Student union a waste

Northern Kentucky University’s new Student Union is a beautiful piece of architecture with no real substance. It’s a waste of the student body’s money.

It boasts all the amenities of a mini-mall. On any given day, I can walk in, buy some Edy’s Ice cream, or a Venti White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks or a giant sub sandwich from Mondo Subs in the food court. If I’m short on cash, no problem; there’s a couple of ATMs down the hallway. NKU doesn’t want to get in the way of my blowing money on useless luxuries.

I don’t see the need for a Starbucks. We had a coffee shop in the Science Center that served the famous cup of Joe. I guess building a real one is supposed to make us feel more established.

The first floor is where I really start to see my money going down the drain. I am of course talking about the game room. A whole area dedicated to students wasting time. Billiards, air hockey, X-Box 360s, Nintendo Wiis and Playstations fill the room. Students can bring their own games and controllers for the consoles or rent them. It’s good to know that my money is being spent so others can ignore their work and play Guitar Hero. The rest of the building, including the third floor, is nothing but meeting rooms, multi-purpose rooms and student-organization offices.

These rooms are things I’m actually in accordance with. A Student Union should be for things that concern and help students. I’m all for providing room for student groups, meeting rooms for them and multi-purpose rooms for events. This is what NKU should be; not an arcade or a buffet, but an academic institution providing growth for student involvement.

Walking into the University Center is like walking into an abandoned mansion. It’s a shame. It had plenty of dining options that spanned two floors and still contains a small bank and an ATM for any big spender to get their cash.

NKU spent $37 million on the Student Union. Perhaps NKU could have spent less money on that and built a smaller building. The building could have held room only for student organizations, multi-purpose rooms and meeting rooms.

Instead of wasting students money on video games, Starbucks, Edy’s Ice Cream and several unnecessary dining options, NKU should put it towards things we actually need such as more parking lots, asphalt for lots that are still covered with gravel, proper lighting in outer lots and more space and renovation in the Fine Arts Building.

I could go on and on about all the ways NKU can use our money more efficiently. But no one will listen. I guess I’ll just go to the game room and play some Guitar Hero.

Tim Owens