This article is part of the Daily Trojan‘s supplement issue, “If you build it, will they come?” This semester’s supplement focused on the impact of the new Ronald Tutor Campus Center and University Gateway apartment complex, both of which will open this fall.On a Friday in April, four Daily Trojan staffers took a tour of the new Ronald Tutor Campus Center, which is scheduled to open in August. The building offers an array of venues new to USC’s campus, and administrators hope it becomes a destination for students during the week, at night and on weekends. Here’s one student’s take on the places in the campus center most likely to help reach that goal.The BallroomThe Ballroom is enormous. Our tour guide boasted that it can seat 1,200 students, and administrators have touted its flexibility. It can be used for concerts, plays, lectures, parties and formal dinners. It can also be divided into smaller sections for conferences and meetings. Student groups will be able to reserve this room. I imagine it will end up being a cross between Town and Gown and Bovard Auditorium.TraditionsFor students, Traditions is clearly the premiere attraction in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. It’s built like a sports bar, with booths facing a long bar and flat screen televisions lining the walls. The bar will also serve food and unlike in the past, the new Traditions will be open to anyone, even those under 21. Like at The Lab, students who are drinking will be required to show I.D. Given Traddies’ new hours — open until at least 2 a.m. on weekends — I could easily see it becoming a go-to hangout for students wanting to grab a bite or a drink, watch the game or just relax.Tommy’s PlaceTommy’s Place is connected to Traditions. It’s is a performance/hangout venue about twice the size of Ground Zero Café, and will be a great place for concerts, comedy sketches, readings, etc. It also has a huge screen that can broadcast live television, and we’re told Tommy’s will transform into a theater to watch away football games. There will also be pool tables. Combined with Traditions, Tommy’s seems like a great place for students to gather, but like everything else in the campus center I would have thought it’d be bigger, considering how many students will likely be using it.The Trojan Family RoomThe Trojan Family Room is the cornerstone of the campus center, the first thing you see when you enter the main doors. It seems, however, to be targeted least toward current students. It’s a large, circular room with fancy furniture and flashy memorabilia, but few televisions. The nearby concierge booth also struck me as strange. The Trojan Family Room seems like a way to sell USC to alumni and prospective students, who must walk by this room to reach the admissions center on the second floor. But I doubt many current students will hang out here.Moreton Fig RestaurantMoreton Fig Restaurant is the new Upstairs Commons. If you weren’t around for Upstairs Commons, you missed out: It was a sprawling upscale restaurant where students could use dining dollars. Moreton Fig is in the same mold, but in a more intimate setting. Tight booths and wide windows dot the room; it has access to a patio seating area and it has a bar. But, like the food court, it seems much too small for USC’s huge student body and Trojan Family. We didn’t get a peek at the menu, but it likely won’t be cheap.The Food CourtThe food court is a wide open space next to a large outdoor courtyard. It will house Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Carl’s Jr., a small version of California Pizza Kitchen, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and one other restaurant to be announced soon. There’s also a marketplace similar to the one in The Lot. The food court is surprisingly small and I found myself wondering if it could accommodate the lunch rush. But an array of flat screen televisions means it could be a great place to grab a bite and watch the game. Take-out windows that are accessible from the courtyard also mean students will be able to order food after the food court is closed.
The Thanksgiving holiday mood in the ELWA Junction vicinity was crushed when a man, scavenging a dump site for scrap materials, discovered the body of an infant girl wrapped in a blanket and put in a sealed carton. At a glance, the baby did not shake or cry, and its navel string (umbilical cord) was still attached, causing many to believe that it was already dead for about five to seven hours by the time of discovery (around 9 a.m.).It is not clear whether the baby was left to die at the dump site or was already dead before it was deposited there. Hawa Massaquoi, a local resident who was the second to have sighted the baby, told the Daily Observer yesterday in an exclusive interview that she was taking her son to the nearby Liberty Clinic when her son pointed at the trembling scrap-man standing in front of the dead child lying beside the carton.“From a distance, when we asked the guy, he just stood still trembling with his dirty bag almost half-filled with things,” Hawa said. “And after few seconds the dumpsite got crowded while the guy was sitting nervously.”There were random views about what really happened.“Nine months of pain is not an easy thing to overlook and kill a young, innocent baby,” Love Kollie, a pregnant woman at the scene told the Daily Observer, assuming that the baby may have been killed by its mother. “Even if the man denied the pregnancy, you should spare the life of the child because you do not know whether this is the only child you will have to take care of you. I have a child that the father denied, but I still kept him up till today. The woman who did this thing is not a real human being.”Another by-stander, Alvin Lahai of ELWA Studio Junction, noted that it was not the first time babies have been abandoned at the dump-pile. He said the practice is more common during the rainy season and, though no arrests have been made yet, the frequency of such has escalated as a result of the Ebola pandemic.Others – mainly women – argued that the baby must have been a stillborn, which is common in Liberia because of the crippled health system in the midst of the Ebola outbreak. A stillborn baby is one who is born without any signs of life at or after 24 weeks pregnancy. The baby may have died during pregnancy, labour or birth.Whatever really happened, some onlookers called it “wickedness” that one would leave a baby – dead or alive – in a dump site. They asked God to “curse and punish” the unidentified person who left the baby there. “If the baby was dead, it should have been buried,” one bystander said.Meanwhile, two police officers who were at the scene and refused to disclose their names said they had immediately contacted the headquarters of the Liberia National Police for the removal of the body.“We aren’t investigating this case, because every dead body is assumed to be an Ebola victim,” the officer said. “If it was normal time without being under State of Emergency, we would have investigated this matter, and made some arrests. The first suspect would be the iron guy (scrap scavenger) who discovered the dead child.”Collateral Damage from Ebola CrisisFor Madam Rose L. Varney, a social worker and the administrator of the nearby Liberty Clinic, said the discovery of the baby is part of the collateral damage from the Ebola crisis. She says many health centers are refusing to treat pregnant women during the crisis due to fear of coming in contact with the blood and other bodily fluids of people, whose [Ebola] status they don’t know.She fears that many pregnant women who do not go to hospital, or get attached to a health center for prenatal care, would suffer similar fate.At the height of the Ebola crisis that is in July and August, most pregnant women and their unborn babies were left to die as they (women) were rejected at almost every health center and hospital. There were reports all around Monrovia of people being turned back from hospitals and health centers. All of those health facilities had broken down because health workers themselves began dying from the virus and so were not around to treat and care for others, who had other illnesses other than Ebola.According to Madam Varney, stillbirth is caused by many factors. “Maybe the baby simply did not grow enough in the uterus due to genetic or physical defect in the baby,” she said. “This means the baby’s brain, heart or other organ has not developed properly. Sometimes there is heavy bleeding after 24 weeks of pregnancy; an illness suffered by the mother, such as diabetes, the liver condition a blood-clotting problem.”“Losing a baby is a devastating blow in this Ebola crisis. When it happens, it is hard to know how to cope, both practically and emotionally because of the unwillingness of many health centers to contact anybody’s blood and fluid,” the nurse said. “We hope things could get better.”She urged the government and national and international organizations to address the case of pregnant women before the infant mortality rate in the country climbs.She recommended that there should be free and compulsory treatment for all pregnant women and it should be widely publicized, just like the Ebola preventive message.“This could encourage pregnant women to go to hospital amidst the Ebola crisis which has also plunged our economy,” Madam Varney said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)