookstore’s building closed down during the COVID pandemic, I hoped Le Moyne would utilize that empty space as well as the cafe seating area and lounge as a place for all students to gather. I think Le Moyne could have refurbished that area, updated it, and created a great spot for students. Students need more spaces on campus to hangout in–there just is not enough of these spaces here on campus.

I personally would have loved to see this empty bookstore space turned into an area for all students to hangout at. Something with both tables for studying and homework, but also comfy seating options for students who are just looking to gather with their friends and chat. I’m no interior designer, but I know that the campus lacks nice, comfortable spots. When I say comfy, I’m talking couches, cushioned window seats, bean bag chairs, and other flexible seating options to cater to the needs of all students. 

I also would have liked to see the vacant Dunkin spot turned into another coffee shop. This may have allowed Le Moyne to support local, small businesses such as Recess Coffee, Cafe Kubal, or Utica Coffee by working out a way to make their coffee products available. Not only does this partnership support small businesses, but it also is a cafe-style area that could promote positive campus engagement among students.

The empty bookstore space was turned into the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Creativity. I must admit, while this is a great addition to the campus, I’ve never actually been to the Keenan Center; not because I don’t want to go there, but because I wasn’t allowed in the space. Other students have mentioned to me that their swipe access was denied upon trying to go check out the Keenan Center. 

The space seems like a great creative area for students who are aligned with the goals of the Keenan Center, but it also feels somewhat unwelcoming to students who are studying other areas. While I’m positive this was not the intention, now that the Keenan Center is using this space, it needs to be better advertised as to who is allowed at the Keenan Center and how they can use the space. Are appointments required to go there? What exactly happens there? Can any student go to the Keenan Center? If so, why was it conveyed to me, as a Psychology student, that the area was not meant for me? And, why were other students denied swipe access to the facility?

Another topic of need that students have voiced is food resources on campus. Through Instagram, I opened a discussion/poll post allowing Le Moyne students to openly voice to me their opinions on what they think this campus is lacking. All students mentioned in this piece have agreed to let me share their opinions.

Jessica Loch, a junior here at Le Moyne, was one of the first students to voice the food concern on campus. Jessica discussed how Syracuse University has lots of food options either right on the campus or within a few minutes walking distance from the campus. She would like to see more options than just the LaCasse Dining Center (Dining Hall) and the Dolphin Den. 

“We should have a nice variety of food that can be ordered and prepared freshly and give you options from different cultures,” Jessica says. She mentions we could take a page from SU’s book and create a campus center style food area that offers several options, such as a sushi place, a sandwich place, mexican food, and a good coffee or smoothie shop. 

Or, for an off campus idea, Le Moyne should attempt to work out a dining agreement with food options on Erie Boulevard. Imagine if students could purchase a dining plan that allows them to use swipes or much money at a place like Chipotle or CoreLife Eatery. While this idea may be impossible or far-fetched, it certainly would be cool.

Senior, Walker Goodemote, and freshman, Maddy Sebastian, both advocate the need for dining options open later at night on campus. With the Dining Hall closing at 8pm on weekdays, for students who are in classes or labs until 8:30 and later, that leaves them only one singular option for dinner. The Den closes at 10pm, which is a little later than the Dining Hall, but not late enough. 

Some students are so busy they cannot make it to dinner until after all of their work is done–which may be after 10pm. Unfortunately for them, there are no dining options on campus open late enough to cater to their needs. It would be interesting for Le Moyne to play around with the idea of offering a late night dining option a few days a week; potentially finding a way to keep either the Den or the Dining Hall open past 10 p.m.

At neighboring Syracuse University, there are options at their Schine and Goldstein Student Center Dining as well as their Cafe open as late as 11 p.m. during the week.

Gabriella Gauthier, a Le Moyne senior, voiced concerns regarding the lack of availability of privacy on campus. She recalls times where she wanted to call her mom and everywhere she went other students were clearly listening in on her conversation. She says that one time she had to reserve a whole study room at the Noreen Reale Falcone Library for privacy on the phone, but it shouldn’t be that hard to find privacy on campus. 

