The Marshall Student Center (MSC) is finally getting the attention students and faculty members believe it deserves.
MSC was one of few student unions selected for inclusion in the “Renovation and Construction Showcase,” a special edition every January in “The Bulletin,” a monthly publication from the Association of College Unions International (ACUI).
The ACUI is a non-profit educational organization of students and administrators from around the country aiming to build a campus community, according to its Web site, acui.org.
Any student union in the country that has had a renovation or is brand new can submit a request to be published.
Universities must submit photos along with full-time enrollment, the date the facility opened, total area, number of floors, assignable space, project cost, funding source, architect and facilities added. USF submitted its information last fall.
Each school also submits two paragraphs about the reason for the new building, said Brian Schulte, communications and marketing officer for MSC. The text allows the universities to explain why they built or renovated the new student union.
“Since we were a new construction, we focused on how the University needed a new union. It was outdated and too small,” he said.
The “Renovation and Construction Showcase,” explains that MSC, completed on April 15, 2009, was constructed to replace the original student union.
USF’s original student union was made to accommodate the 2,500 students who enrolled when the University first opened in 1959, according to the article. The current full-time enrollment is just under 40,000.
Jennifer Hernandez, assistant director of MSC, said about 10,000 students walk through the building daily.
Cody Greene, a junior majoring in marketing, works at the MSC information desk. He said he estimates that around 1,000 people walk through MSC during a three-hour shift.
“Architecturally speaking, it was a breath of fresh air for the campus because of how dated the architecture was,” he said. “The campus was built during a bad time for architecture with all of the bland ‘crappy’ bricks. It modernized the campus and took us into a new era.”
Hernandez said the need for a new student center is what made it so important to the campus community.
“(MSC is) the hub of campus life,” she said.
ACUI is divided into regions comprised of hundreds of schools in seven countries. Schools featured from the same region as USF include the University of North Florida and the University of Georgia.