Campus City Dean addresses Student Senate about poor condition of fine arts college buildings By Emily Zeiler Posted on September 19, 2019 4 min read 0 1 269 Student Senate. Photo by Emily Zeiler The dean of the College of Fine Arts presented to Student Senate on Wednesday night about the lack of renovations to the college’s buildings. Matthew Shaftell, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said the students within the college have class in 22 different facilities across campus, but several buildings haven’t received renovations in years. “Ninety-three percent of our students are studying in buildings that haven’t seen a renovation in well over 40 years,” he said. He contrasted the program’s success to the building quality. The College of Fine Arts is the only college at Ohio University whose enrollment has grown two years in a row; it has also introduced programs such as musical theater, Shaftell said. A study completed a year ago sought to identify problems with the buildings, he said. The study’s results highlighted basic safety concerns for students who use chemicals for art projects and heat kilns to high temperatures. “Because (Siegfried Hall) is old, it doesn’t support the safety that we want; it doesn’t have HVAC so for instance we can’t paint in the summer,” Shaftell said. Last Friday, the college received a gift from an alumni who donated $64 million to be split between the Patton College of Education and the College of Fine Arts for new buildings. Nicolas Paredes, a former student senator, also spoke at the meeting, drawing attention to the nearly 500 classified employees at Ohio U who are in the process of determining whether or not to form a union. A classified employee is someone who does not serve a teaching position at Ohio U. These workers can be library employees, culinary employees, or a variety of other positions not directly related to education. The Ohio Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act allows these employees to unionize for the purpose of bargaining for “fair pay, benefits and better working conditions.” Classified employees recently received letters of support from community leaders, local organizations and elected officials who advocated for Ohio U to give them the option to form a union. In other business: Student Senate Vice President Alicia Lundy-Morse said there will be a mayoral and Athens City Council debate on Oct. 17. There will be a “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit outside Walter Hall this weekend to honor fallen service members. Ohio U will host a volunteer-led suicide prevention and awareness project called “Send Silence Packing” on Sept. 24 to fight ignorance about suicide.