Name: Jennifer Burt
On Saturday, November 5, 2011, the last students to ever live in Juniper Hall were moved to various locations throughout the Cedar City community. Due to the building’s nearly 50-year-old infrastructure, Juniper could no longer sustain a comfortable living environment.
Constructed in 1964, repair and replacement parts for the building’s mechanical system are no longer available. With winter’s fast approach, SUU administrators faced immediate decisions for Juniper Hall’s 227 residents who have now all been relocated to alternate accommodations of their choosing.
The campus and local communities have been working together to minimize the disruption this mid-semester move has caused on relocated students. Now, less than two weeks after discovering the heating system failure, former Juniper residents are back in classes and campus is back to business as usual.
Though certainly unexpected, SUU’s former Juniper Hall residents have taken their relocation in stride and, as President Benson put it, “with great maturity and understanding.”
In thanks to the faculty, staff and students who all volunteered their time to help students settle in to their new accommodations, parents of many Juniper residents have contacted Student Services since with praise for the University’s care and efficiency in dealing with the unexpected and mitigating its impact on residents.
Said one father to a freshman resident, “Everything was handled as effectively as it possibly could have been.” He went on to note the attention to detail and personal concern he and his daughter so appreciated from SUU administrators and staff in the face of the mid-semester interruption.
Much is to be said for the ability of leaders within Student Services, University Housing and the Finance and Purchasing departments to respond quickly and with sensitivity to student concerns.
Said another parent of a Juniper resident, “As parents, we really just wanted to thank you for the tremendous care and compassion that has gone into taking care of our daughter and all of the other Juniper Residents. It has been a wonderful experience to see how this situation was handled. There's a big difference between dealing with a crisis as though it were just a problem to be solved, and actually dealing with the feelings and concerns of the individuals involved! You and the community have done an outstanding job and we are so grateful!”
Above all, the University considered the individual and specific needs of each student, devising a four-option plan for relocation from which each student could choose.
Beyond campus, ecclesiastical leaders, property owners and landlords, the University's governing board, and many, many others from across the city have all banded together to put the welfare of SUU’s students first and foremost above all other considerations.
Southern Utah University commends and thanks the students, parents, faculty, staff and community members who joined hands to help Juniper Hall’s final residents relocate and settle back into the fall semester.
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