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Back To School Tip Sheet (For Journalists)
(Released: 08/20/01)

By Richard Veilleux, Office of University Communications
Telephone: (860) 486-3530 | Email: richard.veilleux@uconn.edu

STORRS, Conn. -- More than 14,000 new and returning students will arrive at the University of Connecticut's Storrs campus between Aug. 23-28, including about 3,200 freshmen -- the largest entering class in more than a decade. Returning students will find the campus has changed since they last saw Storrs, and not just physically, although new construction will again play a role in the 2001-02 academic year. A few story ideas, and contacts, based on those changes include:

Usually one of the more onerous tasks for students and their parents as they arrive on campus in late August is the time-consuming trek from one building to another to take care of business -- registering for class, settling various bills, securing grants or scholarship money at the financial aid office, signing up for telephone and cable services, and other chores. All that has changed, thanks to the UCONN 2000 program, which has allowed the University to convert the Wilbur Cross Building into a student services center, where most tasks will be completed quickly and efficiently in the refurbished building. One of the most historic buildings on campus, the structure now houses nearly all student service offices, and staff from each department have been trained to answer the full range of student questions. Contact Vicky Triponey, vice chancellor for students affairs, at 860-486-2265, or Dolan Evanovich, associate provost for enrollment management, at 860-486-1463.

Gone are the days when on-campus housing meant thousands of students moving into nearly identical rooms across campus. At UConn, housing options are multiplying rapidly. This year, nearly 1,000 students will live in the Hilltop apartment complex, which features two- and four-bedroom apartments and efficiencies, complete with kitchen and laundry facilities. Another 460 will move into new housing in the Hilltop Suites, which feature two large bedrooms with a shared bathroom. The three-year-old South Campus Suites also combine two bedrooms and a full bathroom, but include a shared common area. And some 900 freshmen will live in the refurbished Northwest residence halls, which offer study areas, computer rooms, faculty offices and other amenities. More than 100 upper-classmen who serve as mentors also live in Northwest. Several residence halls offer "cluster housing," where students majoring in the same subject live in contiguous rooms, and plans are being made to add another 1,000 beds, also in a suite arrangement. Standard residence halls also are available for students who prefer more traditional rooms. For information, contact Vicky Triponey, vice chancellor for students affairs, at 860-486-2265, or Carole Henry, executive director of housing and food services, at 860-486-2933.

More than three dozen human rights-related activities will take place on UConn campuses this fall, as part of a Human Rights Semester. Designated by Chancellor John D. Petersen, the semester's activities are intended to underscore the importance of human rights and to inform and engage members of the University community and interested members of the public about this critical topic. During a series of lectures, programs, conferences, and exhibits, members of the community will have the opportunity to learn about and discuss human rights throughout the world. A calendar of Human Rights Semester events is available at www.humanrights.uconn.edu, or contact Thomas Wilsted, coordinator of the Human Rights Semester, at 860-486-4501.

The UCONN 2000 program continues unabated. Besides the Wilbur Cross Building, other UCONN 2000 projects that have come to fruition this summer include a new building for the School of Business, the most technologically advanced business school in the nation; a completely renovated building for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; a new 1,500-car garage adjacent to the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion; and safety enhancements for UConn's residence halls. This fall, the first hotel on University property and the UConn Sports Museum will open and, in December, a new, expanded UConn Co-op will open its doors. Contact Richard Veilleux at 860-486-3530.

Five of UConn's top freshmen, who aspire to become physicians or dentists, will be the first to enter a new program that offers a combined undergraduate and medical or dental degree. UConn joins about 30 colleges around the country offering the BA/BS and MD/DMD program, which guarantees admission to medical or dental school to selected high school students after they complete their undergraduate work. While working on an approved undergraduate program, the students are linked with the School of Medicine or School of Dental Medicine through special seminars and health-profession activities. For more information, call Dolan Evanovich, associate provost for enrollment management, at 860-486-1463, or Keat Sanford, assistant dean for School of Medicine admissions at 860-679-3874.

With Napster and other legal battles involving copyright, trademark and patents becoming more commonplace and more complicated, lawyers with a firm grasp of intellectual property are in short supply and high demand. A new program at the School of Law will provide a select group of students with intensive training in the growing field of intellectual property law, which concerns the legal regulation of mental products. "There's more demand now for intellectual property lawyers than any other type of lawyer," says Steven Wilf, an associate professor of law and one of four faculty members affiliated with the Program in Intellectual Property. "This program makes these students very, very attractive to prospective employers." This semester, 15 first-year law students were selected for the program's first class. The students must take 15 credits of courses in the field, including a seminar; and an externship or supervised writing project. All law students must take at least 86 credits to graduate. Upon graduation, the students in the program will receive a certificate indicating their participation. Contact Professor Wilf at 860-570-5127.

Nearly 200 UConn faculty and staff will fan out across campus Aug. 23 and Aug. 25, helping new students and their parents move onto the Storrs campus. The Husky Haulers help freshmen move into their dorms, direct traffic to ease congestion near the residence halls, and answer questions about the University, various opening-week events, and directions to UConn buildings and local shops. Contact John Sears at 860-486-3430.

As they return to campus for the new academic year, dozens of UConn students and staff also will return to the job of constructing a home for an economically disadvantaged family under the auspices of Habitat for Humanity. Work on the house, one of the few Habitat-supported homes built entirely by one group, began last semester but was put on hold during the summer so the students could complete the project themselves. The home, located on Mayo Street in Willimantic, is expected to be completed this semester. Contact Diane Wright, coordinator of outreach programs, at 860-486-1165, or Miret Habashy, at 427-7515.

August 2001 Releases
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