Renovations appeal to organizations

By Kelli Long

After months of renovations, the Center for Student Involvement will hold its grand opening today.

Previously known as the Student Organizations Center, the CSI is a base for student involvement through community service, organizations and campus leadership.

The center’s room in the Student Center received a $420,000 makeover that began in February. A large, open space now makes up most of the room, and employee offices line the back wall.

The layout change was deliberate, said Lauren Goodpaster, who oversees the programming at the center as the leadership and service program director for the Office of Student Involvement.

“Now, if multiple groups are working in the office at the same time, they have the opportunity to work together and collaborate,” Goodpaster said.

Goodpaster said she hopes the increased collaboration will lead to the development of bigger and better projects and ideas from organizations like Greenthumb, The Cause and even the dodgeball club, which use the renovated space to hold their meetings.

Zach Brien, a finance and political science sophomore who is chairman of the student organization Frontline, said the new CSI has been beneficial. When his organization was looking for a place to meet and work, Brien found that the center was an ideal place.

“Before it was renovated, I never even thought about it,” Brien said. “Now that it’s changed, it has been a great place for us to work. Now we have got an adequate meeting place as well as computers and copiers to get anything we need, and get it immediately.”

The center offers many features, including the Leadership Library, which provides resources for students to use, regardless of their level of involvement. It houses books and other publications filled with information ranging from club activities and retreats to conflict management.

A “smart classroom” is one of many additions to the renovated center. The classroom has a projector with speakers built into the ceiling, dry-erase boards with markers and enough seating to accommodate a large group. That room is one of two that students and organizations can check out.

The other room has a flat-screen television that can display information from students’ computers.

“This room is ideal for executive meetings,” Goodpaster said.

Students can also use a computer lab and the workroom, which houses a laminator, copier, paper cutter and folding machine.

UK students and faculty are invited to attend the grand opening and ribbon-cutting today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 106 of the Student Center.