In Spring 2022, Pendleton Hall East is closed for critical repairs. Social sciences departments, which include economics, political science, sociology, education, and anthropology, have mostly been relocated to the interconnected complex of modular buildings on Gray Lot near the Science Center.
In April 2022, the Board allocated $12 million out of the $125 million needed for emergency repairs of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) at Pendleton East, where there were frequent infrastructural failures in the HVAC systems.
Kartini Shastry, professor of economics, said, “The HVAC system in Pendleton would flood some of my colleagues’ offices every year or so, and they would lose important things like class notes and also personal items like shoes, so we are very glad that they are fixing it.”
Despite the transition to a different environment, Professor Shastry said she enjoys teaching in the mods because spaces feel more integrated.
“It’s been really nice to run into people from other social science departments that might have had offices on different floors in Pendleton, for example. I am also seeing my colleagues in the [economics] department more because of the cubicle arrangement,” Shastry said.
Faculty in the relocated department also face issues because they have to share the already-limited cubicles in the modular buildings for their offices.
Smith Radhakrishnan, professor of sociology, said, “It is difficult to find a comfortable and private space to meet students in the mods. The cubicles in the mods do not seem to function as a space for private conversations, compared to our private offices [in Pendleton East],”
Instead, professors are finding other available rooms on campus to meet with students.
Radhakrishnan said, “I booked a room in Lulu on 25Live so that my class can have office hours at a fixed location.”
Students have also complained about the distance to the modular buildings, especially regarding access to tutoring resources.
Louisa Lu ’25 said, “Since I live on the West Side [of campus], I’m not as willing to go to the [Economics] office hours, especially those at night. I would say that if the office hours still take place in Pendleton, I’ll be more motivated to go.”
Tenzin Karma ’26 said, “It is a bit inconvenient and kind of far away, but as long as we go inside, it’s not much of a difference.”