Students should get excited about CUC expansion

Representatives from The Tartan and The Thistle were taken on a tour of the Jared L. Cohon University Center expansion construction site last Thursday,. The tour was led by Director of Student Activities Liz Vaughan, Assistant Director of Athletics and Recreational Programming Sara Gauntner, Director of Marketing for Student Affairs Operations Mandi Semple, and Campus Design & Facility Development Project Manager Adam Homer.

Lasting about an hour and covering all of the major selling points of the expansion, the tour took us from the new athletic facilities, to behind-the-scenes of the performance theater, to the once-controversial shell space turned student work center, and finally to the new, state-of-the-art lobby that will be the new focal point for university visitors entering campus from Forbes Ave. The project is incredibly expansive, and the progress that has been made so far is exciting. Even our tour guides, who may not be on-site daily, were surprised by how fast the project changes every time they travel behind the chain-link fence that has kept the project shrouded in mystery for so long.

The tour was the first of many that will be offered to students across campus. These tours will be focused on the demographics that are most invested in the new facility: the dance performance groups, the members of student government who made the acquisition of the shell space possible, and the "Ambassadors": the Proud to Be Plaid Committee, the Highland Ambassadors, and the Andrew Ambassadors. Tours will also be offered to alumni and visitors during six already booked times over Cèilidh Weekend.

The Tartan is excited by the progress that has been made and by how much student input has gone into the massive project. The university has shown that the $26 million investment will go toward improving campus life with the students in mind, which is a refreshing development in the midst of so many not-student-focused donations. This upcoming week, the university will ask for student input on the furniture that will occupy the new space.

The onus is now on the students to take advantage of the opportunities to express their desires and concerns with campus projects. Taking an active role in helping to guide these projects shows that you care about the experience of the future student body. As the university sets their sights on tomorrow's students, it is important that we do the same.