Staff Editorial: Collaborative space on Marvin’s fourth floor

When the University began considering renovating the fifth floor of the Marvin Center, some student leaders hoped that part of the redesign would include a collaborative space for student organizations.

Yet the University has decided that the fifth floor will be occupied by Career Services and other administrative offices.

Now, Marvin Center Governing Board Chair Dylan Pyne, student leader Aria Varasteh and Student Association Executive President John Richardson are lobbying to move the Center for Student Engagement office to the fifth floor, as well to open its current fourth floor office area into a collaborative student organization space.

The University must adopt this proposed plan, as it is crucial that additional student space is made available in the Marvin Center.

While The Hatchet’s editorial board previously called for the fifth floor’s renovation to include a student lounge, this option is clearly no longer a possibility.

But as the Marvin Center is the University’s student union, students still deserve to benefit from renovations made to the building. Student organization space is essential for fostering dialogue among groups of students and allowing for smaller student organizations to have access to meeting space and club resources.

Currently, the vast majority of GW’s more than 400 clubs do not have access to permanent office space. And while there will be additional meeting rooms installed on the fifth floor, they will not be exclusively for student groups.

But it is even more essential that a community-oriented student organization space is created, because once the Marvin Center redesign is completed, remaining campus options for student meeting spaces are sparse.

The University must make a good-faith effort to listen to the concerns that student leaders are voicing, and must continually work with them to find a way to include collaborative space on the fourth floor.

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