Gabriella suggests potentially finding a way to turn any extra space in the Panasci Family Chapel into a small area where students seeking a private, quiet space can go. Another suggestion she makes would be to designate an area in each dorm building for this. 

“A small room in each dorm building specifically set aside for private meetings or phone calls would be nice,” she says, adding that there could be a signup sheet outside the area where students can easily reserve half-hour blocks to use the space. “Sometimes, students can’t have private meetings or conversations in their own dorm rooms if their roommate is there.”

Following the recent construction of the quad space outside of Grewen, a handful of students have spoken about very similar concerns about the lack of outdoorsy areas and greenery. I asked Shannon Carey, a sophomore here at Le Moyne, to expand on the initial comment she made regarding this.

“I think with the new pavements outside of Grewen, specifically the new drive-up area, the school has lost some greenery and sitting areas which is a shame,” Shannon says. “I think the campus could use a lot more trees, plants, flowers, greenery in general.”

Shannon expands on this by adding that “planting more trees in the quad would be super nice because people love to hangout there when the weather is nice.” Shannon is right; in my (almost) four years here, the times I’ve seen campus the busiest were when the weather was nice and students were outside on the quad doing homework, taking a nap, having lunch, and chatting. 

Trees provide shaded areas for those who want to enjoy the nice weather but don’t want to be directly in the sun. Shaded areas are also essential for doing homework on your laptop outside because the direct sun glare makes it nearly impossible sometimes to see the laptop screen. Planting flowers and other plants might also help spruce up the quad area and make it feel more lively and welcoming, as well as just generally being good for the environment.

“I think maybe more areas to sit outdoors would be nice,” Shannon says, “something easy like picnic tables or more lawn chairs with tables.” She mentions how there is already a selection of these outdoor seating areas around campus, but one of the biggest problems she runs into is that the areas aren’t big enough to hold large friend groups. There usually are only a couple of Adirondack chairs in one area rather than a large group of them.

Speaking of quad construction – freshman, Anthony Picciano, and sophomore, Daniella Padinha both talked about the lack of pathways from St. Mary’s and Harrison Hall to the academic buildings. The new drop off section does not have a direct pathway to the Science Center, which is something both students mentioned to me as being a “pain” while they walk to class.

A large number of students responded to the poll I posted on Instagram asking for more parking on campus. One student specifically commented that there is not enough handicap parking available. I went to check out the parking lots to see what parking looked like; every handicap spot on campus was full and the only lot with open parking spaces was the lot down behind the Athletic Center. Drivers with disabilities, both students and faculty, should not be expected to park this far away from the academic buildings. 

Le Moyne Men’s Baseball player, Nick Nevins, voiced his opinion on the athletic side of campus, specifically in the Recreation Center. Nick believes the Recreation Center’s Fitness Center (gym) needs better equipment for working out. He also mentioned that most of the cables on machines are broken.

Nick says that while the Athletics Weight Room is “way nicer,” he notes that there is only one cable machine. He adds that even though other aspects of the athletics facilities are nice, some things could be a little better. 

Nick makes a connection between mental health and physical health. He advocates for students to look into working out as a positive outlet for their mental health. But, Nick notes that with some of the Recreation Center’s equipment broken and old, students can’t get the most out of the facility. “I think giving the students a better facility with better equipment would be a big step,” he says.

Looking at all of these student opinions, I urge Le Moyne’s administration to take these concerns into consideration to any degree. This piece is not intended to take a stab at areas Le Moyne is lacking, rather, it is intended to be the platform for students to speak up for what they believe the campus needs.

Everyone and everything can make changes in order to grow and better themselves. Life is a work in progress. Let this letter be just the beginning of the changes students wish to see. 

Students–have patience for what is to come. Changes cannot be made overnight. Administration–have an open mind regarding these opinions. Your students are not only the present, but the future as well. Their current opinions will benefit the future of the campus. Let your students be open with you and know that when they have concerns they can voice them and be heard.