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Students Return to Campus for Fall Semester

Students have returned to campus for the fall semester, which ushers in many changes and many continuations of the College’s traditions. One of the many changes brought in by the administration is the update of the Colby Shuttle system. The Shuttle has been expanded this semester and is using a new app to more effectively track the buses. The app is called Passio Go and can be downloaded from the app store. It shows the bus’ location, and how far away it is from various stops, allowing students to more effectively plan their schedules. According to a student living in the Commons, Passio Go “was confusing at first, however [I] feel as though it is very easy to get around Waterville.” Another student stated that “[the shuttle] was a good tool to be able to get to class on time, even without a car.”. The schedule runs Monday-Wednesday 6 a.m.-1 a.m., Thursday-Friday 6 a.m.-2 a.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-1 a.m. and weekday stops include the Bill & Joan Alfond Commons, the Pugh Center, Diamond Building, Davis Science Building and Maine General Hospital-Thayer Campus. The expanded set of stops facilitates students’ busy schedules and makes it easier to live in the Commons.

Colby Security is offering expanded parking this semester in response to the student’s request for more parking availability. The Mary Low parking lot has been expanded and renamed the South lot. The South Lot accommodates parking behind the Gordon Center. In addition, a new parking lot was added by the Alfond apartment complex, called the West Lot. Students have reported that they still find it difficult to find places to park during the day, as well as difficulty with the payment system for parking tickets, reporting that Security was overly strict with their parking citations, citing honest mistakes resulting in hundreds of dollars of fines that Security refuses to revoke. 

The College also offers a reformed healthcare system, moving labs and procedures to occur at the Thayer Center at Maine General Hospital, about 0.8 miles from campus. According to Colby Health Services, this change will “ensure that all students have the resources and support they need to be successful—both in and out of the classroom”, and help students navigate the complicated American healthcare system. The Garrison-Foster Center will still offer services such as counseling, some over-the-counter medications, pharmacy pick-up and drop-off, and access to the Director of Student Wellness and Health Support. At the Thayer Center, services such as physical exams, injury and illness treatment, lab and diagnostic services, STI screening and treatment, contraception, sports medicine, gender-affirming care, nutrition and wellness education, and travel health are performed. A full list of services provided can be found on Colby Health Services’ website.

The Gordon Center for the Performing Arts broke ground in the fall of 2021, and has not officially opened, but is available for student and faculty use. This $85-million, 74,000-square-foot performing arts center is home to the Colby Cinema, Theater and Dance, and Music Departments. The facility boasts a studio that is designed for experimentation and emerging art forms across the disciplines of music, dance, and theater, a performance hall with room for a full orchestra, and other resources for film editing, screening, and recording. One student in the auditioned vocal group Collegium says, “I think the Gordon Center has amazing facilities and I’m really excited to spend so much time and perform in it. Myself and a fellow choir representative are already planning choir acapella and student band collaborations”. These programs offer a great sense of community among musicians. Another student who participates in Wind Ensemble and Collegium says that he “finds it difficult not having experienced the recital hall,” which will occur on the grand opening on October 19, 2023. President David A. Greene said, “ I hope that all of our students find a home at the Gordon Center as a place for creative expression and as a place to be nourished by the many forms of artistic works that will emerge from the talented members of our community.”

Finally, the College welcomed the Class of 2027 on Tuesday, August 29, boasting the most talented group of students thus far in the College’s history. President David A. Greene says about the class of 2027, “I am thrilled to have them here at the College. What an extraordinary class in terms of their talents and achievements and the diverse backgrounds and experiences they bring to our community. I can’t wait to see how they will have an impact here and ultimately in the world at large.” 44 percent of the class is on some sort of financial aid, and 18 percent of the class is the first member of their family to attend or graduate college. This reflects the College’s larger mission to not only make the student body stronger academically, but more socioeconomically diverse, and give opportunities to those who in the past may not have had them.


~ Hannah Perfetti `25

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