From David McCarthy ’10
I had the opportunity to be a member of the University Center Task Force during the 2009-2010 school year. In my role, I attended meetings with the architects and design teams, met as a committee and discussed how to make the University Center reflect Hamline and its values. In my tenure, I saw the design process start with “the services, offices, and functions, we want this building to have.” It started at this conceptual point, and we worked with the architects to make those visions a reality. Additionally, the architects worked with focus groups of students on aspects such as meeting and organizational space. One particular discussion I remember was with the Hamline Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) group about what kind of dining space would best serve students. We talked about the age-old problem of all-you-can-eat buffets coexisting with ala carte options. Student emphasized that they wanted the freedom of both options as well as the freedom to sit and enjoy a common dining area. I know the design and dining services team got some great input in tackling the issue.
My reasons for supporting the University Center:
In so many respects, Hamline is such a magnificent campus. We have many dedicated faculty and staff that continually build a great academic experience. Additionally, there are always student-planned events put on by more than 40 student organizations. My time in student activities was a learning experience that went along with and crossed over into my work in the classroom. The great thing about Hamline is that there is always an opportunity to lead and learn, and I am very excited that the University Center will reflect both of these principles. As a former president of HUSC, I know this building will be a much needed addition for student organizations. The campus also needs a central gathering space. Not only will the building provide new space, it will repurpose current spaces. I was able to serve on the Campus Planning Committee during the discussions about how to use the Sorin dining space and the current student center.
We are a growing campus and a growing community. During my time, Hamline started a School of Business and the School of Education, both of which are providing new opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students alike. Even now the Graduate School of Liberal Studies is offering opportunities for undergrads. It is time for Hamline to underscore its continued commitment to higher education by building the University Center. One of my favorite things about Hamline is that learning involves the entire community. The University Center represents that commitment to learning within a community.