After years of discussion and inaction, the Marvin Center is finally being renovated. The Marvin Center is supposed to be the student union, but if the current renovation plans go through, student groups will have only portions of the building’s fourth floor to call their own.
Relegating student groups to a single floor while the rest of the building is used by various University departments is an unacceptable use of an building that was created as a place for students to study, meet, work and play.
Students pay about $30 per credit hour to help upkeep the Marvin Center. What is the point of paying that money if all students get out of their “student fee” is a few dozen rooms on a single floor? The Marvin Center Governing Board, which is elected by the student body and is theoretically charged with the oversight of building use, complains that it has been left out of the planning process.
Confusion has arisen between the MCGB and administrators about specifics of the renovation plans. In fact, the renovation blueprints show the Student Activities Center’s office space intruding on Program Board office space. Debate also has come up about whether a computer lab will be maintained in the new Marvin Center and where it will be located. It is not a good sign when the two groups responsible for the Marvin Center are not on the same wavelength.
If the Marvin Center is supposed to be the center of student life, it must be geared toward students. It is unacceptable to introduce new University departments into the building at the expense of student groups. Student input is essential to the renovation of the Marvin Center. If students’ concerns are not addressed in making improvements to the building, the renovation isn’t worth the time and money being spent on it.