Corban is currently considering building a treehouse on campus, creating more space for students and faculty to utilize.
Provost Matt Lucas took up the concept proposed by alumni Ehlana Struth and Sarah Cox, who developed the idea in a marketing class last spring as a way of attracting students to the University. With an influx of new students, the treehouse will also provide more space.
“I would love to see this as a destination spot on campus where students can hang out, ASB can hold meetings, and faculty could hold classes,” Lucas said.
Samantha Campbell, an intern hired to gain student feedback on the idea, envisions the treehouse as a place for student integration.
“It will be a community space that is basically like dorm lobbies but isn’t affiliated with a dorm,” Campbell said. She hopes it will be a space that groups can’t “clique-ify,” or make exclusive.
Campbell said if the project is approved, its funding will come mainly through donations and fundraising. Because of this, she said, the project may face financial obstacles. Without a set budget, planners won’t know exactly how big to plan.
As a result, Lucas said the project is tentative.
“At this point we are just in the exploratory stage so nothing is committed yet,” he said.
If an arborist approves, the builders may construct the treehouse in the trees between the PVG path and Music House B Flat, Campbell said.
Students voiced their opinions and bounced ideas off one another in focus groups hosted by Campbell. When she sent out an online survey, 93 percent of the 64 students who responded viewed the idea of a treehouse positively.
However, students have expressed a variety of opinions regarding the project.
Corban student Hayley Pereira disliked the idea of a treehouse at first, fearing that funds might be taken from student fees.
“Once I found out that it is being funded through fundraising, I jumped on board. I’m excited and I hope it happens,” Pereira said. “I think the treehouse sounds like a great social space for Corban students.”
Student David Giglio held a different view.
“I am all for vibrant student life and fun ideas, but I think Corban needs to work more toward encouraging students to engage with the Salem community,” Giglio said. “Instead we should fundraise to buy a creative space in Salem that would help move student life off the hill and open opportunities for service.”
Students will continue to have the opportunity to voice their opinions as Campbell holds more focus groups. These groups will be made up of 43 students who expressed an interest in helping with the process.