After a meeting with student leaders and university officials last month, the Georgetown Student Space Working Group continues to advocate the improvement of student space on campus.
Attendees of a student space summit on Oct. 27 discussed the lack of student space on campus for studying, socializing, programming and meeting.
“It was a chance for individuals to share stories about what works well and what does not, as well as for administrators to give their perspectives on the issue,” Fitz Lufkin (COL ’11), communications director of the working group, said. The group, a student-driven organization, has been dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of student space on campus since its establishment in fall 2008.
At the summit, which was organized by Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, the Student Space Working Group presented the results of a survey of the student body conducted last April. Many students noted in the survey the limited amount of study and social space on campus.
“One of the key issues we face is that there is limited space on campus in general, and this includes space for student gatherings, programming, meetings and socializing,” Olson said.
According to Lufkin, the limited area for expansion means the university needs to use the space it already has more efficiently.
“Once the science center is built, there isn’t much space left for a new building,” Lufkin said. “Moving forward, we need to focus on using the space we have in the most effective manner.”
At the summit, the working group and administrators discussed the inadequacies of current student space, which students had mentioned in the survey.
Lufkin said that while Sellinger Lounge is designed to be a social space and the second floor of Lauinger is designed to be a study space, both are used as social and study spaces. This limits the effectiveness of both spaces, he said.
Although there are no definitive plans yet, the administrators and students at the summit discussed a number of options for expanding student space, including space in the new science building and in the renovation of the Prospect Street side of New South. Funding was also discussed, but currently the university is in a holding pattern until the bond market improves.
Olson said there will be follow-up meetings throughout the year about the 2010-2020 Campus Plan, in which future projects will be presented.
“Based on my own experience in this area, I’m confident that the administration is moving in the right direction, by gathering information from stakeholders, including students, on space issues,” Lufkin said.
The group is currently working on a white paper, or report due to be released this coming January. Using data collected in the survey, it aims to identify broad problems and offer solutions.
Lufkin said that Student Safety Working Group will continue to foster dialogue with students, administrators and other stakeholders and to advocate for the entire student body.
“We are taking a holistic approach to this issue, and we are interesting in seeing as many perspectives as possible,” Lufkin said. “If students are interested in getting more involved in our efforts, we encourage them to contact us.”