A Clarkson Mosaic - page 250

It is my belief that Clarkson needs, more than anything else, the facilities which a
college union provides. A happy and inspiring social environment is most important as a
background for good work.
H. Edmund Machold, lifelong friend of the Lewis family and chairman of the board of
Niagara-Mohawk Power Corporation, was the guest speaker at its dedication. His remarks were
followed by the presentation of the key to this new building by members of the Lewis family to
President Van Note. Sandy Ginsberg, president of the Board of Governors, expressed the
appreciation of the student body for whom this new building was to become the center of social
life on campus. F. Gordon Lindsey, director of the Malone branch, was named its first director.
In its early days, it provided three meals a day, seven days a week to approximately 400
students. Dining hours were staggered by different class schedules so there would be no long
lines delaying the service to students. Its dining room could seat 232 at 58 formica-topped
walnut-grained tables, each capable of seating four students. A snack bar was open during the
hours when the cafeteria was open. Recently, it served as the dining facility for the 168 students
residing in Congdon Hall until that dormitory was closed in summer 1993.
The large student lounge and recreation area on the second floor provided 4,800 square
feet of floor space for study and relaxation between classes and for parties and dances in the
evenings and on special occasions. With the opening in 1992 of the Cheel Student Center, this
second-floor space was converted to the Financial Aid Office.
First Dormitory
. Construction was begun on Clarkson's first building constructed specifically
as a dormitory. Frechette and Clough, general contractors of Tupper Lake, submitted the low
bid of $850,000 for the construction of this new building on the corner of Maple Street and
Clarkson Avenue, at the foot of the hill below Holcroft. It was expected to be completed in
September 1954.
This three-story, two-wing structure housed 304 students and two proctors. It had
facilities for 152 students in each wing, consisting of 76 double rooms and a small suite for the
proctor. The wings were connected by a central dining and lounge area. Furniture, except beds
and chairs, was built into each room.
Later its two wings were named after Andy Hamlin and Doc Powers. Because of its
location, the students referred to it affectionately as "the Pit" once other dorms had been
constructed "above" it on the hill.
. The faculty voted to change the grading system from H C P L F to A B C D F. Prior to
this change, Clarkson and MIT were the only two eastern schools still using this scale. It had
been used widely during the earlier part of the century, but was gradually abandoned in favor of
the more easily understandable A-B-C system. All upperclass records retained the old system,
because transposing them into the new system would introduce errors; freshmen, however,
received the new grades on their work.
. In 1953, the Council on Student Organizations (COSO) was formed to coordinate,
supervise, and enhance the many extracurricular student activities on campus "in the interest of
the student body." To that end, the COSO asked all organizations to submit constitutions for
approval, and thereby prevent the establishment of organizations which tended to duplicate
organizations already established, or which made little contribution to the general welfare of the
extracurricular activities on campus. The Council also requested a standard form by which all
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