By Maggie Dunning
Staff reporter

A new spot on campus is the outdoor classroom behind Mossman.

Right now the outdoor classroom consists of six benches that can be converted into three tables with an unhung blackboard.

Cheryl Rude, head of the social science department, said, “It’s close, but it just needs a few finishing touches, very small things.”

The small touches are planting the trees and grasses to enclose the space and make it look more like a place. Rude said the next planting date is for Sept. 13.

The funding for the new outdoor classroom came from SGA.

Rude said, “We received two grants from them last year. That was used mostly for the landscape.”

Jessica McIver, class of 2013, conduct advisor for SGA. In an April interview she said, “When SGA developed the grant, we wanted to make sure that it benefitted most of the students or all of the students so any student can use it.”

Anastasia Prokopis, class of 2013 SGA president, said during an April interview, “I also think this one was a lot more sustainable for the future. It didn’t really require a lot of maintenance.”

The new classroom will provide new teaching opportunities and add variety.

“It gets them out of the traditional classroom style and more open to different kinds of learning styles,” said Prokopis.

Teachers in the past have attempted to teach outside but have never really had the correct set up to succeed.

Rude, said, “All of us who teach in the social sciences wish they could go outside. All of us have tried before, but it’s hard when you’re getting distracted by a grasshopper in the grass.”

Of course when living in Kansas the main struggle for the success of the classroom will rely on the weather. We hope it can be a little spontaneous.

Overall, McIver said, “The outdoor classroom was the right choice.”

Although students are using it right now, Cheryl Rude, head of the social sciences department, is planning a tentative opening day on Oct. 7 at the outdoor classroom.

“Pam Olney, faculty assistant, will keep the schedule for it, when the classroom begins being used by professors,”  said Rude.

Maggie Dunning is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email her at