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CPUC discusses ongoing construction, mental health in first meeting of the fall

Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

At the first Council of the Princeton Community (CPUC) meeting of the fall semester, held on Sept. 19, University officials gave construction updates and addressed concerns about disruptions to campus life due to ongoing projects. Project Communication Manager Karen Fanning presented campus wayfinding projects like the Build Princeton campaign, as well as a series of 17 maps that will be placed on campus giving students detour directions before they reach a closure. 

Additionally, a group of University administrators, in conjunction with student leaders, shared the findings of a mental health resources report created over the summer. This work began with an Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Senate-sponsored referendum in Spring 2022. 


During the meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee on Naming, which recently renamed Marx Hall to Laura Wooten Hall, was recommended to become a standing committee of the CPUC. The CPUC also approved the Order of Business for 2022–23, which is a set of rules under which the committee operates that must be reapproved each year. 

Construction Updates and Concerns

While displaying maps of campus that date back to 1756, Associate Vice President of Capital Projects Dozi Ibeh reflected on the legacy of construction that today’s capital projects are built upon. 

“I hear from so many people how beautiful Princeton’s campus is,” he said. “But that beauty took construction, design. It’s now our turn to contribute to the continuous growth and evolution of Princeton University’s campus.”

Ibeh announced the completion of the Stadium Drive Garage, Roberts Stadium, Yeh College, and New College West, which opened Sept. 3 to students despite construction uncertainty.

The 17-acre site of the Environmental Studies and School of Engineering and Applied Science (ES&SEAS) campus has been cleared, utility lines are being installed, and the beginning of the foundation is under construction. The University intends on moving the 91 Prospect Ave. building across the street, as well as 110 Prospect Ave., to make room for ES&SEAS and preserve the Victorian homes on Prospect Avenue. 


Other current construction projects include the Princeton University Art Museum; the University Health Services facility, which will provide “outpatient medical care and counseling services;” Dillon Gym renovation and expansion; development in the Meadows Neighborhood (previously called the Lake Campus Development); and Hobson College, which will be complete with its own dining hall.

Fanning addressed the concern of moving around campus when many routes are disrupted due to construction. Current measures include an opt-in text alert system that alerts students of detours and area closures as well as a series of campus pathways that will be displayed around campus before major construction begins, allowing students to “choose which way [they] might want to go.” 

Signage will be placed around campus starting this week, according to Fanning.

Fanning noted that the Princeton Builds campaign, visible around campus outside Frist Campus Center and the Princeton University Art Museum, for example, was created to inform the public about why the University is taking on these projects. Outside Dillon Gym, the Princeton Builds campaign reads, “Princeton builds wellness. Wellness builds fitness, strength, and flexibility.”

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“It’s really identifying what’s behind the fence,” Fanning said. 

Ibeh addressed a concern from Uma Fox ’26 about pedestrian safety and lighting around campus. 

“Several students have conferred to me that they feel as though there’s a lack of nighttime visibility on campus,” she said. 

Ibeh responded that a group of representatives takes part in campus safety walks every semester in order to identify areas for improvement. Several pathways, particularly in the center of campus, are slated to undergo  improvements to offer wider walkways and additional lighting.

Assistant Professor of Classics Caroline Cheung inquired about plans for classroom expansion given the growing student population on campus. Ibeh responded that most projects that are currently part of the capital plan will be expanding the classroom inventory.

Discussion on Mental Health

Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun, alongside Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Dr. Calvin Chin, USG U-Council Chair Stephen Daniels ’24, USG Vice President Hannah Kapoor ’23, and USG President Mayu Takeuchi ’23, led a conversation about mental health on campus. 

Over seven meetings this summer, this group formulated a report discussing mental health resources and the building  of a supportive, informed community on campus.

“We believe that being a community that is focused on prioritizing the well being of these individuals is all of our work,” Calhoun said.

The group sought to examine awareness and resource gaps, recognize issues affecting students of diverse identities, and explore care and crisis responses. 

“We recognize the need to bring together different partners and different people who occupy spaces on campus to have this conversation, a deliberative and a constructive one, about mental health on campus,” Takeuchi said.

Some recommendations outlined in the report and highlighted in the meeting include 24/7 on-demand counseling through CPS, funding for transportation to off-campus counselors, and funding to expand the quantity and diversity of CPS staff.

Calhoun acknowledged that conversations about mental health would be ongoing, through quarterly reports reviewing the suggested recommendations, mental health luncheons, and the revival of the University Health Advisory Board.

Takeuchi facilitated the CPUC’s discussion about mental health, asking the administration, faculty, students, and alum what role they play in promoting mental health on campus. 

University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 commented on the systemic factors that affect mental health. 

“There’s a widespread epidemic of mental illness within our society that is not limited to high aspiration colleges and universities,” he said. “We should be mindful of that as we might go to very Princeton-specific diagnoses of what the causes are. Those diagnoses might be wrong.”

Takeuchi responded that the group’s work is consistent with this thinking. 

“Creating a thriving campus means creating people who can thrive beyond Princeton as we graduate and move beyond,” she said.

The meeting ran from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, in Frist Campus Center’s Multipurpose Room.

Isabel Yip is an assistant news editor who typically covers University affairs and student life. She can be reached at or on Instagram at @isaayip.