Sarah Mastroni – News Editor –
The Michael J. Adanti Student Center lies at the crossroads of campus and offers plenty of different areas for students and faculty to study, grab food, exercise and relax between classes.
The Student Center is designed to meet the needs of both commuter and residential students in mind. Within the building there is a computer lab, food court, meeting rooms, fitness center, fireplace lounge and a game room with a flat screen television, pool tables and ping pong tables.
“The student center,” said Peter Robb, senior accounting major “is the only the place that truly unites commuters and residents on campus.”
It’s the “heart of campus” said Brad Crerar, director of the Student Center.
“It is a place to socialize, network, relax and relieve the stressors of the classroom,” Crerar said. “We provide students with a multifunctional environment to help enhance their educational experience. We try to give them the tools to support the learning in the classroom while giving them a venue to practice many of those skills needed in real life.”
Some of Southern’s population feel there is a lack of knowledge to what the Student Center has to offer. Some students don’t even know that a fireplace lounge is offered or that there are a variety of different offices and clubs located within the building, said Robb.
The majority of Southern’s clubs and organizations gather and hold meetings in the building.
“There are a lot of different offices in the Student Center from Multicultural Center to Student Life,” said Donald Cross.
Commuter Student Services is another added resource in the Student Center.
“Commuter Student Services started around 20 years ago. We started with a program called ‘Good Morning Southern’—an open invitation to our students—to learn about vital information from financial aid, to summer institutes overseas, to services our own counseling or academic advisement offered,” Crerar said.
Programs Council took over “Good Morning Southern” and created mini courses to help commuter students out.
“These courses were an hour or two long,” said Crerar, “teaching things such as changing a tire on your car to making candy for the holidays.”
The bookstore recently expanded over the summer to add more space and a newly created fan zone for students to buy Southern athletic apparel.
“Working with athletics, we are increasing our Nike clothing and creating an area for athletic apparel to help us in appealing to more customers,” bookstore manager Larry Gal said.
Gal also said the store is packed with all the basic school supplies from computer accessories to Southern hoodies and pants.
“While the bookstore offers everything,” said Robb, “I personally feel like it’s diminishing over the years with Chegg and other online resources.”
The Fitness Center, located on the second floor, is equipped with modern fitness technology and advanced workout machines such as cardiovascular equipment, a designated stretching and abs area, and weight training machines.
The accessibility of the Fitness Center’s location and convenient hours make it the best exercise setting for the Southern’s population, said Jessica Scibek, assistant director and Fitness Center coordinator.
“We are priced similarly to area facilities, but because we are staffed by energetic SCSU students we really have a connection to SCSU and care about everyone adopting a healthy lifestyle—not just ‘joining’ the gym but using it and benefitting from exercise.”
Cross said he thinks the gym at Southern is too expensive.
“The gym costs $60 a semester, which I feel like we shouldn’t have to pay for because as a transfer at my last school I had free physical facilities,” said Robb.
Upon asking a Fitness Center employee about the semestral fee for the gym, the individual wasn’t sure and declined to comment.
Crerar believes the Student Center is most important because it was developed by students and built specifically around their needs.
“It is probably the only place on campus where students, faculty and staff can all meet on the same level,” Crerar said.
“No matter what your interests are, there is always something to do in the Student Center.”