Union updates rejuvenate campus

Story by Baker Orange Editorial Board

At a time when the university is facing budget cuts and changes in enrollment, it’s nice to see effort still being made beyond the basics of operational budgets and personnel. The Long Student Center is now a functional space where students, faculty and staff can comfortably meet on campus.

The funds for the Long Student Center renovations came from generous donations only, which is why the progress for updates could still continue even after the Board of Trustees dealt a blow in saying $1 million had to be cut from this year’s university budget.

We as an editorial board are sure glad the progress continued.

The Daily Grind, which is the new coffee shop in the student union building, gives students a central meeting place other than the basement of the library. The sleek design of the area makes it feel like the university is keeping pace with other larger universities.

Before The Daily Grind, there wasn’t a place on campus other than the cafeteria to get food or drink. This welcomed pitstop has changed students’ mornings and afternoons, with a simple Starbucks coffee or Jamba Juice snack.

The next phase of the Union renovations include outdoor seating and a large venue for meetings or speeches. Each of these will help bring the Baker community together and keep people on campus, which has been an issue for the university in the past.

The coffee shop provides students with a place for homework and separation, something that many students could previously only find after driving 19 miles up the road to Lawrence. At all times of the day, from open to close, students can be seen either ordering a coffee or sitting at one of the new tables, flooded by the natural lighting of the space. This is a pleasing sight from that of last year when students only saw the student union if they were walking through to the New Living Center or stopping into the cafeteria.

Now that the university has a shiny new science building and student union facilities, when will the rest of campus see similar improvements? Larger state universities have fashionable and functional arts centers, whereas Rice Auditorium seems to be stuck in the ‘70s, and for a liberal arts college, it’s interesting to see where some of the funding goes.

And this isn’t the only problematic building on campus. Just a few days ago, our own mass media building, Pulliam Hall, had water damage. Pieces of the roof were falling off onto the stairs and much of the carpet was wet from the damage.

We hope that this is one trend on campus that continues until each department and the whole university can have the same profound effect on students and the community.