Baruch College announced that it is currently in the process of developing a new Student Center on the lower level of the U.S. Post Office on 24th Street.
Some students received a survey with various options for the new space to assist the Student Center Committee in deciding how to best accommodate their needs. Options that students could choose ranged from a computer lab and a game room to small conference rooms.
More space for student activities is vital for Baruch’s ever-expanding community. With at least 96 active clubs on campus, club rooms are in extremely high demand.
The club suite lottery system does not accommodate many students and club members are forced to squeeze into rooms that they must share with two or three other clubs. The Student Center, therefore, should add more club rooms and give these students a chance to spread out and have a space of their own.
The creation of an event space similar to the Multipurpose Room would also serve to improve student life on campus. In a campus largely deprived of areas where students can congregate for bigger events, another giant event space could bring some relief to the clubs and organizations that have difficulty booking rooms for events.
While those kinds of spaces on campus are desperately needed, other types are already supplied by the current student spaces on campus and do not need to appear in the new Student Center. A WBMB outpost, a second Media Suite and similar spaces are unnecessary, as there is already sufficient space on campus in the club suite area for these organizations to thrive.
However, amid all of the excitement, a concern arises: the use of the space by organizations outside of Baruch. The Student Center must not habitually rent out the space to private organizations. Baruch gymnasiums face this issue on a regular basis. Student complaints on this issue have only grown louder as gyms see less use by students and more use by outside teams.
The Student Center should exist as a place primarily for Baruch students and Baruch students alone. A portion of the student activity fee will go into funding this project, so it should be the students who utilize the space.
This must be the main takeaway from the Student Center project. It must act as a space for Baruch students, created through the ingenuity of Baruch students. It must become a space that students can truly and effectively utilize.