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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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ASM discusses Student Activity Center

Coordinators of the Associated Students of Madison Student Activity Center Committee revealed blueprints for the new Student Activity Center to university staff and student organization representatives Wednesday.

The student center will hold offices for student organizations, business space and leisure areas for students on campus.

"Before this project, there was no centralized space for student groups to collaborate," SAC Operating Guidelines Chair Matt Healy said. "We wanted to change that."

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The center, with an anticipated 2009 finish date, will be located at a University Square building after the old building is torn down next summer.

The building will be a joint collaboration between the university and Executive Management Inc., a private property-management group.

The ASM SAC committee has planned for the student center ever since the university approved a referendum to construct the SAC in 1999.

"It doesn't mean we're done with planning," SAC Committee Chair Jeff Schiller said. "But we're getting closer and closer to having an actual building."

SAC will occupy the third and fourth floors of the building; University Health Services will move to the fifth, sixth and seventh floors; and the other floors will be occupied by university staff and private businesses.

"The idea is [for the center] to be more than a bunch of offices," Healy said. "We want a real unique atmosphere."

Office space for student organizations will come in three sizes: small storage "cubbies," offices of 100 or 120 square feet and office suites for larger organizations.

Healy said the center is equipped to dedicate space for 75 student groups, as well as space for student businesses and conference rooms for events.

"We're trying to make it as multipurpose as possible," he said.

Schiller said the committee sought feedback from the audience on how to allocate space for the offices.

"We want your input on who will decide who gets office space and how long of a term they will have," he said.

ASM, UW Student Print and student radio station WSUM currently hold office space due to their in-depth involvement in the project.

Schiller also noted the University Square building plans for a post office, a bank and other private businesses that cater to the student body.

"It's in their best interest to have [the student body's] interest in mind," Healy added.

According to the blueprints, student group offices will take up a majority of the third-floor space, while the fourth floor will hold conference rooms, broadcast studios and a student study area.

Healy said the aim of the study area is to open up the center for all students, not just for student organizations.

"We want a variety of students coming through so the organizations have a visibility," he said. "The idea wasn't to put as many offices as possible into one space."

After the presentation, student organization representatives spent time looking at the blueprints and asking questions about specific office sizes and allocation of space.

Evelyn Cuevas, a member of MEChA, a Chicano student group, was initially pleased with the center but anticipated the committee's further plans.

"It's hard for me to picture it right now," she said. "But it looks like a great high-tech area."

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