The Student Union Building feels like home to many students across campus. The building hosts offices for student clubs and organizations, including student government, and it also functions as a venue for events. The most common spaces used are the fishbowl, located on the first floor in the SA diner, and the ballroom on the fourth floor. A concern that many students have shared is the lack of use of the underground space situated in the Student Union Lower Level. This space is near the food pantry and seems like it would be a great venue for clubs and organizations to utilize. This begs the question; why has it not been renovated for over two years now?
Upon investigation, it seems that the underground space is not certified to host events due to lack of a building permit. At this time, The Knight News is unaware of any progress regarding the underground space.
Cheyenne Phang, a sophomore majoring in secondary education and on the Caribbean Student Association e-board, is directly impacted by the lack of action on the matter and shared her thoughts as a student leader on campus. “The underground space is being underutilized. Administration should prioritize its renovation to allow students to have more access to event space on campus. With all the clubs Queens College has, there’s bound to be an abundance of events to be held. Not all event spaces on campus are suitable for all events clubs host. Renovating the underground space would mean that clubs no longer have to fight over venues, therefore allowing more flexibility to host events”.
Similarly, Oliver Ngai, a sophomore intent on majoring in computer science, had much to say on the topic. Ngai serves as the vice chair for the club affairs committee of Student Association, this committee oversees all activities pertaining to clubs and organizations in conjunction with the Office of Student Development and Leadership. Ngai states, “ I think it [the underground space] should be a priority for administration to renovate the space because of two crucial reasons. Students are technically paying for the space, however it’s not being used to its maximum potential. Two, there have been instances in which clubs want to host big events and want to do it in the ballroom, however it would already be booked and they would have to reschedule their event. So, if the administration were to renovate it to meet the safety concerns, it could be used as another option rather than just the ballroom, to host major events.”
Ultimately, any action regarding the underground space falls upon the Student Services Corporation. The corporation owns the Student Union, and any business regarding the building is handled by its board of directors. The board consists of several administrators, some of which include the President and the Provost, in addition to Student Association officials, such as the Student Association President and Vice President. It remains to be seen whether or not the underground space will be renovated as per the standards of New York state.