The library has begun the process of renovating the second floor group study areas. Following the successful remodeling of the first floor commons they have decided to include extensive student feedback in the design process. Students have been invited to participate in small focus groups already, and the library will host a larger forum next week during which all of campus is invited to aid in the design process.
After the renovation plans for Tech Rec were released last fall to widespread criticism, it is admirable to see campus planners include student input from the inception of a redesign project, rather than seeking it at a later time in the process.
The library is one of the most consistently used areas of campus, and the studying that happens there is central to a student’s time at Tech. Allowing students input in the environment where they learn is an exceptional idea that will hopefully create positive results both in the design and in the study habits of students who use the space.
Editor and Senior Vice president of USA Today and usatoday.com Ken Paulson visited campus on Wednesday as a part of the Finding Common Ground speaker series. Students from both Student Publications and Student Government Association were given the opportunity to meet Mr. Paulson during smaller sessions.
The motivational speech delivered by Mr. Paulson, one of the leaders in both journalism and first amendment advocacy for freedom of speech, focused on the relevance of the media in modern culture, politics and opinion. As information media evolves from print to the internet, a medium in which everyone’s opinion is heard, yet very few are listened to, Mr. Paulson’s message of free speech and civil discourse is becoming increasingly relevant. In an age where entertainment and shock appeal have replaced accuracy and content in many people’s definition of “news”, the indispensable nature of an uncensored yet professional press corps cannot be lost.
Visits from industry leaders such as Mr. Paulson are an invaluable addition to campus discourse and contemporary cultural education, as the relationship between students and the working world is extensive and growing. Mr. Paulson’s student-oriented visit was a credit to the Finding Common Ground series. Mr. Paulson could relate to students, due to both his subject matter and his obvious research. We can only hope the series will continue to bring such passionate and informative speakers to campus.