By Kari Condel
There have been a few closings of Dorothy Day Student Union and many construction workers wandering around, but why? Along with the renaming of the building, Dorothy Day will be reconfiguring its structure. This alteration will be the key to attracting both current and potential students to be more active in the campus community and the athletic department. The completion of the construction will give a home to varsity sports as well as to student groups, such as the Student Government Association (SGA), for projects and meetings alike.
“The construction will expand the fitness center, as well as provide a dedicated set of contiguous offices for student engagement,” said Vice President for Campus Environment Marc Albanese. “It will also house the new eSports program in what was formerly storage for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. There will also be space for SGA as well as a small meeting room.”
The eSports, also known as electronic sports, athletes were the catalyst that initiated the construction to start, as DeSales would not be able to host such a sport without the building of a first-class competition area. The needs and wants of the athletes to have their own space to perfect their skills will be fulfilled. Just like a soccer team needs a field to play on, our eSports team needs a home.
Electronic sporting has grown in popularity over the last several years with its promotion by outlets such as ESPN and many other universities aiding in its growth in popularity. Many of DeSales’ competitors in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) have added eSports to their athletic programs as well, giving high school-aged gamers the opportunity to compete in college.
“Bringing eSports to DeSales has truly been a collaborative effort between many areas of our University,” stated Director of Athletics Scott Coval. “ESports will add excitement to our athletic department and to our campus community. With the hiring of new coaches and the building of a first-class competition area, we are thankful for the commitment DeSales is making to our newest varsity sport.”
The announcement of this sport addition, complemented by the building of a foundation for competition-play, has caused program director Karen Ruggles to receive quite a few inquiries from currently-enrolled students about joining the team for the spring semester.
Alongside the building of the first-class competition area, Dorothy Day will have the ability to host all campus boards, associations and clubs. The new meeting areas will increase student engagement as well as increase the foot traffic through the building. It will become the “hangout” for not only trivia nights and those eating at Sandella’s, but also for clubs to host meetings and discuss upcoming projects.
Barring any complications and assuming everything goes well with the construction of the eSports room and the Dorothy Day project, the new additions will be open and ready for use at the start of the spring semester, mid-January 2019.