Summer News Recap

Waffle House opens its doors in Tech Square

Waffle House opened its doors to the campus community on June 9, following a year-long construction and renovation process. While the chain has over 1,600 locations nationwide, the Waffle House facility in Tech square has several interesting features. The walls of the Waffle House are lined with photographs of different Waffle Houses and also with Tech related pictures, including portraits of Tech athletes.

Another area on the wall is dedicated to famous Tech alumni, including Jimmy Carter, Wayne Clough and Bobby Jones. The facility is managed by Travis Bell, a former Tech football player. The location also has an outside patio with seating and a Wi-Fi lounge area and a waiting room for take-out orders. Features common to all Waffle Houses include a jukebox and the standard menu. The facility will be open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year.

The Institute does have a storied connection to the firm. Joe Rogers, Jr., son of co-founder Joe Rogers, Sr., is a Tech alum and is the current CEO of the company. The Waffle House location was previously occupied by an American Apparel store, which was closed in December of 2008.

New mod. lang. degree approved

The Board of Regents at the University System of Georgia approved a proposal for a new degree at Tech. The new degree is called a Bachelor of Science in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies and will be offered through the School of Modern Languages. Students can enroll in the program starting this fall semester. The degree will be a combination of foreign language studies, cultural studies and a cluster in an interdisciplinary field. Students must complete 15 hours within their chosen cluster, allowing them to complete a minor within the major.

As part of the program, students must complete at least 12 hours abroad.

Two languages will be offered at the start of the program: Spanish and Japanese. Following approval, German, French and Chinese are the next languages to be added. The offering of Russian, Korean and Arabic are also in the planning process.

Skiles walkway to be closed

It was announced that work crews will begin work on numerous projects associated with the construction of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons (CULC). Skiles walkway will be closed starting on Dec. 20 for the duration of the spring and summer semesters. In order to facilitate traffic through the center of campus, the Skiles alleyway, which lies between the south side of the Skiles Classroom building, the Coon building and the Tin building, will be reconfigured. The alleyway construction will be completed by Dec. 1 so that the pathway is open to the campus community when campus reopens in the spring. The renovated alleyway will be more open, better lit and have an emergency call box.

The Price Gilbert Library plaza will also undergo renovation, including the removal of the library fountain. Furthermore, the sidewalk between the Student Center Commons and Bunger Henry will also be closed due to work on the Tech Green.

Students burned in accident

On June 2, a thermite reaction caused an explosion at the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house and resulted in the hospitalization of two students. Tommy Keen, a third-year AE student and Paul Grzybowski, a third-year CHEM student received burns on 30 percent and 20 percent of their bodies, respectively. A person familiar with the incident stated at the time that the students mixed two chemicals in a two-liter soda bottle when the system exploded. The resulting explosion caught the attention of bystanders, who proceeded to call the police department.

Police determined that there were more chemicals inside the fraternity house and proceeded to evacuate the house, and a hazardous materials team was called in to remove the remaining substances. The incident was treated as an accident. Sources also stated that the activity was strictly recreational and was not a part of a fraternity related activity.

New student center dining options

Upon arriving on campus this fall, students will be greeted with a plethora of new dining options at the student center. The space previously occupied by Pandini’s is now taken by a new Chick-fil-A, Subway and Taco-Bell restaurant. The Jackets / WoW Cafe and Wingery will continue to operate in the same location as before. The decision to bring new restaurants was sparked by declining sales at Pandini’s.

In addition, two new restaurants will be introduced to the student center food court. Zaya, a Mediterranean restaurant is located at the same place as the old Chick-fil-A facility. An Indian restaurant, called Cafe Spice, is located in the same space as the old Burger King. Other restaurants will continue their offerings in the student center food court. This was done to give students more variety of ethnic options as well as more vegetarian choices.

Bras named new Institute provost

The Institute announced Dr. Rafael L. Bras as the new Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Bras will officially begin his tenure on Sept. 1. The search for a new provost began last year, following Dr. Gary Schuster’s decision to step down from the post and return to a tenured position with the faculty of the School of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

As the Provost, Bras will be the chief academic officer of the Institute and exercise broad budgetary oversight of all the Colleges within the Institute. This is especially critical now as the Institute adapts to the current national financial climate. Bras joins a set of new faces in the upper level administration this fall, including the Deans of the Ivan Allen College and the College of Computing.

PTFE, MSE now one degree program

The schools of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) merged together with the school of Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering (PTFE) to create the largest MSE program in the country. The school now has 55 thesis-granting faculty, surpassing MIT by 11 positions. The newly merged school will hopefully streamline interdisciplinary research activity. According to Dr. Robert Snyder, the school hopes to become a top-five MSE school in three years, and the No. 1 school in five years.

Current PTFE students, and those entering the Institute through Fall 2011 will be allowed to pursue a degree in the field. The MSE School will also offer a Materials Science degree with a focus in polymers. Out-of-state students participating in the Academic Common Market will be grandfathered under the program, as long as they remain eligible.

Former President Hansen dies

Tech’s seventh President, Arthur G. Hansen, died on Monday, July 5 from complications during surgery. He was 85 years old. Hansen served as President between 1969-1971 before leaving to become the President of his alma mater, Purdue University. During his tenure, the Student Center opened its doors for the first time on Aug. 3, 1970. Hansen also led efforts to raise funds for the Student Athletic Center, a predecessor to the Campus Recreation Center (CRC).

He was also present during the time of the Kent State incident. Amid questions from members of the campus community about the need to have a military program (ROTC) on campus, Hansen was able to preserve the historic program. In 1982, Hansen left Purdue to become Chancellor of Texas A&M.