April 11, 2012

Re-evaluating Seymour Union

Students opinions vary on recent talks concerning potential changes to Seymour Union, including what they would like to see moved or added.

The proposed changes would move key offices to Seymour Union, as it is a more central location on campus. The relocation of the offices would make it easier for students to locate and use available resources to their fullest potential.

The question of whether Seymour Union compares to the student unions of other colleges is currently debated among students.

“No I wouldn’t consider Seymour to be a typical college student union because it doesn’t house all of the things that larger schools have. I feel like when I visited other schools their union had everything their students need and then some,” freshman Natalie Baldino said.

Others believe that it serves their needs consistently enough to rival the unions of larger colleges and universities.

“Yes, it just seems that from my day-to-day experience there are days that I don’t have to leave Seymour. It may not have everything I need throughout the course of a year, but nothing is that hard to find,” freshman Will Dant said.

While other colleges’ unions contain all of the resources students need, vital offices like the registrar and technology offices are located in the Sharvy Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center. The relocation of these offices is a popular possibility among students.

“As far as what I would like to see in Seymour, maybe the registrar’s office, instead of having it be in SMC. I think that students need to use it especially at the beginning of the term when students are changing their classes a lot. I feel like a lot of people don’t know SMC very well, so having the registrar in one of the wings can be confusing,” junior Anna Claypool said.

Other students spoke about various aspects of Seymour Union that they believe should be reutilized.

“Since I work in dining services, I’ve seen the balcony area of the Oak Room, and I feel like that space isn’t used enough. I heard that it isn’t used anymore because some students were being irresponsible, but they could still use that space for something. It would be cool if that was turned into an area that students could actually use,” sophomore Demoz Desta said.

The most popular aspects of Seymour Union as it is currently arranged are the late night resources available for students. Students enjoy the fact that they have access to food and late night study areas.

“I feel like the Gizmo is the most useful part of Seymour. It’s open late; you can eat when you’re hungry. The study lounge next to Founders is also really useful. Especially if you live in Seymour, that’s an advantage,” Desta said.

“I would say that Founders and the Rog Lodge themselves are huge resources because they’re open 24 hours. I feel like the Rog Lodge is the perfect place to study on campus because it doesn’t keep you too quiet or isolate you from others, and yet it is conducive to work,” freshman Devin Hanley said.

Though there is support amongst the student body concerning potential changes, students also enjoy Seymour as a location without classrooms and academic offices.

“When I lived in Seymour, the only reason I really had to leave was to go to class. Seymour is good because there aren’t classes there; it’s a fun building where you can be a little louder,” sophomore Adam Brooking said.

When asked about whether there is a need for large-scale changes, students responded that they were interested, but that the small size of the school allowed for simple navigation.

“It’s a small campus, so everything students need is only a few minutes away anyway. Seymour already has the lounge to relax in, a study area, the Campus Life Office, places to eat, the mailroom, a meeting place which is the Ferris Lounge, a computer center and dorms,” senior Alan Ning said.

“I feel like you get used to where everything is, but I feel like it wouldn’t hurt the school if everything was in the same place. I think the current set up is fine; I can’t imagine any big changes that would make student life that much easier,” sophomore Paul Kenney said.

Julian Boireau
Julian Boireau is a senior majoring in international relations and minoring in French. This is his fourth year working for TKS, having served as co-news editor during his sophomore and junior years. He has been involved in journalism for seven years, serving as opinions editor of the newspaper and editor-in-chief of the literary magazine at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles, California. In September 2012, Julian received press credentials to attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, where he reported on remarks by President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He is also the recipient of back-to-back first place awards from the Illinois College Press Association for front page layout.


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