Several changes coming up for fall 2012 semester
Published: Monday, August 13, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2012 14:08
While most people were away for the summer semesters, UCF was anything but quiet.
During the three-month break, UCF announced some changes and even made national headlines. Here are some things you should know to prepare yourself for the upcoming fall semester.
Take a deep breath when you step back onto UCF’s campus and you may notice something — UCF has gone smoke free. Effective Aug. 20, smoking will no longer be allowed on campus or on UCF-owned property. Students who live on campus or staff and faculty who smoke should plan to kick the habit or take it elsewhere since there will be no designated smoking areas on campus.
Wellness and Health Promotion Services offers cessation services to students through either group support or one-on-one counseling. The UCF Pharmacy is also offering nicotine-replacement therapy at a reduced price.
Come fall, if you see someone light up, UCF requests that you ask them to put their cigarette out, although there is no punishment.
The smoke free UCF signs aren’t the only new additions to campus this fall. Students may notice construction at Memory Mall and Greek Park.
Classroom Building II is underway and expected to be complete by this time next year. The building will be three stories tall and 80,000 square feet; students can expect to see larger lecture halls and wider hallways to accommodate UCF’s growing population.
On the other side of campus, sorority houses for Kappa Kappa Gamma and Chi Omega are being built on Greek Park Drive, along with a Fraternity and Sorority Life Center. The construction began in May and is expected to be finished sometime in 2013.
In the upcoming years, UCF may add a second Student Union and an organic food store to campus; renovations are also planned for the John C. Hitt Library and the Mathematical Sciences building, formerly the Math and Physics building.
Aside from the new additions, there will also be one notable subtraction. The UCF branch of SunTrust, located in the John T. Washington Center across from the Barnes & Noble, will be closed as of 2 p.m. Friday.
The bank, which has been on campus since 2002, was unable to negotiate a contract with UCF to stay on campus.
Students who bank with SunTrust can visit other nearby branches on Alafaya Trail, University Boulevard and East Colonial Drive. For those students without cars who need a banking option on campus, the UCF Federal Credit Union is located within the John T. Washington Center.
It’s not just UCF’s campus that’s subject to be “under construction forever.” University Shoppes Plaza, located across from campus at the corner of Alafaya Trail and University Boulevard, is being torn down by a company called American Campus Communities to build student housing.
“The Plaza,” as it’s commonly known, hosts some of students’ favorite hot spots including Lazy Moon, Underground Bluz and Knight Library. Some of the shops will be relocating, but others will be shutting their doors for good.
Returning students should also expect to pay more come fall, due to a recent 15 percent increase in differential tuition. When Aug. 31 rolls around and it’s time to pay your tuition bill, plan for it to be about $2,498.76 if you’re taking 12 credit hours, compared to $2,233.56 for the same course load last year. Students will now be paying $208.23 per credit hour, an increase of $22.10 per credit hour.
Know, too, that Visa cards will no longer be accepted as a form of payment for tuition, and students will be charged a 2 percent convenience fee if they use any other credit card.
UCF was the talk of the nation back in July when it was announced that researchers at the university had discovered an exoplanet approximately 33 light-years away. The exoplanet, aptly named UCF-1.01, is about two-thirds the size of Earth.