Standing 32 feet tall and 20 feet wide, with a surface that resembles a rugged mountain face, Furman's new indoor climbing wall provides students, faculty and staff with a whole-body workout. Before the Furman wall existed, many students visited an indoor climbing facility in downtown Greenville to satisfy their hunger for rock climbing adventure.
Located in the Herman W. Lay Physical Activities Center on the south side wall of the large gym, the wall came about through the collaborative efforts of students and administrators. Climbers scale the wall by combining body tension to push and upper-body strength to pull their bodies upward.
Strengthening and toning the muscles are the two main benefits of rock-climbing. It is truly a full-body workout, working everything from forearms to fingers and torsos to toes. The calories burned during a 15-minute rock-climbing workout are equivalent to an individual running more than two miles! The wall was designed by Foy "Buddy" Price and constructed by the Sweatman Construction Company of Greenville.
Using his 30 years of rock-climbing experience, Price designed a wall that challenges both the novice and advanced climber. In addition to designing the wall, Price also trained 30 students to serve as belayers. A belayer is responsible for the safety of the climber, ensuring that all ropes and harnesses are secured and in good working condition. This includes checking the ropes periodically for frays and abrasions.
During winter term, hours for the climbing wall are Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday evening (6-10 p.m.), Friday (3-6 p.m.), Saturday (10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) and Sunday (12:30-3:30 p.m.). Anyone desiring to climb it can call 294-2102 for a reservation, or come by when it is open.
-- Owen McFadden
Our staff recently concluded a year-long process of updating and reviewing all staff job descriptions. By now, each of you should have received an updated job description from your supervisor. The next step is to review your job description. Mark minor changes that are required and return it your supervisor for review and approval of the requested change. The supervisor should forward your job description to personnel who will update the description and send it back to you and your supervisor via e-mail.
If you have had major changes in your job responsibilities, a job review should be requested. A job review request form can be picked up from Personnel. The supervisor and department head must approve all job review requests before Personnel will schedule a review.
The office support staff luncheon will be held on Wednesday, March 20. This annual event brings support staff together to say thank you to the individuals who provide office and administrative support. Invitations will be sent by campus mail. Retirement representatives from TIAA-CREF will be on campus April 16, 17 and 18 to provide individual retirement counseling. Participants who sign up for a 30-minute counseling session will be given a retirement illustration projecting the value of their retirement account at age 65. Appointment scheduling will begin in March, and additional information will be sent via e-mail and campus mail.
As a reminder, the deadline to submit medical and dependent care reimbursement claims for services in calendar year 2001 is March 31. Reimbursement forms are available in the Personnel Office.
-- Doris Foster
As we approach the remainder of winter term, University Housing is busy as usual. The North Village Community Center opened last month, and it is a beautiful facility. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the furniture to complete the finishing touches, although for now we are making do with temporary furniture. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to reserve the center at http://www.furman.edu/admin/stuserv/housing/nvcc/index.htm. The Resident Assistant selection process began February 6. We are seeking 70 of the best students Furman has to offer. If you know of potential candidates, please refer them to http://www.furman.edu/admin/stuserv/housing/RAselection/newraapp.htm.
All applications are due by February 20. The FRAD selection process will begin on March 18 with an informational meeting at 4 p.m. in Burgiss Theater. If you have noticed a trend with the links to information on-line, that is because University Housing is striving to provide better service to our students by making information available via the web.
With this in mind, we are excited about a collaborative project with Randy Dill and Clayton Burton in Computing and Information Services to make our room lottery an on-line process that will allow students to submit room requests from their computers and work in conjunction with Datatel. We are hopeful this project will be ready for the 2002-03 room lottery process that will take place in April or May.
We were pleased with the student response to the survey we conducted in December. A 40 percent response rate was achieved with 950 respondents out of a possible 2,374. Ninety-five percent of our students were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with living in campus housing. Eighty-five percent (12 percent reported no opinion) agreed that our maintenance/custodial staff is helpful and courteous. We conduct this survey, which contains approximately 50 questions, each year as we continually strive to provide the best service to Furman students.
-- Jason Cassidy
The Office of Admissions is in the midst of finalizing the freshman class for fall 2002 with record numbers of applications in both Early Decision and Regular Decision (up 6.2 percent). Among Furman's largest and strongest Early Decision pool of 650 applicants, 75 percent were accepted; 335 have paid and committed to attending. Nearly 46 percent of the freshman class for fall 2002 will come from Early Decision.
As of January 23, Admissions has also received a record-setting 3,675 applications for Regular Decision, making this year's Regular Decision the largest and most competitive in Furman's history. Part of this year's success can be attributed to the university's new integrated marketing plan. After a successful relationship with Phoenix Communications for four years, the Office of Admissions, in coordination with the Office of Marketing and Public Relations, chose Stamats Communication, Inc., of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to produce our new line of recruitment materials and to redesign a new Admissions Web site: engagefurman.com.
The new Web site has received nearly 75,000 hits and some great feedback from prospective students and families. In addition, Furman's viewbook, the primary recruitment brochure, was enhanced not only in look but also in concept. Its goal was to mirror Furman's educational objective of engaged learning. It is linked in every section to our Web site. The viewbook encourages students to go the Web site and the Web site encourages students to read the viewbook. The interactive nature of the Web site is designed to attract students and entice them to return.
-- Joe Biedlingmaier
The Commission on Higher Education Office has determined that the value of the LIFE Scholarship for the 2002-2003 academic year will be $4,367. As of late January, the value of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship has not yet been determined. Gov. Jim Hodges has recommended the value of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship to be $7,000 in his recent lottery legislation that is currently being hotly contested by the state legislature. We hope that a decision will be made soon so accurate financial aid awards can be given to students for the 2002-2003 academic year.
More than 500 South Carolina Tuition Grant (SCTG) recipients at Furman received a notice from the South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission office in December indicating that they would receive a 10 percent reduction in the overall award. This reduction ranged from $347 to $373 depending on what year in school the student was classified academically. (Reductions for UES students were less). These reductions were mandated by the state legislature due to budget cuts at the state level and because the program had more than 1,000 more eligible students throughout the state than anticipated.
The Office of Financial Aid has been processing the reduction for the spring term amount of each SCTG recipient enrolled at Furman. Dr. Shi has sent several letters to key legislators addressing the impact these cuts have on Furman students. Adrian Taylor, a sophomore from Greenville, SC, is coordinating a letter writing campaign for Furman students to write to their appropriate state legislative representative. The aforementioned cuts will result in lower SCTG awards for the 2002-2003 academic year. Awards will range from $2,420 for freshman to $3,350 for seniors. Freshmen were originally projected to receive $3,350 and seniors were projected to receive $3,730 prior to the budget cuts to the SCTG. Due to the economic downturn, the Office of Financial Aid has seen a dramatic increase in students and parents appealing for financial aid as a result of loss of employment or a reduction in the number of hours worked by students and parents of students.
Anticipated funding shortfalls are a concern. Several staff members from the Office of Financial Aid have conducted financial aid information nights for local high schools, high schools in Orlando, Fla., and at some college fairs. A PowerPoint presentation was developed for use by staff members and was well received by audiences.
-- Martin Carney
new look for furman.edu
Ryan Fisher gives Furman an online facelift
News from university departments
Anniversaries and new employees
Inside Furman is published monthly during the school year by the Furman University Department of Marketing and Public Relations. For story ideas, e-mail John Roberts, editor.