Campus Life seeks opinions from the Quinnipiac community about student centers

Courtesy: Quinnipiac University

Courtesy: Quinnipiac University

Brooke Reilly

With a new year and new semester beginning, students, faculty and staff are likely to see some changes coming across the Quinnipiac campuses.

On Jan. 2, 2019, the Student Centers & Student Involvement Team in the Office of Campus Life sent out a survey to students, faculty and staff seeking input on changes that they would like to see regarding, spaces, hours, services, amenities, etc.

Screenshot of the email that Campus Life sent to the Quinnipiac Community.

“I think folks have appreciated getting the opportunity to share with us how they feel about those spaces, and they should you know for me the student center should be sort of this central living room of the campus,” Erin Provistalis, Director of Campus Life for Student Centers and Student Involvement said. “Everybody kind of has a stake in it because it’s utilized by everybody.”

Since last spring, Provistalis’ office, Student Centers and Student Involvement, has been working with two different groups of individuals to look at how the space in the student centers is being utilized. The groups are called the Carl Hansen Stakeholders Group and the Rocky Top Stakeholders Group and are comprised of different administrators, staff members and sometimes students. They have been meeting on a monthly basis to discuss changes that can be made since last year. Prior to this, these groups had never met regularly.

“When I came into my role as the Director for Student Centers and Student Involvement, that was something that I was passionate about was trying to bring those people together at the table to sort of start to have these conversations,” Provistalis said. “How could we kind of be more collaborative with each other, help each other, but also kind of be a united front and an information sharing group?”

The Jan 2. survey was one of the projects that this group had been working on for about six months. The purpose of it was to collect data from the Quinnipiac community to get a feel for improvements that they want to see in the student centers.

Some of the questions in the survey reflected off of initiatives that members of the Student Government Association are currently pursuing or have worked on in the past. Provistalis is also the advisor for SGA, so some of the changes that they have been working on were reflected in the survey.

“I have sort of that inside access to what it is that the students are talking about on some level right through student government,” Provistalis said. “Why would I not use that to inform some of what we want to ask about in a broader sense to the entire population?”

Student Government Association Vice President for Student Experience, Austin Calvo, was glad to see that what they have been working on was reflected in this survey to help enhance the data that they’ve collected.

“I was really happy to open up the survey and see that we were getting additional data more than ours have,” Calvo said. “Throughout her trying to cross both paths and trying to get the student centers improved, which is also helping our initiatives.”

The senior class officers on SGA have recently been pursuing the initiative of getting a pub put in the Rocky Top Student Center.

“They’ve been working with administrators all over campus, with people in Public Safety and dining, Student Affairs, Alumni Development,” Calvo said. “Officers have literally been everywhere on campus using as many resources as they can to be sure this is successful.”

Calvo also explained how they are working on improving the hours of operation of the post office in the Rocky Top Student Center. Students have expressed interest in having it open on Saturday’s because that is when most students are around. This was also reflected in the survey.

Provistalis provided additional data on the most popular responses collected in the survey thus far:

In the Carl Hansen Student Center, there is overcrowding everywhere, and it is too small for the population size. Students are looking for more lounge and study space. More space dedicated to faculty and staff is needed as well. Long lines in the cafeteria and Starbucks were also a complaint. The Quinnipiac community expressed interest in having more chain food vendors, such as Chipotle, McDonald’s, Subway or Dunkin’ in the Carl Hansen Student Center. Students are looking for large meeting and event space. They would also like to see more live entertainment in these spaces.

Students, faculty and staff would like to see changes in the Rocky Top Student Center as well. As far as wellness goes, they would like to see personal training programs, more cardio equipment, a climbing wall or mind/body studio. People would mostly use the post office in the Rocky Top Student Center between 4pm and 8pm during the week and on Saturday afternoons if it was open then. Students would like to see services, such as tutoring and career preparation available there as well. Students mostly eat dinner at the Rocky Top Student Center, but they are looking for a juice/smoothie bar and acai bowl station. They have expressed interest in a convenient store as well. Students seem to like SGA’s pub initiative and would like that to be available in the Rocky Top Student Center. Students dislike the hours of operation of the Rocky Top Student Center, food options and parking. They would like to see the space utilized better for more events.

Courtesy: Quinnipiac University

The time frame of changes that may be made varies greatly.

“I think that some of the things that we asked about in the survey some of those things could be changes that you could see relatively quickly,” Provistalis said. “But if we’re talking about projects that are large scale construction sort of things you know it could be much longer term than that.”

The survey will remain open until the end of January for all students, faculty and staff to share their opinions about the Carl Hansen and Rocky Top Student Centers.