Student Center offices fill as students adjust to space

University Bookstore revenue has increased as a result of the commons area opening.
Construction workers work on sidewalks on the north side of the MU Student Center on Monday. Aside from finishing touches still in progress, Student Life considers the building fully complete.

The Department of Student Life has focused on finishing touches and hiring new staff in the months since the MU Student Center opened its final phase in January.

Student and Auxiliary Services spokeswoman Michelle Froese said students have been adjusting smoothly.

“Anecdotally talking to people that are in the building, they really like their space,” she said.

Aside from a few second-floor meeting rooms that are set to open this spring, the Student Center is complete.

“We’ve seen students using the group study rooms, and it’s been nice to see that they’re here late in the evening using all of the different spaces,” Froese said. “So that’s been great.”

Freshman Khalida Bennett is a member of the Missouri Students Association Multicultural Issues Committee, which meets weekly in the group study rooms. Bennett said she spends every day in the student center, sometimes from the time her classes end to when it closes at midnight.

“Whether it’s for food, pool, renting out computers, going to the bank or the market,” she said. “I like the fact that everything is closer -- things that students use on a daily basis.”

Tenants of the MU Student Center include Student Life, the Center for Student Involvement and the Wellness Resource Center. These organizations can use the space free of charge, Missouri Student Unions Associate Director Heath Immel said.

“We are really excited, because we have a lot bigger programming space, as well as a really high-traffic area, so we really enjoy people being able to walk by and look in and see that we’re here and come in to ask what we do,” Women’s Center adviser Suzy Day said.

The University Bookstore has also benefitted from the early opening.

“Customer traffic has increased now that the student center is completely open,” University Bookstores Director Sherry Pollard said. “It’s great to see so many students using the facility throughout the day. Prior to the opening of phase two, there was only one entrance into the bookstore, which wasn’t conducive to customers just strolling through.”

Pollard said the bookstore has had no problems with the facility so far, aside from a few lighting adjustments that will be made soon. Both maintenance and construction crews have said they are not aware of any other problems or unfinished tasks, Campus Facilities spokeswoman Karlan Seville said. No additional maintenance crews have been hired.

“What we’ve just tried to do is work smarter and not add more staff,” Froese said.

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