Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

Over this past summer, the Sykes Student Union Building underwent renovations in an effort to improve dining accommodations for students and faculty members. However, this is just the first part of a long-term plan to make Sykes Student Union a safe-haven for the student body of West Chester University.

According to David Timmann, the Director of Sykes Student Union, improving the cafeteria was just the first step. “On the horizon for next summer is the renovation of the Sykes’ restrooms with smaller projects and enhancements that include WCU branded graphics, technology upgrades and furniture replacement.”

Advertised outside of Sykes is a new pergola that West Chester University wants to start constructing in the summer of 2018.

According to Timmann, the old cafeteria was “outdated” and built in 1995. Students were constantly cramped and lines were constantly crowded. Timmann said that, “it was long past-due for an overhaul.” The new cafeteria offers a Chick-Fil-A with an expanded menu, a salad bar, pizza shop, sandwich station and a Ramen bar. Each one has its own set of cash registers, allowing students to purchase their breakfast, lunch and dinner much faster than they had in the past.

Besides being another food option for students, Sykes Student Union is the home of West Chester’s Student Bookstore. It is the home of The Quad office and includes a Copy Center. There are lockers, computer labs and meeting rooms that students can reserve. The building also hosts events, such as the Ram’s After Hours student program that recently hosted a Silent Disco. Students can view recent motion pictures like “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” ran by the WCU Student Activities’ Office (SAC).

Despite boasting a large amount of accommodations, Timmann seeks to build upon Sykes’ foundation. There was an email sent to faculty and students asking to fill out a 10 to 15 minute survey, with the reward of possibly winning a $25 gift card to Wawa for those who complete it. The survey closed on Nov. 11.

Students who took the survey were asked about their current satisfaction levels with every amenity that Sykes currently offers. It also asks how much time they spend at Sykes, and how many days a week they visit the building. It also asks where they eat on campus and where they prefer to study.

The survey asks what new amenities they would like to see in Sykes. Some of the choices included an arcade area, a bowling alley, additional auditoriums and more study spaces. There were also questions inquiring whether students would like more ATMs, more dining options and even a post office. It also asks what time would they visit these proposed editions. It is unknown when they plan to publish the results of the survey.

While Timmann says that the current renovations have been received mostly with positivity, there are some that miss the old cafeteria. Rachel Spurlock, a junior majoring in communications and minoring in journalism, said that, “[She] misses the rice bowls from the old cafeteria. Also, it is somewhat inconvenient to enter multiple lines to purchase different types of food.” When asked what improvement needed to be made for Sykes, she said “I think there needs to be more study spaces. While the idea of a bowling alley is interesting, most of my friends hang out in our apartment and only leave when we need to do schoolwork.”

Some teachers, like Charles Bauerlein, an assistant professor who teaches journalism at West Chester, would like to see more study spaces for students as well, offering the opinion, “I think there needs to be more computer terminals for students to do their schoolwork.”

If any students or professors have any questions on the future renovations at Sykes, they can email David Timmann at dtimmann@wcupa.edu.

John Angiolillo is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at JA859399@wcupa.edu and on Twitter @CornerPubJohn.

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