As Northwestern awaits formal plans for a new student center to get off the ground, the University will restructure the third floor of Norris University Center over the summer.
The current offices of The Daily will be redesigned to accommodate the Center for Student Involvement and new collaborative spaces for student groups. The student newspaper will move its newsroom to the office currently occupied by CSI. The administration is also in talks to move the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life to the area currently used by The Daily.
Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, assistant vice president for student auxiliary services, and Norris executive director Kelly Schaefer announced the changes this afternoon at a meeting of the Students Publishing Company board of directors and Daily editors.
Payne-Kirchmeier said the third-floor reconfiguration will help Norris better serve the more than 400 student groups at NU until the new student center is ready.
“From a vision standpoint, I really see this amazing collaborative location for student organizations, student publishing and the leadership to really come together,” Payne-Kirchmeier told The Daily after the meeting.
Schaefer said the new collaborative spaces will help student groups avoid duplicate programming by allowing them to work together in a shared space.
She said many of the changes are supported by the results of student surveys conducted by Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Brailsford & Dunlavey on plans to renovate Norris. The surveys found students want more areas of “quiet study,” Schaefer said.
Payne-Kirchmeier said administrators will look to make as many incremental changes as possible before Norris is revamped.
“We know that between now and the potential for a new university center idea, we’re going to go through a generation or more of students,” she said. “We want to balance making those really positive changes in this building while planning long term for something bigger and better and more impactful for this university in the future.”
— Joseph Diebold