Ribbon cutting marks ceremonial opening of Downtown student center

Building Operations Manager Marcus Jones cuts a maroon ribbon outside of the Student Center at the Downtown Phoenix campus to officiate its grand opening Tuesday afternoon. Jason, is accompanied by President Michael Crow, Dean of Students Georgeana Montoya, Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski and Sparky. (Photo by Perla Farias) Building Operations Manager Marcus Jones cuts a maroon ribbon outside of the Student Center at the Downtown Phoenix campus to officiate its grand opening Tuesday afternoon. Jones is accompanied by President Michael Crow, Dean of Students Georgeana Montoya, Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski and Sparky. (Photo by Perla Farias)

Nearly two months after a student center on the Downtown campus officially opened in January, the University recognized it with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

ASU President Michael Crow said the center, which was funded by student fees, is another step in the University's evolution at the Downtown campus.

“This is a part of the evolution of ASU into an institution, which is operating as what we call one university in many places,” Crow said.

The center was built using vacant space in the historic U.S. Post Office across from the campus.

It features a lounge area, a convenience store and game rooms for students to enjoy when they’re not studying. The center also provides several rooms for different clubs and organizations.

Crow said it was essential for the center to provide a place students could call their own.

“This is our effort to have a fantastic living, learning and discovery experience on each of our campuses wherever our colleges happen to be located,” Crow said.

ASU's mission is to be able to take any person, from any background and offer them hundreds of choices in which they can advance, he said.

Crow said the Downtown campus has helped and will continue to help the economic future of Arizona.

“Thinking about the long-term future of Arizona, the creation of this campus and the development of downtown are all a part of building Arizona’s future,” Crow said.

Marcus Jones, building operations manager at the student center, was picked to represent students in the design and building of the student center.

Jones told the crowd that he accepted the role without really knowing what he was getting into.

“I really did not know what this role would entail, but I quickly found out that this role meant I was the voice for 13,000 students," Jones said. "It meant I had to advocate and relay the message of students to the University."

Jones said he received emails from students and used the feedback to relay that information to the University and the center's builders.

“To my fellow students: We now have a place for us,” Jones said.

Health science senior Sylvetta Meheux said she came to the ribbon cutting because she is interested in what the University is doing for the students.

“I came just to celebrate with them," she said. "About a year and a half ago, they had us try out the furniture, and I just wanted to see how far they had come from then."

Clare Irvine, director of administration with Undergraduate Student Government Downtown, said she came because she was excited about the new space for students.

“It’s a great place for students, because essentially it gives them a place to be students, just a place that is specifically for their use and they don’t have to fight for classrooms,” Irvine said.

 

Reach the reporter at lzazueta@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @lorenzozazueta


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.