Lounging around: Honors enjoys its new hangout

By Drew Teague

Some may think that Honors  students are always in the books, but the students get some time to lounge around in style.

The Honors Program has relocated to the third floor of Patterson Office Tower and has decided to include a student lounge for the individuals in the program when they have free time after or between classes.

Meg Marquis, senior academic coordinator for the Honors Program at UK,  enjoyed the idea of giving students a space of their own.

“We’ve always wanted designated student space as long as there’s been an honors program – since we truly are a community,” Marquis said. “(It has) been important for us to provide a space in which students can interact and build relationships outside the classroom.”

During the 2010 spring semester, the Honors Program got notice from the university that they would be moving from it’s long time location on the eleventh floor of Patterson Office Tower to their new and current location on the third floor.

“We immediately began plans to renovate office space into student space alongside the other renovation and repair work,” sMarquis said.

Marquis said the location of the student lounge is appropriate for everyone because it is located in POT,  a centralized location on campus that everyone can get to.

“[Patterson Office Tower] is a great location for us and our students,” Marquis said. “We have students from every major at the university, so a central location on campus is best to serve them all.”

The location will not only be used for relaxation, but also for fun things helped put on by the program.

“We are so excited to be able to plan all kinds of activities for students in this space, in addition to just the down time use, [like] movie nights, faculty presentations, Honors Program Student Council meetings and test reviews,” Marquis said, adding that activities will be planned for times that will fit  students’ schedules.

Brian Garcia, a pre-pharmacy sophomore and Honors Program student,  said he enjoys the idea of having a student area in the programs office. Garcia said he thinks it will get them a lot closer to the staff that helps them during their time in the program.

“It’s really great,” Garcia said. “It’s a lot better for us to get aquatinted with the workers of the Honors Program.”

Marquis said she was happy the students are already enjoying their new lounge, stressing the fact that it is truly their space.

“The students love  it,” Marquis said. “They are thrilled to have a space that is theirs, where they can come to study in between classes, print a paper if they need to and hang out with their friends.”

The new lounge isn‘t fully furnished yet,  but Honors plans on getting all the furniture soon, Marquis said.

“The student lounge, as well as the new Honors office suite in which it is housed, has been funded internally by the program and by the generosity of the Office of the Provost, who really has shown incredible support for this student scholarly community,” Marquis said. “We are also talking to a group of Honors alumni who are hoping to set up an endowment to support the space in the future.”

Garcia is in agreement with Marquis that the lounge will be a hit with Honors Program’s students, but he thinks word will have to spread for people to catch on to use it.

Once it picks up, Garcia thinks it will be a great place for those students to share ideas and work together more with other students in the program.

“The best part is it’s the place where the Honors kids can work together and share ideas,” Garcia said.

The Honors Program plans on using donations coming in for the new lounge to honor a founding member of the UK Honors Program, Marquis said.

“We will then name the lounge after one of the founding faculty of the program, Dr. Robert Evans,” Marquis said.