Expansion to include Center for Student Engagement

Noah Brown

When the expansion of The Union is complete, one of most noticeable changes will be the new Center for Student Engagement.  It will be located right off of “Main Street” in The Union and will host a wide variety of student groups and resources.

“It’s an opportunity to co-locate a variety of services,” said Nick Wendell, director of Student Engagement.

The new center will house student groups that are currently spread throughout campus.  Some of the organizations that will be based out of the Center for Student Engagement include New Student Orientation, University Program Council, Students’ Association, Greek Life and Career Development.

The Office of Career Development is one that is currently undergoing expansion.  Two new staff positions are being added: an Associate Director of Career Development and a Program Coordinator for Internships.

The Career Development office aims to help students prepare for life after graduation.  It will aid students in areas from deciding on majors to applying for internships.

The Center also hopes to create a new atmosphere between various student organizations.  While the Students’ Association, UPC and Greek Life all share the 140 suite in The Union currently, they have very little shared space.  The Center for Student Engagement aims to change that by giving the groups a large shared lobby and a shared workroom.  The workroom will have an industrial feel and will be open to all student organizations that wish to use it.

UPC President Alex Kunz is excited about how the new space will improve inter-organization relationships.

“By connecting us physically, it will connect us emotionally,” Kunz said.

Because the center will be open to various student organizations that don’t currently have a place to meet, Wendell hopes that the new space will encourage new groups to spring up and current groups to grow in size.

Members of Greek Life are looking forward to the new center and the visibility it will create for fraternities and sororities. They will receive a slightly larger space than they currently use and expect the office to be full most of the time.  Students in Greek Life feel lucky to have a space along Main Street that gives them an opportunity to present a positive image to passing students.

“I think it will really improve the inclusiveness of Greek Life … the extra space that will be added will certainly be utilized,” said Logan Hanson, the President of the Inter-Fraternity Council.

SA Vice President Wyatt DeJong is most excited for the new conference room in the SA office.

“It will be great for senators practicing their speeches,” DeJong said.