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H. J. Patterson Hall: Where global collaborations happen

The University of Maryland celebrated the 2018-19 academic year as the ”Year of Immigration.” The theme resonated across the university through the first year book, The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen, and through campus programming and events. During this time, H.J. Patterson’s Global Crossroads Atrium served as the hub for the international and environmental communities at the university. 

H. J. Patterson acts as a central point for the university’s global affairs. The Global Crossroads Atrium was created with the vision of being a home on campus for the international community and those wishing to increase their global awareness. Students come to study, eat, and network in the building. 

Wing 1 of the hall was renovated in 2017 to enhance the university’s international departments and community. The new space for the international community is LEED silver-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Renovation included the addition of Cafe Samovar, which carries ramen, rice bowls, teas, coffee and more.

“International students need an opportunity to talk to natives,” said Xinyu Peng, a sophomore information systems business major. Peng is an international student from China and enjoys studying and eating in HJP regularly. She appreciates the area because, ”It provides a space to connect.”

The renovated wing’s structure creates an open space for students to host and participate  in a variety of events. Many environmental clubs have come to use the space for events and movie screenings. The Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) has hosted multiple environmental events in the building, such as a screening this past semester of “Chasing Coral.” 

“They were really excited about the movie because [it was] internationally relatable,” said Sonja Neve, who is part of the SOA executive board. Neve says the movies the club screens focus on the human impact on the oceans. These movies have a call-to-action that requires international efforts. In previous semesters, SOA screened “Blue Planet II” and “A Plastic Ocean” in the Global Crossroads Atrium.

Global community centers like H.J. Patterson are growing in importance as our university and partners around the world advance action and technology in the face of such threats as climate change. Global partnerships are increasing in order to battle the effects of climate change as sea levels and global temperatures continue to rise.

The Paris Agreement, an international environmental treaty, was created to bring nations together to combat climate change. The treaty has set goals for nations to collectively reach, track, and monitor climate action efforts. The U.N. recently published a report that announced that the world has 10 to 15 years to prevent the worst effects of climate change. The importance of collaboration is increasing now more than ever in efforts to reduce our impact on the planet. 

As the world continues to change, it is key to unite global communities within our university environment. HJP serves as a model to bring together these communities.

By Rachel Fulla, Communications Intern, Office of Sustainability

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