Devoting space for students on the Marvin Center fifth floor is no longer up for negotiation, so now is the time to focus on the other resources the University can offer for a student life space.
And there’s a slot on campus about to open up right before our eyes: Old Main.
The building on the corner of 20th and F streets, which currently houses the career center, classrooms and a few academic departments, will be moving its career services offices to the Marvin Center fifth floor.
Right now, students are clamoring for collaborative organization space, and the University needs to open its doors to this purpose instead of adding more classrooms and offices to fill Old Main’s vacancy. With only the top 57 student organizations receiving office space in the Marvin Center, the University must extend its efforts to the other 383 student organizations.
Instead of converting Old Main into classroom space, the University should use the extra space as a large, collective center for smaller clubs and organizations that don’t have permanent space.
By opening Old Main to the community of organizations formerly working out of closets and dorm rooms, the University can revitalize campus life. College life should be all about finding your niche, and for some people, part of aligning with that niche has unfortunately been sitting on a sidewalk begging for space.
Creating a collaborative environment for students will bring meetings to life and add a splash of color to Old Main. The timeworn feeling of the building needs a pick-me-up, and the frequent milling of eager student organizations is just the spark of life needed to help the building breathe in some fresh air. All it needs is a small renovation and the creativity supplied by the University’s finest innovators: its students.
Old Main may not be on the wondrous H Street – the Broadway of GW – but right now, students need any space they can get. The University needs to stop closing off resources to the community, and instead expand on what it has to offer. Don’t limit resources to the Marvin Center: Build outside of the “student union,” and allow the strength of the community to grow with it.
Alyssa Rosenthal, a sophomore majoring in political communication, is a Hatchet columnist.