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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Student leaders omitted from Marvin Center talks

Student leaders are alleging they have been left out of key conversations this semester about the future of the Marvin Center fifth floor.

Several University departments have been meeting regularly to discuss plans for a student service center replacing the Hippodrome this summer, but students said they have not been invited to join.

Student Association President John Richardson is worried the student voice will be unheard.

“The University lacks a consistent and defined vision for students and community space on campus,” Richardson said this week.

Dylan Pyne, chair of the Marvin Center Governing Board, has been dubbed student organization office space coordinator, which will likely be included in the plan. He said he is disappointed that he has not been included with the other stakeholders.

“I don’t know if we have been treated equally up to this point,” Pyne said.

The heads of nine departments met with the project’s leaders Nov. 28 – the first meeting to include an architect. Michael Peller, assistant vice president for events and venues, said the “information-gathering” discussion reflected uses of each entity’s current space, such as reception areas, private cubicles and staffing figures.

Peller said he did not know why student leaders from the Marvin Center Governing Board and the SA – groups that he said play an “instrumental role” in fielding student opinion on the project – were not invited to last Monday’s meeting with the architect.

“We’re trying to treat student orgs just like we treat every other department we’re working with,” Peller said.

He brushed off concerns that students would be excluded over winter break, saying, “There will be plenty of time to make sure we’re gathering all the required considerations under second semester.”

The project manager, Helen Spencer, did not return request for comment on how invites to the meeting were given out.

Representatives at the meeting hailed from the Center for Student Engagement, Career Services, the Office for Study Abroad, Hallmark Programs, Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education, International Services Office, GW Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research and the GW Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, Peller said.

Earlier this fall, administrators said recommendations for the space would be passed along to the architect in early December. The University’s plan will now take shape by January, Peller said this week.

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