Students Right at Home in New Journey House

August 30, 2013

Albion students regularly use a wide range of spiritual and cultural spaces on campus; now, they have a new home base as well.

Over the summer the offices of the Chaplain, Community Service and Intercultural Affairs moved from the first floor of the Ferguson Building, where it shared space with the Office of Career Development, to 1000 E. Porter St., across the street from Whitehouse Hall and in between the Delta Sigma Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity houses.

The new location, known as Journey House (from the Lao Tzu quote, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"), features two floors of office and gathering space, including a full kitchen and dining room for meals and functions. For Intercultural Affairs, it's an additional facility along with the James A. Welton House and the Umbrella House, which moved last year to 1107 E. Cass St.

"[Journey House] is going to be incredibly well received and used because our department is so student-centered," said Chaplain Dan McQuown. "We're really focused on the student's agenda, and it's a great space for spiritual life, community service and intercultural affairs."

Journey House welcomed the campus community during an Aug. 27 open house.

"I'll be here all the time. This is my new place," said Tsiporah Davis, '14, a communication studies major who is president of Hillel, treasurer of the Umbrella Groups and heads the Bridge Interfaith Council, run through the Chaplain's Office. "There are resources here—I can be productive here. It's really convenient."

Cara Delaney, '14, a mathematics major and president of the Student Volunteer Bureau, added, "It seemed very formal before [in Ferguson], and it made it a bit difficult at times. Now, to have a purely dedicated space, that's just great. It's more welcoming."

McQuown and Pam Schuler, assistant director for service and leadership, mentioned that student community service activities—in particular service dinners—have taken off in recent years, and that Journey House quickly will become a big asset.

"Bringing the student organizations together gives them a chance to collaborate on community service projects, which is awesome," Schuler said.

The house had been vacant for the past two years after being used as a female student residential annex. Director of Facilities Don Masternak said the Facilities Operations team successfully worked the retrofitting project into an already tight schedule that included the complete renovation of Lower Baldwin dining hall.

"The house was in good condition and basically only needed freshening up," Masternak said. "Our team lent its skills and connected with the dedicated contractors and vendors who always step up to serve the College. We are very fortunate to be a part of this supportive community."