GUSA extended the ongoing discussion about increasing student space to fresh arrivals on campus Wednesday in hopes of garnering new student input.

Georgetown University Student Association President Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) and Vice President GregLaverriere (COL ’12) began the forum held in the Leavey Center Club Room Wednesday night by outlining the current student space projects and their views on each proposal. They referenced the student space report completed last year that quantified the dissatisfaction many students felt regarding the current accommodations on campus.

“The report highlighted the need for more study space, more social space, more faith and spiritual space,” Laverriere said.

The vice president explained that the majority of students surveyed for the report chose the second floor of Lauinger Library as the center of campus life. When asked if they found that location desirable, however, the answer was a resounding no.

Meaney and Laverriere also expressed concerns about the proposed use of spaces in New South and the Leavey Center.

“We saw preliminary drawings of the New South Student Center this summer. Everybody was quite alarmed, because it appeared … that Georgetown was trying to do too much with too little,” Meaneysaid.

The current plan for the New South Student Center attempts to integrate social space, study space and club space. According to Meaney, such a wide-ranging proposal would poorly utilize the space.

Meaney and Laverriere suggested in meetings this summer that the New South Student Center focus solely on social space, leaving club space to the Leavey Center. For the most part, though, Meaney said they were happy with how receptive all parties in the university administration have been to their suggestions.

Other students at the forum raised concerns about what a social space in the New Student Center would entail and how it would differ from the seldom-used Alumni Lounge in Village C West.

“[Social space is] a space that you want to utilize while you’re on campus, but not while you’re studying, not while you’re sleeping, not while you’re exercising and not while you’re going to class,” Meaneyexplained.

He described it as an informal gathering place for students. Proposed uses for the student spaces include a restaurant and bar, performance space and an outdoor area that takes advantage of New South’s view of the Potomac.

Some of these, however, are also intended functions of the Alumni Lounge.

“I never go there, and most people don’t,” James Pickens (COL ’12) said. “What can we all do to make sure that the space in New South is so cool that people actually enjoy spending time there? And what steps do we need to take?”

Those in attendance agreed that the major reason for the existing lounge’s disuse centers on its location and lack of services.

“It’s literally sandwiched between hundreds of freshmen,” Meaney said.

According to Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, the New South Student Center project and other plans to increase student space will be featured in the university’s upcoming capital campaign, launching in October.

“Student input gathered at the forum in July is being incorporated into an updated design. More drawings and sketches of the new space will be shared with students in the weeks ahead,” he wrote in an email.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*