Student Association (SA) President Terrell Coakley recently proposed that administrators work to provide more food service providers in the Student Union (SU) which would work in tandem with the Student Activities announcement of extended SU hours starting next semester to improve life in the SU.
We at The New Paltz Oracle commend Coakley and administrators for this initiative as it demonstrates a willingness to work amicably to ensure all parties get what they need from our campus facilities.
Especially in light of recent discourse regarding our meal service providers and the hype surrounding the potential renewal of Sodexo’s contract, we feel this is an important topic worth our time and attention. What better time than now to approach the potential operation hours critically with attention to the students needs?
We are also in favor of Coakley’s idea of expanding the admittedly limited meal selection.
It’s no secret that students have incredibly limited food options as the sun goes down, especially toward the end of the week. With the choices between Hawk Street Station or Hasbrouck come 7:30 p.m., students aren’t given particularly healthy or appetizing regular choices.
We think these changes to the SU are a step in the right direction, but further extensions to the building’s hours would be even better. Students would get what they need — and what they were promised — from the space.
Our campus is lucky to have such a wealth of active organizations that call the SU their home. However, they are often rushed out by the limited hours of operation. Clubs could benefit from even more additional hours of access to their offices and meeting spaces. This would allow for more productive and comprehensive meetings that would certainly ensure more thoughtful and engaging programs and events. It’d be a great service to our campus, creating a strong core location for the thriving community.
Organizations aside, our student body as a whole is incredibly busy and active with complex and unpredictable schedules. Most students find themselves bouncing between classes, work and extracurriculars in rapid succession with little to no down time from their daily grinds.
It seems imprudent that the SU, which was meant to be a sanctuary from our academic stresses, is open primarily during the hours we’re in class or busy. This beautiful building equipped with televisions, pool tables and computers is going to waste. The SU could be a true anchoring headquarters that could only improve our community — if only it was available. We can’t help but find the wasted potential to be a shame.
In the end, improvements to our SU would only work to foster a comfortable and accommodating living environment for those of us who spend our time on campus. It’s important to remember that during the academic months the campus is our home and we shouldn’t feel like guests.