Georgette Salameh Center
What is Bethlehem University’s Student and Visitor Center?
The Student & Visitor Center will operate as the headquarter of the community of the University, for all the members of our University family: students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. It is not only a building; it is also a collective and a comprehensive empowerment program that the University seeks to offer.
The Center will be built in a student-friendly manner which centers the physical and mental wellbeing of students in its design, and will be a fully accessible and inclusive building. The building will host both a Student Center and a Visitor Center, and will include:
– Student learning & recreation area
– Fully accessible areas and services for students with disability
– Adequate sports and fitness areas for thousands of students and 400 faculty & staff
– A 150 seat lecture theater
– A Visitor’s Reception Center for thousands of visitors who visit the University and engage with the University’s Student Ambassadors
– A rooftop terrace that will flow into the existing Cafeteria and Education Buildings
– A parking garage.
BU Student Center Beyond the Classroom
Why Do We Need It?
Besides covering the immediate space and facility needs at Bethlehem University, the Center will host cultural, social, health, and recreational programs, aiming to make the free-time activity an integral element in the educational experience on our campus.
Despite the University’s excellent faculty and classroom facilities, BU needs a more adequate space on campus for the increasing number of students where they can socialize, meet, study in groups and recreate, especially with the busy circulation between classes, and the limited group study space in the library. Between classes, our students sit in the outside -if the weather conditions allow- or go to the crowded cafeteria.
Moreover, our students have great sports potential, but no corresponding facilities to accommodate and develop them. Currently, there is only one gym room on our campus, which neither provides proper space, nor the needed ventilation. It does not also secure the privacy needs for the majority of our students, female students. With the Student Center, we seek to provide sufficient facilities to encourage our students to pursue their physical well-being, develop their sports talents and enjoy productive yet restful time on campus.
With thousands of international visitors every year, Bethlehem University struggles to find accommodating spaces for the visiting groups and ensure their exchange with its students in a convenient facility. This is not only important for the visitors, but also for the students who, given travel difficulties and restrictions in Palestine, cannot travel easily, and rely on such visits for international exchange and engagement, which is primordial in broadening their horizons and exposing them to various opportunities and experiences.
How will the Center Improve BU Community Life on Campus?
With the vision that developing the person is as important as developing the intellect, the Center will significantly complement the academic educational mission of Bethlehem University, and is perceived by the University as an excellent way to encounter the stress of classes and of the general socio-political economic situation that Palestinian youth live under, ultimately promoting social life at Bethlehem University, energizing the learning spirit and the engagement of students in various activities beyond the classroom.
The Center will host a variety of activities and services that fulfil the needs of the campus community and enhance educational, physical, cultural and developmental social interactions. For us at Bethlehem University, this leads to the individual and collective empowerment of our students and community.
The Center will also allow the University to consider establishing comprehensive student employment programs and opportunities during the school year. The Center will provide a welcoming environment, to students, campus community and visitors, and serve as a key platform that unifies the campus, respects each individual and values diversity.
By donating to Bethlehem University’s first Student Center, you will:
- Help students get the very first area dedicated to their own needs where they can meet, study, recreate, interact, learn and engage in exchange.
- Help students get their first adequate sport and fitness area, including students with disability, and promote the empowerment, engagement, and wellness of our students (78% of whom are female) through sports.
- Promote the understanding between the people of Palestine and other countries by providing a permanent suitable venue where our students can meet and interact with visitors from around the globe.
We have already raised $1 Million for the building, another $1 Million is needed to start and complete its construction.