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Council takes first steps for new student activities offices

A plan for a new student activities center is in its initial stages, after several members of Student Council met yesterday to discuss the logistics of the installation of such a facility at the University.

The need for a new student activities center was first proposed by last year's Executive Committee under the direction of former Council President Howard A. Foard III.

Council President Taz Turner said the current location of student activities offices in Newcomb Hall "isn't truly a student center."

He said he "envisions [the new center] as a place for students to get away from their studies while still remaining on University Grounds."

Council members are also looking at student activity centers at other institutions of higher education around the nation in order to streamline and more effectively express their proposal for the building.

Turner said Council will use three separate categories of peer institutions to gauge their plans for the new building.

These categories consist of other schools throughout the Commonwealth, the schools of the Atlantic Coast Conference and schools that Student Council feels are comparable to the University in size and stature - namely those of the Ivy League.

Possible locations for the new center include Nameless Field and the hill next to the University Bookstore overlooking Emmet Street.

The next step on Council's agenda is to discuss their plans with the University Architect and Newcomb Hall administrators.

Turner said the biggest challenge for the proponents of the new center will be to secure adequate funding for the program, with state funds and alumni contributions as possible sources.

Although he said he would like to see the building created within five years, he estimates that a new student activities center would not be completed for at least another five to seven years.

Dean of Students Penny Rue said she also sees the need for such a facility, saying that it is "very wise to plan for growth."

Rue said the current situation of student activities has reached a "bursting at the seams point."

She said the interest in a new student activities center was "precipitated by the relocation of student activities out of Peabody Hall."

However, she added the plan still is very preliminary and has not yet been made a Council resolution.

Turner said he feels such a center is necessary to establish "more of a gathering place" away from the Rugby Road and Corner scenes.

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