Administration, students discuss Cardinal Cage plans
Committee of student representatives will work with designers to finalize Cage summer renovations; bank relocation definite
February 26, 2007 —
An open meeting was held Wednesday night to discuss what could possibly be done to accommodate the students with the remaining space available in the Cardinal Cage.
The meeting was held as a result of the student outcry that came in the wake of news that the University would be placing a new bank in the Cardinal Cage and subsequently filling in the remaining space.
President Eric R. Gilbertson, Assistant Vice President of Student Services Mike Simon, Vice President of Student Services Robert Maurovich, and University Ombudsman Dick Thompson met with several students, including representatives from Student Association, in an attempt to better gauge what the administration can do to accommodate students.
"I want to take the chance to step back and engage in a process to try and think about where we might go from here," Gilbertson said.
During the meeting, several ideas and concerns were offered by both students and staff members, such as adjusting the lighting and moving the TVs around to make it more of a lounge area. All of this was included in the discussion of how to best use the space in the Student Center.
Many of the students expressed concern over what would be done with computer kiosks that currently reside in the Cage, as many of them cited the area as a good place to quickly stop and check their e-mail, Facebook page, and browse the Internet.
Student Association Omdbudsman Chelsea Robl was one such student.
"I'd like to see some computers kept in there," she said. "Especially for freshman students who don't have computers and want to check their Facebook because, unlike the computer labs, it is open until 2 a.m."
Gilbertson proposed an idea of his own. He suggested transforming the unused portion of the C-Store next to the pretzel and ice cream shop into an Internet cafe.
"Do human beings ever sit in those tables?" he joked. "By putting computers there, you would solve the problem of them being stolen."
The idea was well received.
"I want to build off your goofy idea," Robl responded. "I want to try and work together here."
SA President Andy Suszek agreed that something needs to be done to keep the computers, but he reminded everyone that in deciding what should be done with the area, everyone needs to be careful to not mix too many uses in the same space.
"I think it is very good to have the pingpong and pool tables. They are well-used and they bring in a lot of people who aren't normally in Student Life," he said. "But we don't want to build up the purposes of that room too much, so that it remains just a sort of lounge and programming area."
It was made clear that there will be no construction in the area during the remainder of the academic year.
Gilbertson said it would be unwise to go forward with construction, as it would put the area out of commission for too long.
"We have decided not to do anything this academic year, by doing something that would put the area out of service for a couple of weeks," he said. "It makes little sense to do it at this point. Whatever ends up happening, it will happen this summer."
It was eventually decided that an ad hoc committee of six to eight students would be created in order to handle the situation and brainstorm solutions.
"[The committee] coupled with some of our staff, could meet with an architect and start the process," Gilbertson said. "Hopefully, we can make something good happen."