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December 12, 2019   |   Ithaca, NY

News

New student group aims to increase events at Campus Center

The Campus Center Programming Board is a new student group that aims to provide Ithaca College students with more community events held at the Campus Center. The Campus Center is also undergoing a redesign process, and the Campus Center Design Study will be finished this semester.  

The board was created in Summer 2019. Jess Shapiro, assistant director at the Campus Center, is the board’s advisor. Shapiro also advises IC After Dark, an organization that holds monthly late night events. Shapiro said she hopes the new board can hold events that all students can be involved in to make the Campus Center into a place where students want to spend their time. 

Shapiro said she wants the board to gain more recognition so it can become a student organization. The Campus Center Programming Board currently consists of eight students. Students applied to join the board through IC Engage

“I’m looking forward to seeing what those people are excited about and what they want to put their energy toward,” Shapiro said. “I’m hoping that they have a lot of great ideas that we can run with.”  

The boards’ future plans include organizing more late night events for students that can be held in IC square, including bi-weekly bingo nights and partnering with other student organizations, Shapiro said. 

“The ultimate goal is seeing Campus Center not just as a building you walk through to get somewhere else or a place you just go to to eat and leave, but a place you can spend your time and meet people or come with your friends and have a good time,” Shapiro said. 

Sophomore Cat Fox, a Campus Center programming intern, said she jumped at the opportunity to intern with Campus Center since she is minoring in Live Event Design and Management.

Fox said she began her internship during Summer 2019. Her tasks included planning bingo nights, marketing events, and buying prizes and food for all live events. 

The Campus Center is also undergoing a redesign process. The college is partnering with QPK Design, an architecture and engineering firm, to develop the Campus Center Design Study. The Campus Center has faced criticism from the campus community for lack of space and functionality, among other issues. 

Tim Carey, associate vice president of the Office of Facilities, said the Campus Center Design Study was conducted during the 2018–19 academic year and should be finished this semester. He said the design study was made up of town hall meetings, surveys, and questionnaires with the purpose of discovering the best way for the new Campus Center to meet the students’ needs. 

“We utilized last year to collect information, to conduct focus group meetings with students and staff,” Carey said. “We really got into the data collection, what we call the programming, so we could figure out the best way to configure a campus center.”

The largest, most recent renovation to the Campus Center occurred in 1987, and it included the installment of Phillips Hall. After this renovation, the building was officially named the Campus Center.

Carey said the Campus Center redesign will include renovating the dining locations in the Campus Center.  

Sybil Conrad, director of the Campus Center, said she attended most of the feedback sessions, which occurred at the end of the 2018–19 academic year and throughout Summer 2019, to hear how members of the campus community want to improve the Campus Center.  

Conrad said it is difficult to completely renovate Campus Center to address accessibility concerns because the building has many structural errors, such as large staircases. Conrad said she is now aware of the lack of accessibility in the Campus Center, but the redesign process cannot address it due to the project not addressing structural issues. She said she hopes to increase accessibility in future projects. 

Correction: The Campus Center Programming Board, not the Campus Center Planning Board is a student group that hopes to organize more community events at the Campus Center. 

Sydney Keller can be reached at skeller@ithaca.edu