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Grand Opening: Students, college officials mark end of latest phase of construction at Truax

Bailey Ayres, Sports Editor

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Clarion Staff Photo

Outgoing Student Senate President Alex Hipler, left, is joined by Senate President-elect Tina Marshalek and Madison College President Dr. Jack E. Daniels III on stage during the ribbon cutting and balloon drop at the new student space grand opening.

The Truax campus held a grand opening for its new student spaces on April 26, following the final stage of renovation to the new cafeteria area and Student Life offices.

The new area includes a space where people can hang out or study. It also includes the WolfPack Den, where students can play pool or ping-pong. The Student Development Center, Veterans Services and the Cultural Representative Program also have new offices.

The area where the new Student Life offices are located does not yet have a name so, during the grand opening, there was a booth where students could suggest a name for the area.

“The architect’s original vision was this would be a courtyard, main street concept. The hole in the ceiling comes right down in the middle, in the courtyard,” Renee Alfano, the Student Life Director said about the new area. “His concept was to pull together all these services a student uses on a continuous basis. It’s easier for the students to access the services that exist.”

This idea for a student space came about 15 years ago with a proposal put together by students to build a student center, explained Alfano.

“One of the things that bothered me was, when you measured the square footage there was more for staff than students,” said Alfano, talking about the older offices.

“Our priority was student space. We knew we did not have any windows in the middle of the building, but it was still very welcoming,” Alfano said of the old space. “I like the windows (in the new offices) because other students can see what is going on. That might help with not only getting students engaged, but also awareness that we have comprehensive student life experience at Madison College.”

The new Student Life offices have gotten a lot of positive feedback from students, faculty, and staff alike.
“I love the cafeteria and the seating area. It looks really fresh, nice and new,” said Toby Andrews, a liberal arts transfer student who plays soccer for the WolfPack. “It’s wicked.”

The Student Senate and The Clarion are the only organizations that have their own offices in the Student Life area.

“I like it a lot. I like how open it is, and the big whole windows. I hope it helps us interact with students more often,” said Eric Simle, the Vice President of Legislative Affairs in the Student Senate. “I think it will help with collaboration with other organizations with everyone being so close.”

Tina Marshalek, the 2017-18 Student Senate President-elect and the Business Director for The Clarion, also likes the idea of collaborating with others: “I agree with Eric that it is going to help the student organizations work closely together since we are in the same fishbowl. I have already gotten to know a lot more members of the other organizations, like the Volunteer Center and Phi Theta Kappa, because we are so much closer together.”

“I think they are amazing!,” said Josh Zytklewicz, The Clarion’s Broadcasting Manager. “The broadcast space going to be outstanding for students. We are giving them hands-on experience.”

The new Student Life offices are not just spaces to get work done, but a place to make new friends.
“A place where you cannot get just business done, a place you can hang out,” said Martin Campbell, another member of the Student Senate.

“It’s more convenient for me, and the student body. I like the location,” said Campbell. “Convenient location for everyone.”

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Grand Opening: Students, college officials mark end of latest phase of construction at Truax