Since the ‘Grand Opening’ of the Student Centre, the newest edition to the Trent University skyline, there have been some mixed reviews on how the students are feeling about the new development. While some are excited for the prospect of the architectural, and technological marvel that the centre will no doubt one day be, some students feel a little deflated with what some are calling a less than ‘grand’ grand opening.
Arthur took to campus early this week to get a first hand sense of where student sentiments stand surrounding the Student Centre now that we are nearing the three-week mark of operation.
Arthur spoke to a group of students varying in undergraduate studies and academic year. Rachael Loveless, a sociology major in her third year had this to say: “I have a class in [the Student Centre] and the whiteboards are amazing- a really cool learning tool. But I’m not sure I would even say it is open yet. There’s no furniture in there or anything, but there are usually about thirty people waiting outside my class lined up for Starbucks afterwards.”
Although I’m sure it is not news to anyone, the Starbucks is of central interest among most of the students’ positive comments surrounding the centre, unless it comes to the long line you’re likely to encounter.
Shelby Lytwenko does not have a class in the new structure but she, like many students, ventured inside to check out what her tuition money was going towards. “I really like the design, and I think it will be amazing upon completion, but it doesn’t look like they’re close to being finished. It’s still a construction zone.”
Finally, Arthur spoke to Laura Shovlin, a business student who seemed happy about the fact that Trent was finally upgrading their decor from the traditional charming-yet-dated Ron Thom style to a more modern, and more functional design and furnishing. “The classrooms are really nice, especially the chairs, they are very comfortable – something that seems to be foreign to Trent otherwise.”
Students also expressed concerns about the lack of study space that the closure of Bata library, and what appears to be a Student Centre Lite model has brought students across campus.
While many students shared some displeasure in regards to lack of workspace and construction, there were many positive reviews regarding the layout, the technology in the classrooms, as well as many positive remarks on the gender-neutral washrooms.
Overall, the general consensus around campus seems to be an eager yet positive attitude towards the centre being completed and utilized the way it was intended, and more importantly, the way that it was advertised to students. Also, with upper year students, there was an overwhelming sense of nostalgia regarding the use of Bata library as a workspace and general social area, as well as some concern regarding the aforementioned closure timeline of ‘one year’ given by administration before the library is back up and running.
However, for now, all we can do is sit back and wait. Construction is underway, as we are all well aware, and progress is being made both on the Student Centre and on Bata library. So go grab a coffee, admire the classrooms, and wait for the rest to come together like all good things do – in due time.