Wooster Hall Opens its Doors

Photo by Holly Lipka.

Wooster Hall has officially opened up to the students and faculty of SUNY New Paltz for the fall 2016 semester.

This three-story, 75,000-square-foot multi-purpose building is home to relocated campus services such as Records & Registration, Student Accounts and Academic Advising. Additionally, the structure houses multiple classrooms, research labs and anthropology and psychology academic offices.

Wooster Hall is an energy-efficient municipality, and includes views of the  Main Quad and class concourse through large windows in various offices.

Psychology Department Chair and Founding Director of SUNY New Paltz’s Evolutionary Studies Program (EvoS) Glenn Geher has taken a liking to his new space in Wooster Hall 361.

“This is a wonderful new space for the psychology department,” Geher said. “Our new research labs and conference room have really been conducive to our productivity.”

The psychology department is home to approximately 500 undergraduate majors, 100 undergraduate minors, 60 graduate students and 20 faculty, according to Geher. The department used to be located on the third floor of JFT with additional research labs in the basement of Humanities.

According to Geher, certain pieces of equipment such as skinner boxes and rat and fish labs that were in the Humanities basement psychology labs are antiquated and obsolete. Therefore, access to brand new labs with necessary equipment and new computers is far more beneficial.

Additionally, Geher said having everyone on the same floor in the same building is extremely convenient for having students and faculty meet.

Associate Psychology Professor Maryalice Citera said the new research labs equipped with computers provides a hands-on experience of research study for graduate students.

“This building is a mood lifter, it is bright and welcoming,” Citera said. “As I walk up the stairs it is almost as if the building is embracing you for the day— I feel proud of my space when people visit my office.”

Citera said that as someone who enjoys taking the stairs up to her office, the staircases in Wooster Hall are far more enjoyable than the darkness and secluded nature of the JFT staircase.

“You hardly saw other people in that stairwell,” Citera said. “This staircase is welcoming and it is nice to see people in the morning on my way up to the office.”

Second-year graduate student of Glenn Geher’s Evolutionary Psychology Masters Program Richard Holler finds it extremely convenient and personable to have the ability of walking down the hall to speak with a professor or fellow student rather than just sending an email.

“It is a great space for all the work we have to do,” Holler said. “The only downside of us all being together is that it is so easy to chit-chat with professors in the hallways.”

Cafe Element 93 (cleverly named after the 93rd periodic table element NP) located on the first floor of Wooster Hall is widely popular among students and faculty. Although students are enjoying the cafe, many are frustrated with the extreme traffic between classes.

“I think they opened it too soon being as there is an information center that is still being worked on,” said fourth-year communications disorders major Alyssa Kolb. “The cafe was a really smart idea and it’s super nice. I think they should have kept Jasmine’s though because there are always so many people trying to get food.”

Wooster Hall’s new facilities have been exciting for many students and faculty of SUNY New Paltz. Geher, Citera and other faculty members are excited to see how their new research spaces increase productivity and help facilitate strides in the department’s psychological research.

“It’s a dream come true,” said third-year sociology major Daniel J. Holohan. “It’s everything I’ve ever wanted. I feel so blessed to eat there four times a day. Wooster is love, Wooster is life.”