University president welcomes students to Marvin Center study space

University President Steven Knapp and Student Association President Ashwin Narla get ready to cut a red ribbon on, officially opening the Marvin Center’s fourth floor after a $250,000 construction project. Jordan Leon | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Chris Hebdon.

University President Steven Knapp cut the ribbon to the Marvin Center fourth floor’s refurbished study space Thursday, officially opening the administration’s largest commitment to student space in the past two years.

The event to mark the communal study space, which has been open for student use since February, saw a crowd of about 40 students. Knapp, who spoke for several minutes, called the space a result of “a great partnership” with the Student Association.

“Student space has been the forefront every year,” Knapp said. “I am quite impressed by the space. I hadn’t been here to physically see this. I had seen pictures of it but they don’t tell the story of how useful and substantial the space is.”

The $250,000 renovations, which former Student Association President John Richardson and former Marvin Center Governing Board Chair Dylan Pyne vigorously lobbied for last spring, also added storage for student organizations and will eventually offer a  wireless printer. The project also renovated former administrative offices into a centralized location for the SA, Class Council, Marvin Center Governing Board, Residence Hall Association and Program Board.

The project marked the first victory for student space since the closing of campus hubs like the Hippodrome and the Fishbowl. SA President Ashwin Narla, whose student space campaign this year saw little gains, said the location must serve as a model for future changes.

“Student space is extremely important now and for the future. This space serves as a great example of what student space can look like in the future,” Narla said.

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