With discussion about renovating the Marvin Center’s fifth floor well underway, we wanted to convey to the community the student position and philosophy on this project.
There are several factors we have considered: the loss of the Fishbowl, the Marvin Center as one of the few truly student-dedicated spaces on the Foggy Bottom Campus, the need to improve and expand student organization space to meet the needs of the 407 registered student organizations and the desire for students to see a new and improved space for career services and job recruiting.
While several of these factors work in contrast of each other, our hope is that the administration will continue to put student interests first, and that they understand we are willing to share a portion of student space only after the growing needs of student organizations are met.
We ask that the needs of student organizations be adequately served prior to conversion of the fifth floor. After this is satisfied, the integration of University offices is ideal. The Center for Student Engagement and Career Services provides essential resources to every student on campus and should clearly be included.
There is indeed a value in consolidating student services and efficiently bringing them together in a common space. That’s why we welcome resourceful use of the space. But while the fifth floor is large, the University needs to prioritize the offices it moves there. If these offices are to share our student space, we expect to see a floor plan that accounts for a larger student presence. This is especially important, as the number of student organizations registered at the University has doubled since the creation of the Marvin Center.
While precise plans are not set in place at this time, I encourage students and administrators to contact us regarding your thoughts about the conversation. We applaud the administration for involving students in this process and look forward to continuing to create a win-win situation for the whole community.
John Richardson, Ted Costgian and Dylan Pyne are the SA President, Executive Vice President and MCGB Chairman, respectively.