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Around the Columns

Student office upgrades

Atop a bookshelf inside Kathy Murray’s office sits the A022 door plaque, an artifact beloved by those who fondly recall the former student organization offices in Brady Commons. But while nostalgia lives inside Murray’s office, outside lies a modernized workspace with plush couches, semi-private cubicles, group worktables and high-tech conference rooms. The Center for Student Involvement’s new home on the MU Student Center’s upper level provides office space and storage for student governments, student organizations, Greek organizations, campus activities, the Student Design Center as well as leadership development and community service groups.

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“Since we moved in, I’ve seen much more collaboration and coordination across group boundaries,” says Murray, BJ ’81, MBA ’84, assistant director of campus activities. “It’s really become a community. You might think of students being online all the time, but here they’re face-to-face working on projects and ideas.”

Student groups were originally scattered across campus, with several housed in Read Hall. After the 1986 renovation and expansion of Brady Commons, organizations moved into A022, a labyrinth of tall, closed-in cubicles in the basement.

Nick Evans, student organizations coordinator, says students soon outgrew the allotted area. It wasn’t uncommon for three organizations to share an 8-by-8-foot cubicle and for closets to be turned into makeshift offices. The student organizations’ area, which accommodated 15 to 20 groups in Brady, now houses up to 60 groups in the Student Center.

“Students are impacted by the new space and can appreciate the value we place in student activities,” Evans says. “In turn, it encourages them to be here more and inspires them to work hard.”

Student groups began moving into the Student Center in phases, starting in 2010. Centers devoted to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender resources; multicultural students; relationship and sexual violence prevention; wellness; and women have relocated to the Student Center’s ground floor along with student media outlets.

The Maneater staff has settled into professional-looking digs complete with a conference room, editors’ offices and space for multimedia and photography staffs. Student radio station KCOU left Pershing Hall’s basement for newer equipment and furnishings on the lower level of the Student Center. And television station MUTV, which previously used MU Academic Support Center’s production studio, will soon be moving into its own studio and offices.