(Photo courtesy of UMass Lowell website) “An overview shot of UMass Lowell’s East campus.”
As the new academic year starts, welcoming the bulk of new students, UMass Lowell also welcomes a variety of new changes that the student body can expect to interact with.
Speaking of new students, this fall saw the implementation of the new Transfer Alliance Program (TAP). Julie Nash, the vice provost for Academic Affairs, announced in a myUML news post that the goal of the program is to “support incoming transfer students during their first semester at the university. The program connects new transfer students to peer allies — current transfer students who are eager to share what they’ve learned about making the shift to [UMass Lowell].” Look for future TAP initiatives in the upcoming semester.
Those living in the residence halls this year might already be aware, but the Inn and Conference Center, known colloquially as the ICC, is no longer available for students to live in. Students who had selected the ICC as their home for the school year were given the option over the summer of moving to other residence halls instead. This arose because of the state of emergency Governor Maura Healey of Massachusetts declared in August regarding a shortage of emergency housing available in the state. The ICC will potentially be housing migrant families in the upcoming semester to offset this crisis.
The impact of the ICC no longer housing students as their home away from home can be felt in the lack of the Yellow Line, which was a popular shuttle for students to get into downtown Lowell. According to the UMass Lowell transportation services website, the Blue Line, “connects North Campus to South Campus, making a stop at Broadway/Riverview after South Campus.” While the Red Line “connects East Campus at the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) Circle to South Campus with a stop at University Crossing in both directions.” The Orange Line will run between North Campus, University Crossing and East Campus at University Suites.
At this time, there does not seem to be a replacement for the shuttle that ran through downtown Lowell. Students may have to use the buses run by the Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA) instead to easily get to their favorite downtown places such as Mill No. 5 and TreMonte Pizzeria. Students could also make use of UMass Lowell’s Free Wheelers Bike Share program to bike downtown themselves.
As for changes with the Honors College, its office has moved out of the O’Leary Library and has been taking residence in the Allen House since last year. The Honors College has “expanded [their] study abroad programs” this year as well, said Julian Zabalbeascoa, with new options for students to choose from for Honors-led overseas opportunities.
The Honors College is also using an app this semester. Zabalbescoa said that it’s “[h]ighly recommend[ed for Honors students to use] Honors by Desgin, which is powered by Suitable [the app], to customize [their] Honors experiences.” The app can monitor which E1s students are participating in and giving them points for each one. According to the Honors College website, E1s are the enrichment requirement that ensures Honors students are engaging with events that are “academically, culturally, or socially enriching in some capacity.”
Among other apps rolled out is Corq, which is intended to help students stay on top of general UMass Lowell extracurriculars and club activities. UMass Lowell boasts over 250 clubs, with some discontinuing and others joining the roster this year based on students’ interests. The Corq app will also help clubs keep track of attendance and the number of students attending their events and meetings.
These are only some of the changes that UMass Lowell has rolled out and implemented for this upcoming year. Students interested in what’s going on should keep an eye on campus life stories and UMass Lowell news posts.