On a campus with tired infrastructure, where the newest academic building was erected four decades ago, we should be keeping all options on the table when it comes to renovating student spaces on campus — especially if those options seem out of the ordinary.
So one could imagine our surprise at a Student Senate report that a proposed student-run coffee bar in Post Lobby was shot down on the basis that it would not bring about monetary gains.
In light of the big-picture strategic planning process underway at Knox, these forward-thinking proposals are exactly what the college needs right now. We already have momentum with the rejuvenation of the Taylor Student Lounge and Alumni Hall, so why stop there?
On the surface, a nonprofit undergraduate institution should not concern itself with whether student enterprises will bring about monetary gains for the college.
Rather, this is about having more options on campus for current and prospective students. We need more variety of spaces for studying and socializing — going beyond the library, Taylor Lounge and residential common areas.
The coffee bar idea was prompted after the announcement that the interior designer who worked on the Taylor Lounge will be brought in again to look at Post Lobby, but to simply recreate the Taylor Lounge a few hundred feet away would waste an opportunity to modernize our campus.
When selling a college to prospective students — not to mention their parents — amenities matter. We should not dismiss an opportunity to enhance spaces on campus, but encourage innovative use of spaces, avoiding another “dead elephant” like Alumni Hall.