The “SAC” has been sacked years ago. The Student Center reigns supreme.
Oct. 1 marked the Office of Student Center Operations’ second birthday. It was an event to raise awareness of its purpose. With two large sheet cakes, hundreds of flyers and 2,000 giveaways, staff members from the Student Center Operations made it apparent who they are and what they do.
They also emphasized the fact that the “SAC” has been inexistent for more than four years and that they are separate from Student Activities, which the Student Center is commonly mistaken for.
“We get calls for Student Activities and Student Activities gets calls for us,” said Jason Levy, director of Student Center Operations.
Originally, Student Activities was in charge of programming and the facility, but when the Student Center expanded to the south side of the building more responsibilities arised. The previous director of Student Activities left, opening the door for Dean of Students Ainsley Carry and Dr. Theresa A. Powell, vice president for Student Affairs, to create the Office of Student Center Operations.
“Student Center and Student Activities have a great working partnership, and we depend on each other,” Levy said. “We have very different, yet equally important missions and desired outcomes.”
The Student Center accommodates registered student organizations and faculty departments, when they meet to host activities and events.
“We depend on organizations and departments to not be bored,” Levy said.
The Student Center Operations receives nearly 6,000 reservations request for its spaces on campus. One of the most recent events that took place under the leadership of the Student Center Operations staff was the rally for Sen. Barack Obama that featured Democratic National Committee Chairman Gov. Howard Dean.
The office responsibilities also included preparing its rooms with well-equipped audio and visual resources, lighting and furniture. Also they grant permission for voter registrations drives on Liacouras Walk and the Bell Tower.
Aside from hosting events and meetings, the staff also provides leisure and technological facilities such as the game room, the Reel cinema and the Graphics Media Center.
“We want people to have memories of the Student Center when they come back and visit,” Levy said.
To further improve facilities, the Howard Gittis Student Center will be renovated. Changes include improving signs, upgrading the audio and visual equipment in meeting rooms and adding a 50-inch plasma TV in the atrium.
There will also be a new addition to the second floor called the “Laptop Lounge.” By the end of October, the room will be equipped with wireless connection, comfortable furniture and tables with built-in electrical outlets.
Although the Student Center has such a prominent role on campus, it still struggles with its identity. The Student Center Operations staff plans to develop a mission statement for the Student Center by the end of the Fall 2008 semester.
Arty Kern can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.