New ASMSU office aims to be more welcoming to students

A double set of glass doors will replace the windows in the front of the ASMSU office this June. Located in SUB 221, ASMSU representatives hope the newly renovated space will be more accessible to the student body and increase student involvement. Although renovations have been proposed several times over the past ten years, this is the first year that the budget has allowed for such changes.

“The ASMSU office feels like a private office … it feels inaccessible to the students and that’s a problem when our mission is to be a representative government,” said Marianne Brough, ASMSU’s director of operations.

“The office is supposed to be inviting and it’s really not. People walk by this office everyday and don’t know what it is, which is bad because they pay for it,” ASMSU President Destini French said.

During her time as president, French wanted to increase student awareness of ASMSU and its services. “We always talk about we need to do more PR, more outreach, because not enough students are taking advantage of the many opportunities and programs we offer,” she said. The office renovations are part of reaching that goal.

When deciding what sort of renovations to implement, French was inspired by the Blackstone Launchpad Office and its large open windows. To simplify the renovations, the current entrance, a side door on the left, will remain. The office will also be reorganized to provide more space for meetings and for the senate to function.

MSU facilities was hired to supervise the project and to do the demolition and preparatory work prior to installation of the glass doors and windows, which have been contracted out to local company Valley Glass and Window.

The renovations had originally been planned to take place this spring break, but had to be postponed to finalize preparations for the project.

According to SUB Director Butch Damberger the renovations will cost approximately $11,000. Part of the funding came from ASMSU’s budget and the rest of the funding came from the SUB. “From the Strand Union’s end of it, we did two things. First of all, I gave them my support; I think it’s a great idea. They also asked me if I could help support the cost of it, and I agreed to do that because they are improving the appearance of the hallway,” Damberger said.

“This [project] is ten years in the making. We’ve been very fiscally responsible this year, and we’ve found some money in the budget that we’ve been allocated through student fees, so we can make this happen. We want to make this office into more of a student collaborative space, so the students can come in and voice their concerns,” ASMSU Senator Josh Soares said.

French is excited to see how the new office will work and hopes it will continue to benefit ASMSU after she leaves. “I’m really excited to come back after I graduate to see what effects it has had,” she said.