Several students and faculty in the Youngstown State University Department of Human Performance and Exercise Science are dissatisfied with the lack of a student lounge area in Beeghly Center.
Beeghly Center currently houses the HPES department and is where the majority of its classes are taught.
Nicole Pavlichich, an exercise science major and chief of staff for the YSU Student Government Association, said she worries that the lack of a study area may adversely impact students.
“We have over 385 exercise science majors, over 70 physical education majors, on top of the multitude of other students that take classes in that building. … To not have a permanent facility to study in, I think is just hindering the students’ ability to succeed,” Pavlichich said.
Frank Bosso, a professor in the exercise science department, shared Pavlichich’s concerns about the lack of a student lounge.
“I think it’s very important. Students need a place to relax here, just like any other building,” Bosso said.
Without a lounge, students in Beeghly Center have either traveled to other buildings on campus to study or made do with the limited number of tables in the lobby area.
Though the desire for a student lounge is not new, the movement has recently gained momentum.
One factor fueling this movement is the number of HPES students currently serving on SGA. According to Pavlichich, four of them are working together to establish a lounge area.
“Through student government, we’ve been trying to contact the appropriate individuals to be able to install a permanent study lounge somewhere in the building,” Pavlichich said.
The other factor that has contributed to the movement for a lounge is a fear of losing the tables currently available in the lobby of Beeghly Center. Many speculated that these tables would be removed during the construction set to occur this summer in Beeghly Center.
Much of this fear is seeded in a comment Ron Strollo, the Executive Athletic Director, made in an interview with The Vindicator.
The Vindicator quotes Strollo as having said, “Right now, when you walk in, it looks like the entrance of an academic building. We want this place to look like a basketball arena.”
Many took Strollo to mean that he did not think of Beeghly Center as an academic building. Strollo said his comment has been misinterpreted.
“I know it’s an academic building first. They get the first say in that building before we do and rightfully so,” Strollo said. “My thing was, if you went to a Kent game or an Akron game or name that college, when you walk in you see pictures of athletes or decals of the mascot. I mean we don’t have the penguin in the lobby. That’s kind of weird to our fans and the community that come and visit. … [The change] is not going to be overwhelming, but at least you’re going to know when you walk in, ‘hey I’m at a college basketball game.’”
John Hyden, executive director of university facilities, commented on the renovations that will be made in Beeghly Center.
“There are going to be a couple of ticket areas that are going into the south lobby and it sounds like that seems to be the concern. However, there’s plenty of space within that building to relocate those tables. … So I’m not sure what the concern is with relocating a handful of tables,” Hyden said.
The renovation project — set to take place this summer — is mainly an overhaul of the lobby and hallway area. It will include a new floor to replace the one currently crumbling, a vestibule area at each entrance, walk off carpet, and a few other various minor alterations.
As of right now there are no plans for a student lounge, but Pavlichich remains hopeful that could change.
“There’s got to be, somewhere in the building, either an underused classroom or something that could be converted into a study lounge, that is actually a study lounge with four walls — not a lobby to a building that people are constantly walking through,” Pavlichich said.