Morrison Wong called one of the temporary on-campus trailers his home since 1984 until this semester, when he moved into his new location at Scharbauer Hall, which opened this spring.
The trailer was not actually home, but where his office was located for about 25 years, he said. Wong, chair of the department for sociology and anthropology, said the trailers were supposed to be temporary, but when the master plan for the campus was put together a social science building was never part of it.
“I’ve sort of joked with the dean at one time saying, ‘Man, I’m not even sure if when they told us we were going to move here that was ever gonna happen,'” Wong said.
He thought he would be retired before his department ever got out of the trailer.
Wong said he thought there was something special about the trailer office. He said the building developed its own culture where everyone bumped into one another, building a closeness. He said the building even felt like home to some faculty, but others felt like being located in the trailer made them unequal to other faculty.
“We felt that it would set a bad example to the public when we have guest speakers come in, when we have to describe where our offices are located…we would have to say, “Oh it is the trailer,'” Wong said. “It sort of gave a negative view about the importance of sociology, anthropology and criminal justice…so it was sort of like a second-class status.”
According to the AddRan Web site, all of the school’s departments except English, history and religion will be located in Scharbauer Hall. English and history will move into Reed Hall after it is remodeled, while the religion department will remain in Beasley Hall.
The John V. Roach Honors College has also moved into Scharbauer Hall.
Wong said he likes that Scharbauer Hall is quieter and allows him to get work done more easily. He said having almost all of AddRan College located in one central building would allow the different humanities departments to interact, but it is not necessary for AddRan to function.
Joanne Green, associate professor and political science department chair, agreed that it can create a nice learning community.
“I don’t think it has to be that way…but I think it can create a really nice intellectual environment that can promote interdisciplinary, collaboration, research (and) communication, which I think…has enumerable benefits,” Green said.
Green said the political science department was outgrowing the office space the staff had in Sadler Hall and it now has room to expand in Scharbauer Hall.
Brad Lucas, chair of the English department, said AddRan students now have a location to call their own.
Lucas, who is temporarily located in Scharbauer Hall, said he now sees faculty from other AddRan departments whom he had not seen in years.
“I think it will ultimately improve research, and we’ll be able to talk more about what we’re doing, and you get some interesting collaborations that way,” Lucas said.
After Reed Hall’s renovation is complete, the English and history departments will move there, Lucas said. He said because English and history are the two largest departments in AddRan, it just worked out that those departments should move to Reed Hall when it is completed. Lucas said he is not disappointed English will be located there.
“When those discussions happened, we were pretty happy to stay in Reed, assuming that it would sort of be brought up to contemporary standards as well,” Lucas said. “While this is a very nice new building, Reed Hall will look just as good when they are finished with it.”
Emy Kapiamba, a junior economics major, has an honors thesis class in the Scharbauer Hall. She said she thinks the sculptures, wood and brass that adorn the building are classy.
She said she thought it was ridiculous that economics had been located in the trailers until now and the department did not have a building to call its own.
“This is just an easier place to be and meet, and…not have to go to the trailers where every time you walk down the halls it is shaking the whole thing,” Kapiamba said.
She said being located in Scharbauer Hall will help communication between different departments and students of different majors.