Image by Walter Rivera, Video by Camila Fernandez/FIUSM Staff
Written by Camila Fernandez/BBC Managing Editor
With the lack of a greater student population growth at the Biscayne Bay Campus, students and faculty are faced with a disadvantage.
To address student and faculty concerns, the BBC Student Government Council hosted their 9th Annual Town Hall Meeting with University President Mark B. Rosenberg.
During the town hall, it was discussed that the absence of a larger student population has become a major issue for campus growth. It is hoped that once there is student housing at BBC, there will be more students on campus. According to Rosenberg, there have been delays in terms of new housing construction.
Over 200 students who once resided in the previous Bay Vista Housing had to leave by May 1 of last year, leaving BBC without any housing available for students.
Construction of a new privatized housing was expected to be completed by Fall 2015. However, it is now expected to be completed by August 2016 if and only if they get approval on Thursday, Feb. 19 from the Florida Board of Governors.
“We [had] some delays, but we’re pretty sure that we’re going to get approval to build our new residence hall overlooking Biscayne Bay… The hole is already in the ground by the way, in case you haven’t noticed,” Rosenberg said.
Many successful campus operations were also highlighted during the meeting as well as the national recognition of science, technology, engineering and mathematics involvement at the MAST @ FIU Academy.
Despite the lack of students, the campus has become more student centered, said Jazmin Felix, President of the BBC-SGC. This is due to last year’s addition of the Panther Plaza and the Panther Square, as well as a new Starbucks and Subway dining facility.
“When we started this year, the goal was to make BBC more student-centered and more unified and I think fall was the kickoff for that,” said Felix.
The Chaplin School of Hospitality and Management was congratulated for its many accomplishments in internships and student successes.
According to Rosenberg, this upcoming South Beach Wine and Food Festival, taking place from Feb. 19 to Feb. 22, will provide hundreds of internships to hospitality students.
Recently, Eddie Zeng, a graduate student at the school of hospitality, was awarded with a $5,000 scholarship at the 2nd Annual FIU and Badia Spice Competition thanks to his winning creation of a seafood-type spice.
His spice called “Biscayne Bay” will be sold with a five percent of all global sales to go right back to the school of hospitality’s funding.
“Our students can compete, and they do compete,” Rosenberg said.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication was also commended due to its partnership with the MAST @ FIU Academy and their Eyes on the Rise sea level project. The project was recently aired by the Worldwide Public Broadcasting Television (WPBT) and YouTube.
In terms of the Royal Caribbean state-of-the art facility that opened by January of this year, it is expected to soon benefit students at the College of Architecture and the Arts and the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the area of research.
The facility includes a 300-seat theater, 20,000-square-foot costume-making and storage facility and 10 other rehearsal studios.
“Over time you will see significant impact opportunities, research opportunity. [It is] the most unbelievable partnership. I promise you it’s going to happen,” Rosenberg said.