In various surveys and focus groups of students about services the Loker Student Union could add or enhance, director Cecilia Ortiz and her staff noticed a theme: students wanted more comfortable seating in the main food court and they wanted microwaves to heat up food they bring from home.
Monday, both requests were fulfilled with the completion of a construction project to add 15 booths along the wall between the Club 1910 restaurant and Johnnie’s NY Pizza and the windows facing the north lawn. Next to the booths on the window side, a new cabinet housing two microwaves was also added.
“We’ve taken out the wood banquettes, which had very hard surface seating and were too deep,” Ortiz said. “It’s a better layout, it increases seating, and the number of power ports.”
The change isn’t the first to the facility, since it re-opened in 2007 after a major expansion. From the addition of ADA-accessible, gender neutral bathrooms, water bottle hydration stations and portable device charging stations to new seating options in study areas and plants to soften the ambiance, Ortiz said she and her staff are always looking at ways to make the space as functional and comfortable as possible for students, faculty and staff.
“Input from students and staff has really helped us shape our priorities,” she said.
To provide more opportunities for students to provide feedback on how the student union can improve service, a text-based survey system has recently been launched, which will allow anyone to rate the dining establishments, facilities, and events Loker Student Union anytime from their cellphone. Posters around the union explain how the text surveys work.