Student Center and Cafe

Caroline Goldenberg, Staff Writer

A new student center and cafe are set to open on campus for the 2018-2019 school year as the HM in Motion construction project concludes with summer’s end.

The goal of the new center is to provide a location on campus where students, in the midst of busy academic lives, can “relax, get some food, work on a publication or prepare for a service learning activity, and spend time with one another,” Head of the Upper Division Dr. Jessica Levenstein said.

The new student center will include a cafe area, publication and meeting rooms, and seating areas, Levenstein said.

Flik will be running the cafe area in the new center, Upper Division Dean of Students Dr. Susan Delanty said.

The center will be open at times when other communal areas, such as Katz Library, are not, Levenstein said.

“The center will sometimes be open after hours, such as after the late buses leave,” Delanty said.

With the library staying open longer this school year on Fridays, until 6 p.m. instead of 3:15 p.m., the opening of the student center will provide a space for students staying even later, for events such as concerts or theater productions, Middle & Upper Divisions Chair of Library Department Caroline Bartels said.

Although the student center will provide a new communal space, many activities and events in which students participate, such as spirit for Homecoming and the annual Ugly Sweater Contest, will continue in the library, Bartels said.

In addition, while the student center will be open during break time and includes a cafe, “there’s still the communal nature of snack being given out in the library,” Bartels said.

Since in past years there have generally been only a couple groups of people that have used the library’s Senior Lounge consistently, Hannah Long (12) believes the student center will provide more options for students to gather, she said.

“People will spread out over all the new, exciting options,” Long said. “I feel like everyone will find their own nook.”

Taussia Boadi (11) is not sure if she will use the new student center, she said. “Since it’s new, I have a feeling it’s going to be really crowded, so I might just stick to hanging out in the library or cafeteria,” she said.

Ishaan Kanaan (11) also hopes the student center will not become crowded and rowdy in a short time, he said. He hopes the student center will not become a space used primarily by one grade or group of friends, as has happened in spaces such as the student lounge, he said.

Bartels predicts that less studying and more hanging out will occur in the new student center and that fall student athletes who are free during H Period will hang out in the student center due to its proximity to the gym, she said.

However, Brigette Kon (11) believes that the “inconvenience of having to cross the campus to get there, especially in winter,” may prevent her and other students from using the student center as much as other spaces like the library, she said.

“I’m betting that students will rise to the occasion and recognize the enormous privilege the new space represents,” Levenstein said.