Jun 26 2018

A Peek Into EMU’s History: Buildings on Campus

by blogemu

Eastern Michigan University is the second-oldest university in the state of Michigan. EMU’s oldest buildings show to the community the college’s century-long dedication to education.


The oldest building on campus, Starkweather Hall, was originally built in 1896 for the Michigan State Normal Schools Student Christian Association.

The unique building, which sort of looks like a stone cottage, has been the home of several Christian associations until the 1970’s when the organization disbanded. Some say that Mary Starkweather, the university’s benefactor, now haunts the building as a way to remind community members that she donated the building to the school.


Whether you believe in spirits or not, it is still a beautiful building with a fascinating history.


Another classic building on campus is Sherzer Hall. Sherzer Hall was originally built in 1901 as the school’s original science lab.

The historic brick building has since become home of the art department, but it still has the Sherzer Observatory, where astronomy students go to look at the stars and see other worlds.


A personal favorite of mine is King Hall, originally built in 1939 as the women’s residence hall. The building has many beautiful Art Deco elements such as carvings inspired by nature and technology, as well as a lounge which still has the original wood paneling.

While all of these architectural elements are wonderful, the real treasure is what’s inside: King Hall is currently home to WEMU 89.1, EMU’s NPR station, The Eastern Echo student newspaper, and the Early College Alliance, a program which gives local high school students a head start on college.


A little-known building on campus that many students seem to pass by is the Geddes Town Hall Schoolhouse. The Geddes Town Hall Schoolhouse, which is across the street from the Rec/IM, was originally built in 1895 in Pittsfield Township to serve the students of that area.

The schoolhouse has been in service until the 1950’s when more modern facilities replaced these historic pieces of Americana. The schoolhouse was relocated to EMU’s campus on July 7, 1987, and was officially dedicated in October 1988.


The building exists to remind the Eastern Michigan community of the school’s beginnings as a teacher’s college.


While EMU’s historic buildings are important to remember, the university’s more modern structures are also great places to go to on campus.


One of the most popular buildings on campus is the Student Center, built in 2006 to replace the older McKenny Union. The Student Center has the bookstore, restaurants, lounges to relax in, and even free movies on Friday in the auditorium.


The Student Center is where most of EMU’s campus life happens.


McKenny Hall hasn’t been the main hang-out place for EMU students since the Student Center opened in 2006; however, that may have changed since Chick-Fil-A opened one of their very few Michigan restaurants here in 2017.


This restaurant has made McKenny popular again with not only Eastern Michigan students but also with Ypsilanti residents too.


While not an official Eastern Michigan University building, the Ypsilanti Water Tower has become somewhat of a popular landmark with many students.

Originally built in 1890 by the city, its main function was to provide water effectively to the residents of Ypsilanti. Its unique style has since become part of the local culture, with residents and students alike using it as a major point of reference for all places in Ypsilanti.


Eastern Michigan University’s architectural gems are a testament to the university’s long history of providing quality education to those who desire it.

Gary Simmons is a senior from Muskegon, Michigan who is majoring in both Journalism/Media Studies and Urban Planning. When he isn’t out promoting EMU/Ypsilanti with the Go Social! Team, he is either writing articles for the Eastern Echo, working on TV programs with EMU’s student-ran ETV station, or is making people laugh with Laugh-a-Minute Enterprises.


Jun 21 2018

Resource Spotlight: University Writing Center

by blogemu

With the end of the winter semester still fresh, the not-so-confident feeling of turning in a paper and anxiously awaiting your grade is probably easy to recall.


Without a little help proofreading, or even just a second opinion, submitting a paper can be pretty scary. Luckily, Eastern has you covered!

Unless you’ve never taken a campus tour (or an EMU writing class), you’ve probably at least heard of The University Writing Center.


But did you know that you don’t have to go all the way to Halle Library to get writing help?


The UWC has a satellite location in most of the main class buildings, including The College of Business. The following are all of the locations of the UWC satellites:


  • Halle Library (The University Writing Center and Academic Projects Center)
  • Pray Harrold Hall
  • The College of Business
  • Marshall
  • Sill Hall
  • Roosevelt Hall
  • Mark Jefferson Science Complex

(For more information on locations and fall semester hours, visit https://www.emich.edu/ccw/writing-center/contact.php)


Another fun fact about the UWC is that you can get help on more than just research papers and response essays.


Every type of major calls for some type of writing, so the UWC has consultants to help will all sorts of papers including technological reports, science lab analyses, poems and short stories, and presentation outlines.


The UWC even offers help with resumes and cover letters.


Guess what else?


You don’t even need to have a completed rough draft to stop by! The UWC appreciates that sometimes acting as a backboard to bounce ideas off of can be the most helpful service it can offer.


So, if you have an assignment but have no clue where to start, just come and talk it through with a consultant.


Going to the UWC seems pretty easy, right? Then why hasn’t everyone gone?


For a lot of people, the answer is a lack of one of two things: time or confidence.


Many people get so bogged down in work and life that they feel like they just don’t have the time. The nice thing about the UWC is that consultations are only a half an hour long, and you can either make an appointment or pop in unannounced.


And if you don’t have 30 minutes to spare, you can stop in for 10. There’s no obligation to stay for any amount of time, especially if you already have specific concerns for a consultant to pay attention to.


A lot of people also have concerns that their writing just isn’t good enough, and I certainly know how awkward it can be having someone silently reading your paper right next to you.


That lift of the reader’s eyebrows could mean that they really like what you have to say, but the writer usually assumes the opposite.


First, at the UWC, you can either read your paper aloud or ask your consultant to do it for you. There’s no waiting around for the final verdict!


Second, if you think you’re a terrible writer, the consultants don’t care. More often than not, someone who thinks their writing sucks is usually pretty good at it, but if not, the consultants are not there to judge – not while you’re there and not once you’ve left.


We’re there to help you grow as a writer, and we sure remember what our writing looked like before we got help.


So, when fall semester rolls around, feel comfortable stopping in at one of the UWC satellites at your convenience.


It’ll be a worthwhile experience and will likely raise the grade on your assignment. Just remember that our interest as consultants is helping you grow as a writer and making college just a little bit easier for you.


We look forward to seeing you this fall!


Reilly McGovern is a current EMU senior studying Creative Writing and Marketing. She works at the University Writing Center during the fall and winter semesters and works on her novels over the summer.



Jun 19 2018

COT Spotlight: Christine Franzen

by blogemu

Christine Franzen is a recent EMU graduate who followed her passion for art and animation to New York City, where she works as a projection designer for theater productions. As a projection designer, Christine is responsible for creating every video and image on set.

All her life, Christine has had a passion for drawing, animating and theater.


After acting in four performances at EMU, Christine decided to put her drawing and animating skills to use and assisted the projection designer on One Man, Two Guvnors. She went on to be the lead projection designer on Macbeth.


“Projection is interesting because you can take a small space and make it something totally different,” Christine said. “You can take the audience to an entirely different place.”


Her favorite production so far was “Me…Jane” which played at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.. “Me… Jane” is a musical for kids about the life of a young Jane Goodall.


“It accomplished what I love about projection the most. It wasn’t too much, it was the thread the guided the story along. I also loved the message to go follow your dream. I felt like I was a part of something bigger than just the show.”


Christine’s goal is to continue to make a name for herself in the world of projection design and get to a point where clients seek her out for work.


In her free time, she continues to develop her skills in graphite, colored pencil and digital art. Check out christinefranzen.com to see some of her incredible work.


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