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Student Center Status

In the Fall 2012 semester, Eastern University will undertake a project that has been in the making for some six years. The new student center-to be located in what is now the women’s softball field-will offer bigger spaces for student gatherings, a variety of settings for hangout and study and more opportunity for student, staff and faculty interactions.

The building will have a dining area for students and a separate one for staff and faculty. Vice President of Student Development Bettie Ann Brigham envisions that this will allow students and professors to invite one another over for lunch to their respective dining rooms.

“It will fulfill a great need by providing a community space that we just don’t have right now,” Brigham said.

Major features include a balcony seating area above the dining commons that will be able to be curtained off for private events, a patio for students to eat outside, a coffee lounge with greater seating capacity, quiet study rooms, a TV and game room and a chapel featuring stained glass panels donated by Eastern alumni. There will also be a lounge overlooking the dining commons with large windows to keep the space open and relaxing.

The student newspaper office, the yearbook office, the writing center, the Cushing Center for Academic Support (CCAS), the Office of Faith and Practice and the Student Government Association (SGA) will be moved into the new center. This will free up Walton Hall to be used as a fine arts building, which according to Brigham will double the music department’s space.

Although Eastern possesses the financing needed for construction, it is still looking for a name for the building. Brigham said that a donor or several donors who give $4 million could have the student center named after them.

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