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Since you’ve been gone: What changed on campus over the summer?

August 29, 2018 By Kayla Huynh

A lot can happen in four months.

While some of you were busy traveling the world, working an internship or relaxing at home, the university went through some significant changes. Here’s what you might have missed.

Nick, Witte, Chemistry complex, Babcock Hall & Meat Science Lab are under construction

Image: Architect's rendering of Nicholas Recreation Center exterior at night

Architect’s rendering of the northeast entrance to the future Nicholas Recreation Center — “the Nick,” for short — which will replace the Southeast Recreational Facility (SERF) in 2019. Courtesy of Division of Recreational Sports

Construction is on track and underway on campus.

The chemistry complex will be expanded and renovated, adding two floors of undergraduate instructional labs to the building. The famous but antiquated Babcock Dairy Hall is also being upgraded, and the meat science program will soon get a new building.

Three cranes already are in the air for a $93-million, four-story student recreation complex rising across the street from the Kohl Center, and another crane is lifting building materials a block away for the $53-million renovation and expansion of the Witte dorm.

UHS introduced a new sexual violence bystander intervention program

This August, UHS implemented a new campus bystander intervention program — ActWIse — which is specifically developed for the UW–Madison community to prevent sexual assault and dating violence.

ActWIse will be used as a community education strategy for select student populations with high levels of influence on campus culture and norms including student-athletes and members of fraternities and sororities.

The LGBT Campus Center has a new name — the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center

The LGBTCC, located in the Red Gym, is now the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center.

To better align with the center’s mission, the LGBTCC changed its name in May to the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center. The center also unveiled an updated tagline — “supporting LGBTQ+ students and their communities.”

The purpose of the name change is to better align with the center’s mission. The center continues to serve those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual,and transgender, but also serves many more students who use an array of other language for their own identities and experiences.

We welcomed Lori Reesor, new vice chancellor for student affairs

Photo: Reesor and Mangelsdorf standing in doorway with Abby

On Tuesday, incoming student Abby Monday got a visit from Lori Reesor (center), vice chancellor for student affairs, and Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf (right), during their move-in tour of Sellery Residence Hall. Thousands of students are settling in this week for the start of the fall semester. Photo: Bryce Richter

Hello, Lori Reesor! The university welcomed Dr. Reesor in July for the newly created role of vice chancellor for student affairs. The role is designed to strengthen student experience by ensuring that student-related services on campus are strategically aligned; it reports directly to Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

The units reporting to the new Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will be the Wisconsin Union, the Division of Recreational Sports, University Health Services and the Division of Student Life.

Argyle Wade has taken over for Lori Berquam as interim dean of students

Photo of Argyle Wade


Argyle Wade has taken over as the interim dean of students for the 2018-19 academic year. Wade, who was previously the assistant vice provost, associate dean and chief of staff, assumed the role in mid-August.

He is taking over responsibilities of Dean of Students Lori Berquam, who held the position for the past decade and has left to pursue a fellowship through the American Council on Education.

More information on the search for a permanent dean will be available in spring 2019.

University Housing Dining is now cashless

In order to accommodate customers efficiently without long waits at the registers, all University Housing Dining Markets have gone “cashless.” Emily Hamer

In order to accommodate customers more efficiently, all University Housing Dining Markets are now “cashless” and will no longer accept cash or checks at the registers. Accepted forms of payment include Wiscard, Visa, Discover, and MasterCard.

Are there any other changes students should be aware of this semester? Let us know at