The West Chester University Student Government Association held its first meeting of the fall semester on Tuesday evening in Sykes Student Union, where plans for renovations to Sykes were proposed and new senators were sworn in.
Dr. Sara Hinkle, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, discussed the ongoing idea of renovating the student union building as well as work that could be done to it if, or before, those renovations happen.
“It’s no secret that we’re maxed out with space. The question is what can we do now to make Sykes better,” said Dr. Hinkle.
The idea is to renovate the second floor, where the student organization offices are, to give students more space to utilize before the major renovations take place. This would see the floor turned into a large “collaborative space,” as described by Hinkle, with seven offices surrounding it, as well as a conference room.
The second floor currently accommodates only 34 of the nearly 350 student groups.
Hinkle said that the collaborative space plan would remedy this by giving more groups the chance to organize and use the floor.
A floor plan was presented to SGA members by Hal Dean, Project Manager of Facilities Design and Construction, and Dave Timmann, Director of Sykes Student Union.
This proposed space would be 3,042 square feet with 107 seats, along with about 24 tables.
The seats and tables could be arranged in any way needed to fit the needs of the groups using the room. Groups would be able to store belongings in 44 2x2x2 foot lockers that would come with a key.
In addition to the large collaborative room, the seven office rooms, which would be from 106 to 167 square feet, and the conference room, which would be able to hold 18 people and would be 260 square feet, would line the walls of the second floor.
Dr. Hinkle specified that the interim design would be solely for students and not faculty.
While the proposed plan would create the chance for more groups to work in Sykes, it was pointed out by the SGA senators that it still runs the risk of crowding and leaving groups with nowhere to meet.
Some of the solutions that were discussed included being able to reserve the new offices for a day or timeslot, and being able to use classrooms around campus for organization meetings.
With the departure of a few SGA senators at the end of the spring semester, seven seats were left vacant. Several students were in attendance with the intention of claiming the open positions.
The new senators sworn in were Aaron Rosengarten for Off Campus Housing, Reginald Smith for Student Leadership and Development, Rodney Kaplan for West Chester Community, Colin Hoffmaster and Nicole Boylan for Freshman Senators, and Matthew Ruiz for Technology.
The seats that are still vacant are Career Development Center and Curriculum and Academic Policies.
Dylan Messerschmidt is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at DM837837@wcupa.edu. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanMesh.