Keep center student centered
Posted March 20, 2009

Concern has been expressed by students in the know that the Campus Center is shaping up to be more of an administrative hub than a place for students.

President Stephen Morgan assured the Campus Times that this is not the case and he said that he will also be assuring a group of students he is meeting with today.

As long as he stays true to his word, we feel there is not too much reason for concern.

The first floor of the new “ULV living room” consists of a cafe at the east end, a welcome desk and a lounge area in the middle, and offices for student organizations and administrators at the west end.

Some students on campus were under the impression that the entire first floor would be for students only and not administration.

Morgan said that placing certain administrators and faculty in offices on the first floor has always been a part of the plan.

Two of the administrators and faculty who will be in the new first floor offices will be Daniel Loera, multicultural affairs director, and Loretta Rahmani, dean of student affairs, both of whom are big supporters of students.

So maybe having them on the first floor is not such a bad idea.

Although Loera, Rahmani and others are student-friendly, they are still part of the administration and some students worry that they may not feel as comfortable interacting and holding events within earshot of campus administrators.

When the Campus Center first opens, it is likely to draw a big crowd as anything new and exciting does, but after a while, students may not feel as welcome as planned.

Part of feeling at home and welcome is adding some personal touches. There is some concern that Greek composites, which are group pictures of the fraternities and sororities, will not have a home in the new building.

Morgan told us that he is looking for a place for the composites and a place to display other things like student awards.

There is a large area in the center of the first floor to the south of the building, which will include sofas, chairs and a 60-inch television, but it is an open space.

Some students feel that this is not good, because they will not be far from offices, such as that of Raymond “Chip” West, assistant dean of student affairs.

They are concerned that they will not be able to enjoy their time in the lounge area and that they will have to be conscious not to make too much noise – and to watch what they talk about.

The student concerns may not seem like a big deal, but they are valid. Students want a place of their own to feel at home and welcome.

They want a place where they can hang out and let their guard down.

For Greek students, that means things like the composites hanging on the wall. For others it means just having a place to go between classes and put their feet up.

All of these promises and reassurances are good, we just hope that the Campus Center turns out to be a true student center.

We understand the value of a shared space.

President Morgan said he wants students to be happy with the new building. We will be as long as it is a place we feel is ours – at least in large part – to enjoy.

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