February 24, 2020
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Story tips, concerns, questions?

Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. William Franklin talks at Space Town
Hall. Photo taken by Dayzsha Lino.

By Dayzsha Lino, Staff Writer 

Amid concerns over the current state of the Student Success Hub, university administrators hosted a town hall meeting on Thursday in LSU Ballroom C for students, staff and faculty members to discuss much-needed improvements on the third and fourth floors of the Leo F. Cain Library.  

The hub was intended to, house student-oriented organizations and programs displaced by ongoing campus construction including the  demolition of the Small College Complex last spring. There are 18 new tenants ,six on the fourth floor including the Dymally Institute and 12 on the third floor,  along with faculty office cubicles and the Bulletin newsroom.

Most of the third-floor organizations are clustered into the northwestern part of the floor, including  CalFresh, EOP the Career Center and the Women’s Resource Center.

The close proximity means crammed conditions, but the lack of doors and walls that are usually no higher than 4-feet means a lack of privacy. That is an aggravation for all the groups but a few. such the Women’s Resource Center, ETE, and EOP rely heavily on one-on-one interactions between peer mentors and students; keeping them private is imperative for confidentially purposes but is hard to do in the current configuration.

In particular, the WRC sees a lot of students dealing with difficult circumstances like domestic violence. With the current set-up, staff is concerned that many women will not want to share their problems, which one person called a disaster in terms of  the WRC’s mission to help people immediately.

Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. William Franklin, one of the speakers at the town hall, said he believes mott of the issues surrounding the hub were not addressing concerns of future tenants who predicted the privacy problems.

“We did not leverage their expertise,” Franklin said, “We didn’t listen to the people who complained about the third floor.” 

Vice Provost Ken O’Donnell said his biggest complaint is the layout makes it hard to get one’s bearings. 

“When you walk around that third floor, you don’t know whose group you’re in,” O’Donnell said.

Both short-term and long-term solutions were discussed. The short-term plans include moving some of the programs to different floors of the library and rearranging certain parts of the Student Success Hub. For instance, GWIE will be relocated to a vacant location on the fourth floor, and the Writing Center will be joined by Supplemental Instruction. 

As a long-term solution, Vice President of Administration and Finance Ron Coley proposed a plan to move some of the organizations in Welch Hall to a building that he intends to purchase on 1299 E Artesia Blvd. This would allow programs that are in the library to utilize space in the Welch Hall.  

Franklin believes that these changes will eventually lead to a campus that is “much more intentional, much more inclusive, and more collaborative.”



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