CLCE looks for student input on redesign of student organization space

By Nadaa Hussein, CORRESPONDENT
On November 1, 2017

SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

The Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement (CLCE) is working on restructuring the space for student organizations on the third floor of the Marshall Student Center (MSC) through the information gathered from a survey.

Mike Severy, Director of the CLCE, introduced the survey through Bullsync along with Sujit Chemburkar, Director of the MSC, to gain feedback from student organizations on what they can do to better design the space to serve all students. 

“The goal of the survey is to get feedback from a wide variety of constituents meaning student organization, members, officers, and the advisors that work with them which is faculty and staff primarily,” Severy said. “As well as to understand what students’ organizations need and how best, if necessary, to re-envision that space to meet their needs.”

Once the survey data has been collected Severy will work toward presenting the findings to focus groups of student organizations and working with them to find what best suits their organizations.

“Once we get through the survey, we will consolidate the information put it back up to the folks at the focus group,” Severy said. “Then say this is what we think, does everything seem reasonable based on the data?”

The purpose of redesigning the space is to give more student organizations a space to utilize for their needs. 

“The capacity of that space on the third floor in it’s current configuration, which is cubicles, limits us to roughly 36 student organizations,” Severy said. “We have over 640 student organizations serving 33,000 students on campus, so are there ways where we can better serve and support what student organizations need and are trying to accomplish and how they grow as leaders and engage citizens of our community? The answer to that is yes.”

Originally, the CLCE tried to establish an open-concept floor plan without designated desk spaces for clubs, instead of the assigned desks and private cubicles. But on May 30, Student Government Senate denied funding for CLCE’s first redesign of the office space.

The idea of an open-floor plan didn’t sit well with many students. Julia McClure the vice president of the P.R.I.D.E Alliance stated that office space was essential to keeping the confidentiality and privacy of students who are in their organization intact, at the May 30 Senate meeting. 

Since the proposal was denied, the space has remained the same, according to Severy.

“It’s the same as it was prior to the previous years, so cubicles,” Severy said. “Student organizations have been allocated office spaces if they made an application for it, so they are utilizing that.”

The CLCE is now working toward a new proposal by gathering data via a survey.

“Can that space be reconfigured help us better serve those students in developing their leadership capacity and civic engagement? The answer to that is yes. The survey and conversation with folks will be figuring out what the tradeoffs will be if we don’t have that space,” Severy said. “We are trying to find out how can we best utilize the space that we have available to us. To help as many student organizations as possible, accomplish what they need and what we are trying to teach, through leadership and civic engagement.”

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