Officials look forward to new Student Organizations Resource Center in Norris


Ebony Calloway/Daily Senior Staffer

The Center for Student Involvement moved to a new location on the third floor of Norris University Center. It focuses on programming for students, including A&O Blowout and Dillo Day.

Paulina Firozi, Managing Editor

Just a few weeks ago, the large office overlooking Lake Michigan on the third floor of Norris University Center was just walls and many boxes. Now, the freshly painted space has seen some new blue couches and a colorful sign outside that reads “CSI, welcome to your new room with a view.”

The new area includes offices for the Center for Student Involvement and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. The large room, when completed, will be the new Student Organizations Resource Center and will give student groups an area to meet and collaborate.

Kelly Schaefer,  Norris executive director, said she is hoping to plan a soft opening by mid-November and a grand opening of the completed space by the beginning of Winter Quarter. Although the center isn’t finished yet, she said it won’t be fully furnished until administrators can gauge what exactly students need.

“We want to wait until students get a chance to get in and use it and find out what they need, and we’ll meet the needs as we see them,” she said. “It can be a collaborative space, an artistic space, a meeting place. We want to know what are some of the things that can go in there.”

Furniture that will be in the room includes tables with benches for group meetings, the rise-system couches and chairs that are currently in the space and which Schaefer said are conducive to collaboration, and two-seaters for a quieter conversation space.

Aside from the resource center, Schaefer said the other three offices — CSI, OFSL and the Students Publishing Company — have mostly moved in to their new spaces.

“They’re moved in and operating, but they’re not necessarily fully unpacked,” she said.

Natalie Furlett, CSI’s associate director, said she is happy with the new offices.

“It’s a beautiful place, we’re really happy to be able to share this with students and have the opportunity to give them as much space as possible,” she said. “We have a conference room now that’s dedicated to CSI and OFSL and that’s been able to facilitate a lot of meetings for us.”

Furlett said she is looking forward to seeing how the new resource center will help groups that have not always had sufficient space.

“It was normal to see students on the floor in the hallway, or having their meeting on the second floor and all those things that happen in Norris,” she said. “We hope that will organically happen in the resource center … that students can use the space and grow there.”

Schaefer said she wants to host an open house for CSI, OFSL and SPC, which previously occupied the remodeled space.

SPC, which includes The Daily and Syllabus Yearbook, now houses CSI’s old offices on the third floor.

ASG student life president Anna Kottenstette said she’s excited to be able to send students and every kind of group — Greek chapters, music groups, activist organizations — to one centralized location for all their needs, an opportunity that she said has been lacking so far on campus. 

She added students are “just restless for it to be done.”

“Norris is one of those things that is never going to be perfect, at least while we’re students,” the Communication senior and former Daily staffer said. “But we want to learn from mistakes in the past and make it as workable as possible for now.” 

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