Student Space Forum raises questions, short on answers

Wednesday night, GUSA executives Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) and Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) held a forum to recap this summer’s meetings about the New South Student Center and Leavey Center. Since the updated drawings for the NSSC won’t be released until the public launch of the capital campaign this October, and the Leavey center redesign hasn’t reached past general brainstorming, many questions could only be answered by speculation. 

Meaney started the meeting by summarizing the summer’s work, especially the consensus among students and University architects that attempting to do too much with too little, which is a major criticism of the original NSSC layout, would doom both centers. Still, we will have to wait until the redesigned NSSC floorplans are released to see if Smithgroup was receptive to the space consensus.

“We have to cast a skeptical eye on the feedback we received,” said Meaney.

One concern brought up in the meeting would be the place of graduate students in both projects. Laverriere assured the room that, although NSSC would be open to everyone, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson said that it would primarily serve undergraduates. Also, Laverriere noted that keeping some sort of Sellinger-type space in Leavey would make sense.

Also, the role of the Corp in the redesigns has not been discussed. Will Cousino (SFS ’12), a member of the Corp Board of Directors, said that he hasn’t heard anything about opening up new locations; although, the most recent design of NSSC calls for a coffee shop.

The most salient concern about NSSC is whether students will use it at all, especially given the failure of Alumni Lounge to attract students.

Laverriere said that the entrance, which will be across from Leo’s, won’t be as awkward as that of Alumni Lounge, and Meaney thinks having things properly done instead of mismatched will attract students.

How this translates into design, however, isn’t as clear. 

One of the most attractive aspects of the space, assured Laverriere, would be that any reservable rooms would under Student Affairs, not Office of Campus Activity Facilities.

9 Comments on “Student Space Forum raises questions, short on answers

  1. Hey Ryan,

    Just want to let you know, my name is spelled “Laverriere”


  2. What do you know? Our GUSA overlords have come out with yet another vague set of statements to justify a plan only their legacy admitted children will see come to fruition! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

  3. This is ridiculous. Where is their consideration for the performance SAC groups? One of their biggest concerns should be the fact that hundreds of students have used the spaces behind New South to practice and prepare for some of our biggest cultural events. What space will they provide for us now?

  4. @Mary Lim

    The current plans for the building of the NSSC include the same amount of dance space. The University and GUSA recognize how important those spaces are. There is no intention to remove them when the NSSC is built.

  5. The reason I and my friends rarely used the Alumni lounge was because it was always occupied by student groups. Now that the student groups will move to the greener pastures of the NSSC I’m sure it will be used more frequently.

  6. the reason I dont use Alumni lounge is because it is the ugliest room in the least desirable building on campus. Yes, I think VC is worse than darnall.

  7. Re: Alumni Lounge — they also never bothered to try to make it look like anything more than a haphazardly assembled church youth group meeting room. Many times when you go in there, the furniture is strewn about aimlessly, and the whole place feels a lot like Bible Study did when I was 12. At least the plans for the NSSC recognize the need for an updated, modern atmosphere to attract students, a la the Hariri building. Location may not be the best on campus, but it won’t be hard to be the Alumni Lounge.

  8. Pingback: Vox Populi » Healy Pub and New South: the contention continues

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