Students expressed a strong desire for more and better spaces in Engineering. EDAB recommends establishing a readily-accessible form for students to indicate their suggestions, following which faculty can act on these suggestions.
Perhaps the most important and yet least discussed part of student life is student space. Briefly, we found in a survey of 103 students that:
Over 90% of students feel that Penn Engineering does not have a centralized social space.
68.9% of students expressed a desire for nicer furniture in Levine.
Almost 80% of students do not enjoy E-cafe’s chairs & table accommodations.
77.7% of students wished that there were more spaces in Engineering to hang out in.
EDAB recently spent a semester transforming Levine into a centralized social space for unplanned, social activity in Engineering. We were able to put half-round tables against the windows and on the second floor for the 2018-2019 school year. Indeed, this initiative was very well received, and these tables are frequently used by students. EDAB considers this step as a catalyst for greater social interaction amongst the school at large.
Aside from a general social space, small improvements could make Penn Engineering feel less like a facility and more like a home. The establishment of an “EOS form” in which suggestions were listed and undertaken by staff would be immensely popular. Students could highlight key concerns or suggestions, such as these frequently cited ones which EDAB recommends the school begin looking into:
The Skirkanich entrance is too empty
Quain Courtyard is underutilized - having monthly events in the area could help increase the social function of the space. These are events such as:
Cookies for freshman every other Friday to meet professors
Handing out free engineering merchandise
Towne 100 & Moore 216 are often too hot for student comfort, resulting in poor focus