Fashionably Late Arts Student Centre27 February 2013
The newly opened Arts Students Centre in Arts West will set a new standard for student spaces on campus. The renovation, which was finished after its mid-February due-date, was designed with student consultation.
In a Melbourne University first, the new student centre has scrapped the over-the-counter format and replaced it with a more casual meeting style. The staff are equipped with tablets and have been encouraged to hold meetings throughout the new student space, wherever individual students feel most comfortable.
The student center office will include “pod” style desks for quick exchanges as well as separate rooms for students wanting to discuss more private issues.
The biggest difference from other student centres on campus will be the student lounge surrounding the centre. The area features laptop and phone charging ports, a kitchen, lounges and four large LCD screen televisions.
The space also includes “two large windows on the West side” that were designed to provide “a lot of natural light”, according to Arts Student Centre Manager Linda Jackson.
This new student centre format is the result of a student-oriented approach during the design process. Jackson stressed that the faculty “worked hard towards keeping the student at the centre of the project”, throughout the design process.
Last year’s M-ASS President Tim Hall agrees that the faculty “was really forward about keeping student feedback involved”, stating that he was invited to meet with the faculty a number of times to contribute ideas.
After an initial meeting in June 2011, M-ASS made recommendations to make the space more socially oriented. At a subsequent meeting in February last year the design had been updated to include Hall’s recommendations. “I felt our views as students were treated with great respect by the faculty,” he stated, “and that’s evident in the changes from the first design to the last”.