This archived article was written by: Alex Anderson
A few months ago, Greg Dart- vice chancellor of student affairs & enrollment services took a group of students including myself to universities in Utah with the purpose of looking at student centers. It has been said by students, faculty and staff that the Jennifer Levett Student Center isn’t exactly a student center. When looking at other university’s student centers, we wanted to see what they did with the space they were given and if we can bring any of those concepts back to Eastern.
For those coming to Eastern in the fall, you might see those concepts applied to the JLSC. The bookstore is being moved to online which means that space is going to be available in May, and although there are several ideas and suggestions floating out there, Dart started a “green-sheet-process” which means he has submitted ideas to Logan architects and is having the conceptual ideas looked over to see which would fit and work in that space. The two conceptual ideas submitted were for a centralized student space and a welcome center.
There are pros and cons to both ideas. Some pros for a centralized student space would be just that, everything a student may want in terms of entertainment are all in one room. The con to that is, if you are trying to watch TV or play video games in the same room that music is playing and other students are playing pool, that might be hard.
The pro to the space being turned into a welcome center as it frees up space in other offices. For example, if the bookstore was turned into a welcome center, administrative offices such as Resident Life, Dart’s office and the space currently used as a welcome center would be freed up. A con to a welcome center is that the new student centered space would be split up, so video games and TV’s in one room and pool and foosball ect. in another.
One thing on this trip that really stood out to be was colors and branding. At every university we went to, where we liked their student centers, we noticed a huge reason we liked them because their colors and logos were everywhere. When you walk into JLSC there is one wall with Eastern Logo and its school colors are almost nowhere to be found.
With all the ideas being thrown around, I wanted to know if students will actually see any change when fall semester rolls around. Will we be walked back into a student center that isn’t for the students? According to Dart we won’t be “I am 100 percent committed to creating a more student-centric space in this building [JLSC].”