10 things to know for the fall semester – Clark Now

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It’s that time of the year again. August is ending and our students are settling in at residence halls and apartments. Before you head to class, here’s the scoop on what’s happening at Clark this fall. You’ll want to mark your calendar for some new seasonal events and check out some fresh additions in the dining hall. Interested in finding new connections on campus or in the Worcester community? We have a few tips.

Good luck this semester. We hope it’s a great one!

1. Welcome to the Center for Media Arts, Computing, and Design

Get ready to experience the newest addition to campus, The Center for Media Arts, Computing, and Design(MACD), a hub for interdisciplinary learning. This is the new home of the Becker School of Design & Technology, the Computer Science Department, and some programs from the Visual and Performing Arts Department. Inside, students will find an AR/VR lab, multimedia gallery, makerspace, robotics lab, computer labs, an audio/video production and recording area, and more. If you’re looking for some magic in the details, then you should know that the building’s geometric window pattern is a nod to the pixelization and binary structure of technology and digital design.

President David Fithian and Chief of Staff David Chearo tour the Center for Media Arts Computing and Design building construction.
The Center for Media Arts, Computing, and Design building under construction in June.

 

2. Hitch a ClarkRIDE

ClarkRIDE will continue providing transportation to and from campus within a mile radius of Clark, including trips to Big Y and CVS. This is an on-call, safe-ride program for students, faculty, and staff. However, with game design courses moved to the new MACD building, a shuttle will no longer run between the Clark campus and the former Becker buildings on William and Sever streets.  Visit Clark’s transportation website to learn more. Worcester Regional Transit Authority buses are another option to travel around Worcester and neighboring towns for free this year.

Garren Kalter in front of a WRTA bus
Garren Kalter ’21, M.S. ’22, analyzed the Worcester Regional Transit Authority bus service for his honors thesis.

 

3. From road trips to ‘Rocky Horror’

New seasonal events are coming to Clark this fall. “Day Trippin’ Weekends” give students the chance to venture off campus and explore Central Massachusetts. Clark is providing transportation to local attractions including the Worcester Art Museum, Polar Park, Tougas Family Farm, the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, and more. A slate of spooky activities is on the calendar for Halloweekend, Oct. 27-29, organized by the Undergraduate Student Council and numerous student organizations. A costume contest and ball will be held in Tilton and students can catch the annual late-night showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” in the Daniels Theater, among other activities. Keep an eye out for updates, as additional events are being planned. Check out everything going on by logging into Clark Engage.

Campus will be busy Oct. 13-15 for Family and Friends Weekend. Activities include Clark’s Got Talent, featuring student-run improv, music, and dance groups; a nature walk in the Hadwen Arboretum; and the Fall Fest celebration, including family photos and pumpkin painting. On Oct. 25, ClarkFEST returns to showcase undergraduate research and creative work through posters, presentations, and interactive exhibits.

students dressed as Minions for Halloweekend
Clark’s own version of the Minions were mellow-yellow on Halloween.

 

4. Where to get caffeinated

Need a little boost before class? Clark Dining has new coffee options across campus. The Cougar Café in the Goddard Library will have nitro cold brew on tap. Higgins Café and The Bistro are now serving cups of Joe from New England Coffee. You’ll also find a new cappuccino machine and fresh-brewed iced tea at Higgins. The Den in the Shaich Family Alumni and Student Engagement Center now has an espresso machine and new drinks on the menu, and will be selling treats from Belen’s Bakery, which opened earlier this year by Annie’s Clark Brunch. Speaking of Annie’s, the cash-only policy is no longer, and you can now pay with a credit card at the Main Street fixture.

Students will also see a few menu updates under new executive chef Michael Morelli. The Bistro is adding side salad options with swaps instead of fries, and healthier choices at the grill and on the late-night menu. At Higgins, the soft serve ice cream rotation now has a vegan option.

Mark your calendar for a welcome event from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 in. the Higgins Dining Hall, featuring a photo booth. In October, a chef from the Netherlands will visit campus to bring a taste of their country to the dining hall  Stay up to date by following @clarkdining on Instagram and checking out the dining website.

Zaida Melendez puts out cookies at Belen's Bakery
Belen’s Bakery opened on Main Street in 2023.

 

5. Pardon our appearance

Please excuse the ongoing construction as we continue to update the Goddard Library. The renovation and restoration project includes window replacement and roof and brick work that will preserve this iconic campus structure. During construction, you can still access the building for study and research — and socializing.

A construction worker at the Goddard Library
Construction workers lay bricks at the Goddard Library.

 

6. Get curious about clubs

Esports or the film production society? The mycology club or musical theatre? Visit Clark Engage to peruse a list of Clark’s more than 120 student clubs and organizations, and a calendar of events and activities.

Think something is missing from our list? Turn your idea into a club! If you’re not sure where to start, check out the Student Involvement Fair on the campus green from 2-5 p.m. on Sept. 6. Be sure to download the CORQ app, which is another way to access Clark Engage and find events, clubs, and opportunities that interest you.

Model UN
Clark Model UN

 

7. Game on!

Clark’s athletes compete throughout the year, and the campus community is always invited to cheer on our teams. Remember that athletic facilities are for your use as well. Your Clark ID gets you access to the Bickman Fitness Center, Kneller Gymnasium, swimming pool, and racquetball/squash courts. Find more information on the Athletics website..

Baseball players in front of Clark Athletics sign.
Clark Baseball vs. Rhode Island College, March 16, 2023

 

8. Wellness resources

Students in search of emotional support can make an appointment with one of the counselors at the Center for Counseling and Personal Growth. One-on-one counseling services include short-term therapy and same-day crisis appointments. All therapy services offered through the center are free. The CPG is at 114 Woodland St. and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. CPG has announced a partnership with Uwill, a leading mental health and wellness platform, to expand counseling capabilities. Uwill services are available 24 hours a day with therapists who speak different languages. The service is available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Health Services is available to students who are experiencing health-related issues.

Black lab with students in the Academic Commons
Gilligan the Black Lab, a therapy dog, helps students relax in the Academic Commons.

 

9. Feel at home

Bullock, Hughes, and Wright halls are dedicated to building community among first-year students as they adjust to college life. Throughout the academic year, there will be plenty of programming in all of the residence halls and houses through the residential curriculum. Feel free to connect with Office of Residential Life & Housing staff, who support students living on campus.

Students can also visit the Office for Identity, Student Engagement, and Access (ISEA) in Dana Commons which supports:

  • Students of African American/Black, Latine/Latinx, Asian/Desi-American, Pacific Islander, Native/Indigenous, and Multiracial descent
  • Students in the LGBTQIA+ community, exploring their identity as it relates to gender and sexuality, and the larger gender-diverse population
  • First-generation college students
People walk past Bullock Hall.
People walk past Bullock Hall. Photo by Moses Millman ’24.

 

10. Take pride in Worcester

There’s plenty to discover in Worcester, including cultural offeringsrestaurants, and parks. The city celebrates Pride in September, and events kick off just as the semester begins. Students can also experience the city through Clark’s  Office of Community Engagement and Volunteering, which helps students connect with local organizations for academic and co-curricular experiences. You can learn more about these opportunities at the Community Engagement Fair on the campus green from noon to 2 p.m. on Sept. 7. Students who live on campus can also register to vote in Worcester. National Voter Registration Day is Sept. 19.

Clark students tour the Worcester Historical Museum.
Clark students from the Image and the Word class tour the Worcester Historical Museum.

 



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