What to do with the 3,200 square feet of office space vacated by Delta in October will be the focus of a sub-committee of Northern Kentucky University’s Space Committee.
Suggestions brought up by students and administrators for the space located at the bottom level of the University Center include: moving the Academic Advising Resource Center; creating a banking service for students; creating a game room; using it for Greek meeting spaces; or bringing in another corporation.
But the former Delta office likely won’t house another business, said Michael Baker, head of the space committee. According to 2000 statistics released by the Kentucky Council on Post-secondary Education, NKU is the most cramped college in Kentucky with 101 square feet per student. Western Kentucky University comes in second-to-the-last with 105 square feet per student, and all other Kentucky colleges’ square footage per student lies between 150-295.
Baker said the campus space constraints mean the Delta office needs to be used for some type of student service.
“It will have to be student-related,” Baker said. “That space shouldn’t go to an off-campus entity.”
Since the floundering state budget will likely delay the construction of the student union, Dean of Students, Kent Kelso, said the Delta space should be used for a student involvement center, which would house student organizations in the new student union.
“This is a way to achieve what we are going to do with the student union,” Kelso said. “If we are not going to have a student union for awhile, we have to make the most out of the University Center.”
Kelso, a member of the space committee, proposed moving the Student Government Association and student media such as “The Northerner” into the space.
With SGA occupying the space, SGA president Katie Herschede said this will provide a stable meeting place for all student organizations and is in a prime location next to the Student Life Office.
“That is the most expensive property on campus,” Herschede said. “Putting SGA there will kill two birds with one stone by providing more meeting rooms for any organization to be able to use and creating a student life center.”
President of Delta Gamma sorority Jessica Wilson said Greek organizations are in need of a consistent meeting place.
Constantly changing meeting places sometimes causes confusion, she said, and the Delta space could provide a solution.
“Our space is pretty limited. It would help out to have a set place to meet,” she said. “You always have to reserve a different room on campus, which can be difficult.”
Kelso cautioned that a student center is only a proposal and isn’t out of the idea stage.
The sub-committee has yet to hold its first meeting to assess the situation.
With the Natural Science building scheduled to close in Dec. 2002, Baker said the university might use the space as a new home for the Academic Advising Resource Center.
“That will be a critical need we will need to address,” Baker said.
Some students still feel more employment opportunities for students are vital.
Sophomore Education major Paul Sullivan said because a lot of students lost their jobs on campus when Delta left, the university should bring in another company.
“It’s nice to have jobs on campus, because if you live on campus, you don’t need a car to go to and from work,” Sullivan said.
Baker said the university plans on setting up businesses around the campus, including a possible hotel on the recently-purchased Thriftway lot on State Route 27.
President James Votruba said he puts the question of how to use the Delta pace as one of the university’s highest priorities and NKU needs to get as much out of the University Center as possible.
“We are as packed into that building (University Center) as you can get,” Votruba said, citing that the building was built when NKU had only 5,000 students.
Baker said the decision ahead of the space committee will be a tough one.
“We have to look at both the short- and long-term needs,” Baker said.
SGA is currently taking a survey of student opinion on what should be done with the Delta space.
Herschede said SGA wants to know whether students would like to see the space used for any of the following: Academic Advising Resource Center, a banking service, a copy center for students, another corporation and jobs, Fidelity expansion, a game room, a Greek room or meeting space.
Students with suggestions or comments should send them to the SGA office in UC 208, or e-mail them to SGA@nku.edu.