SUB I addition opens, offers 'enrollment central' for students

Colleen, left, and Kim, right, sit at the information desk of the new addition to Student Union Building I. (Daniel McEnrue) 

UPDATED 2:00 p.m.

Beginning in the fall semester, current students will find Student Union Building I to be a one-stop shop for student services and some university life departments.

The addition to the back of the building, on the side near the student apartments, has been completed and is ready for use. A great deal of the space is being used by student services, including the registrar, financial aid, and part of the admissions office.

“We’re calling ourselves ‘enrollment central’ and we’ll have a large desk in the lower level out in the hall that’s very accessible. That’s where we’ll begin the process to answer questions and help students to get to the right places,” said Susan Jones, University Registrar.

“Our intention is to answer as many questions of theirs as possible. One of the things we’ll be doing down there is making sure that students know how to access all the information they can get online.”

Jones is the project shepherd for all the student services departments that were part of the move, and her vision is to create a place for students to manage their accounts easily.

“We think that [students] will feel that there is one place where they can come and we’ll deal with then in an organized fashion and support them being students here. We’re very excited. It’s a beautiful space and it’s going to allow us to integrate our services and provide excellent customer services to our students and that’s what we’re trying to,” said Jones.

Even part of the Admissions Office is moving. The main office in the Johnson Center will deal with prospective freshmen and prospective transfer students. After students are admitted, enrolled, and the semester is in full swing, admissions issues will be handled in the new SUB I addition until their files are taken over by the registrar’s office.

The student-centered focus is shared by Pat Carretta, the Assistant Vice President for University Life and the project shepherd for all the university life departments that were involved in the move.

“The ‘new’ SUB I also provides greater visibility for the programs and services that foster student success, promote healthy, safe and responsible choices, and create opportunities for students to engage in, learn from, and thrive in a global and multicultural community.” said Carretta in an e-mail interview.

“The design of the building created new, additional spaces for students to congregate, relax, study or socialize.”

Now that the addition is finished and everyone is moved into their new locations, renovations are starting on the main building in two phases.

“Phase 1 encompasses the left half of the building and then phase 2 will be the right half. Student health services [is] staying put because we couldn’t re-create a clinic somewhere else,” said Joy Stalcup, the Associate Director for Space Management. “It needed to have some infrastructure upgrades done.”

The first phase of the renovation will include changes to the left side of the building, from the perspective of the quad, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the fall semester. The second phase will include the right side of the building and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the spring semester.

The renovations are being done to both upgrade the spaces for their new tenants and to make the entire building, including the new addition, look like one continuous building.

“The spaces are completely being renovated. The interior of the building is being renovated. It won’t look exactly like it does now. It will have some finishes to have the look of the addition,” said Stalcup.

On the ground floor, the food services will remain open during the entire project, however the game room on the ground floor has already been closed, waiting to move into the new game room that will be completed during the school year.

“The game room has been closed. It’s not going away. The corner pocket will be the primary game room until we get the new game room finished in the SUB II project, which is scheduled to be completed toward the end of the fall semester,” said Stalcup.

That new game room will be in Student Union Building II, which has been undergoing changes, alongside a new eatery and the new office for Student Media, among other things. The vision is for SUB II to be the home of student engagement, a place where the student organizations can call home.

“Three University Life offices will move out of SUB I into SUB II creating a new place/space for student involvement. SUB II will become the new home for Office of Student Involvement, Student Media, Leadership Education and Development, and Orientation and Family Programs and Services,” said Carretta.

New facilities and construction everywhere seem to be a campus tradition, but it should make everything more streamlined.

“We [the registrar’s office] moved into the modules 11.5 years ago and that was temporary space. I think we’re talking [staying in SUB I for] one decade and probably more. It’s quite a commitment to the students and to the important services we provide,” said Jones.


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