Students lose seating temporarily to renovations

Photo by Eric Burgasser

During the busy lunch hours, seating in the Union can go quickly, leaving some students eating lunch or studying on the floor.

Student Ben Glasure says finding seating in the crowded Union has cut into his break time during class.

“I only have an hour before I have to go to class,” he said. “And it already takes 20, 30 minutes to get your food. By the time you finally sit down, you only have about 15 minutes to eat.”

The University has many changes planned for the Union, though not directly involving seating, but the process to make those changes has cut into some of the space set aside for students.

The University Bookstore, BG1 Card Services and the PNC branch on the first floor are part of a bigger project with the Career Center and Student Employment Services.

According to Vice and Assistant Vice Presidents of Capital Planning Steven Krakoff and Robert Waddle, the Bookstore will be consolidated and shifted to the left, where the BG1 Card and PNC Bank offices currently stand.

BG1 Card Services and the PNC Bank will be moved to the front desk, which will be modified to handle both of those services.

However, before either of these changes can be made, things have to be moved around first.

At the start of the semester, students living on campus now have to pick up any packages they receive in the multicultural lounge, where students could often go to sit and do homework.

Adjacent to the multicultural lounge on the second floor of the Union, the commuter lounge, which also provided seating for students, has now been closed off to become a temporary location for Ziggabyte, the Union’s technology store.

The use of the lounges for these moves has resulted in a shortage of seating for students. The lack of seating has become quite inconvenient to students who come to the Union during lunch hours to take a break to either study or eat.

Sophomore Jessica Cunningham thinks the Union should add more seating until the changes are complete.

“I just think they need smaller tables instead of the big ones,” she said. “I feel like they don’t utilize space well.”

The Office of Capital Planning did say they were nearing completion on a space study, but they are hoping to increase the space available to students.

The Office of Capital Planning has said they’re trying to use the building in the best way possible, calling the new changes “a nice add to the Union.”

The Union parking lot will also be renovated, adding 200 parking spaces for students, staff and event parking.

This post has been updates and edited by the original author.

This news article was originally published in print on January 26, 2016 by the independent student publication, The BG News. You can find their web edition here.