Campus reacts to new Student Center

Students study and socialize alike in droves, showcasing support for the new communal space named for the iconic Civil Rights leader and Atlanta native, John Lewis. // Photo by Sahil Parekh Student Publications

After nearly two years of renovations, construction and food trucks, the John Lewis Student Center is now open for students to utilize and enjoy.

Maintaining its location in the center of campus, the building features new amenities such as the Multicultural Programs Lounge where students can hold events that promote diverse collaborations and conversations, and the Reflection Space for students seeking a quiet place to meditate, de-stress or pray.

Third-year BMED Safa Ghaya appreciates the addition of facilities like the Reflection Space that make all students feel more welcome on campus.

“As a Muslim, it’s really nice to have a spot on campus to pray.It’s really important for us, and it’s nice to have an area that we can goto that’s designated for us,” Ghaya said. “It’s nice that when they made it, they had us in mind.”

Many students including first-year CS Ahad Ali can also be found relaxing at Tech Rec, a recreational area on the first floor, which boasts a bowling alley, board game lounge and various other gaming spaces.

“My favorite part of the Student Center is probably the bowling alley and the billiards room. I feel like that’s a really cool place to hang out,” Ali said.

During the Week of Welcome, several events intended to help acclimate new students toTech’s campus were held in the Student Center.

This allowed new students to familiarize themselves with the building while participating in fun activities.

“I’ve attended a lot of events from speed-friending to this K-pop event where you get to just decorate a K-pop star and keep it as an ID card. It’s just a decorative item. So I’ve really gotten the nuance of this building for sure,” said first-year CMPE Dharshan Senthilkumar.

Divita Chillakuru, ID ‘22, noticed several differences between the new and old Student Centers, especially with the arrangement of the dining areas.

“The food’s right here for the new [Student Center]. I think for the old one you had to kind of go through the main area and then you had a little seating area, if I remember correctly, and then Blue Donkey downstairs. You had to climb up [the stairs] and then the second floor was the food area,” Chillakuru said.

In addition to the various spaces for recreation and relaxation, the Student Center houses plenty of study spaces for students looking to take a quick study break between classes

“My favorite part is the third floor because it has a lot of study spaces, and it’s a little bit more quiet than the other two [floors],” said second-year IE Maryam Haddad. “The other two are a little bit more chaotic, so I think this part is super nice to talk and to concentrate and study.”

While the Student Center may not be as useful for intense all-nighters, it is a great place for group study and discussion.

“I’m definitely not going to use this as a [place] of intensive study. It’s going to be more of collaborative studying with people because it’s a social place more than [other buildings like] the CULC, so I like that,” Senthilkumar said.

It can also be used as a meeting point for friends or in between classes due to its proximity to other classroom buildings.

“I might come here to meet up with friends, to study or to wait in between classes. If I have to study, for example, at lunchtime, I might come here,” Haddad said. “I think that’s going to be useful because it’s in the middle of the campus, so it’s super convenient to be here and wait for classes.”

Overall, the new Student Center’s prime location, facilities and ambience make it a useful place for any Jacket to go, whether for working on assignments or relaxing with friends.

“I love all the dining options that we have, and I like the location. It’s right on campus and easy to get to,” Ghaya said. “And I just like [the Student Center] as a place to hang out, chill with friends after classes, and grab some food.”