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Universal design requires a lot of communication across the building’s users. Here are pointers from Elizabeth Watson, director of the Center for Students with Disabilities at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Sean Vance, director of The Center for Universal Design and an extension assistant professor at North Carolina State University’s school of architecture, on how to ensure you say the right thing:

It’s not just students who should be educated in fire prevention. College and university employees may need to brush up on what to do in the case of an occurrence. “All too often we find that the faculty, and to some extent staff, are woefully unprepared, misinformed, or plain naive about fire safety,” says Paul Martin, vice president for The Center for Campus Fire Safety.

Following the fatal Seton Hall University dorm fire in 2000, legislation required all New Jersey colleges and universities to retrofit their residence halls with sprinkler systems. It’s a move being made by institutions across the country as well.

    A peak inside the future South Ellicott hall at the University of Buffalo (N.Y.) shows universal design features such as "front porches" located outside multipurpose spaces that can be used as study spaces for all.

    IT'S BEEN NEARLY A DECADE since the student-caused fire in a Seton Hall University (N.J.) dormitory killed three students and critically injured many others. The tragedy forced campus leaders to take a hard look at fire-prevention procedures and how to improve them.

    DINING FACILITIES AND PROGRAMS ARE an integral part of campus life. Long gone are cafeteria-style dining areas with cafeteria-quality food. Today’s students can savor a dining experience that rivals the best home cooking and their favorite restaurants?and college and university dining services departments are delivering just that. Program administrators realize that customer service and diner input are key. And they know that both environmental sustainability and financial stability are expected.

    Professors at Lubbock Christian U wanting to record a class have all of the needed tools at their fingertips.

    Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (Pa.)

    Slippery Rock diners also have a quick take-out option.

    Total full-time enrollment: 8,525

    Institution type: Four-year public

    Shippensburg University (Pa.)

    An L-shaped dining area maximizes the views of Shippensburg's campus.

    Total full-time enrollment: 6,662 for Fall 2008

    Institution type: Four-year public