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Space limitations can pose a threat for today’s student union

Our panelists discuss trends in usage patterns of student union spaces and how spaces in other campus buildings play a role. Part 3/5

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<p>Giancarlo brugnolo&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I mean, for me, I see a lot of our spaces almost becoming more of a ... Almost like a conference center type of feel, where we're attracting more external clients that want to use our facilities rather than it being attractive to our current student population that's coming in. I think that's where we run into a lot of problems, is that back then, the idea was that, okay, this was where you would come when you would want to have a meeting outside of an academic classroom, so your student government association, whatnot. They would come and meet in the student center.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But as we're seeing, that's not really happening anymore. A lot of these clubs are now staying in these academic buildings because they don't want to have to traverse across campus to come to the student union. I see that as a huge limitation for us where we have all these meeting rooms and all these closed, confined spaces in our building, and we have a few open common areas, and a lot of these newer academic buildings are building these nice common areas. Now it's becoming much more attractive to these students. We're losing a lot of business. Instead, we're finding a lot more business from faculty that are looking to hold these academic type of symposiums or something along those lines.</p> <p>Raymond Maggi:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I would imagine some of the limitation connected to that, too, for you is funding stream or your place in the queue. If the library is newer first, now you're struggling to bring the amenities up to speed based on the precedent that's set by some of these academic institutions.</p> <p>Giancarlo brugnolo:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Exactly. I mean, a lot of universities have a dedicated student union fee where students are paying a certain amount of their tuition and it goes towards the student union. It will be interesting to see how that gets reshaped or possibly even taken away now as we see the nature of the student union changing going forward.</p> <p>Corey seemiller&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And I want to add something to that too. It's sort of the informal nature of how these students want to gather doesn't lend themselves to calling up the event office and making a reservation for a room and then finding out it's already booked and they can only get it for this hour, they're charged if the tables are set up a certain way. They don't want to deal with that.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; They want to just be able to find a space to gather and if they want to call a meeting in 20 minutes, they want to know that they have somewhere to go to do that.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Without having to go through all the structures like you're talking about. People are reserving those rooms.</p> <p>Giancarlo brugnolo:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Exactly. And if they are in those academic buildings, again, they don't want to go all the way across campus. They just want to ... All right. We're in this building. Let's just stay here and do it in a classroom instead.</p>

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