Unused spaces spark student organization curiosity

Sennesbenner Hall. Photo by Elise Krivit/[email protected]

Both former law school Sensenbrenner Hall and the plot of land once housing Hegarty’s Pub on 12th and Wells Streets have been vacant for months, but according to associate vice president and University Space and Infrastructure Committee chair Steve Duffy, the university presently has no plans for either space.

“At this time, we have no specific plans to share regarding Sensenbrenner or the piece of land on Wells and 12th,” Duffy said.

Sensenbrenner Hall has been unused since Eckstein Hall opened in 2010, and the old location of Hegarty’s Pub has been vacant since October.

Duffy said the university has both the Master Planning Committee and the Space and Infrastructure Committee to address the use of buildings.

Duffy said finances and impact are factors in the planning process.

“It is an ever-changing scenario and financial resources are factored into all discussions,” Duffy said. “Making a determination about the use of one space can have an impact on many areas.”

Duffy said the university is currently in the middle of strategic planning that will aid in its decision making.

Arica VanBoxtel and Bill Neidhardt, president and vice president of Marquette Student Government, included a space usage audit as part of their platform when campaigning.

The space usage audit would re-evaluate all space on campus and how it is being used.

Van Boxtel said that although the semester is wrapping up, space is something the MUSG administration is aware of. She wants to ensure student voices are heard while the university is having discussions on current space.

“Looking at spaces – reevaluating what we need, what we don’t need, what we have and improving what we have – that’s how we’re going to make progress,” Van Boxtel said.

Space on campus isn’t just a question of what is open; it’s also about what’s oversized. The number of student organizations on campus recently passed 260 and earlier this academic year, several residence halls experienced overcrowding.

Emily LaJeunesse, a sophomore in the College of Education, has never been in Sensenbrenner Hall. LaJeunesse said that she believes that one of the things that she would like to see is a place for tutoring outreach.

“I’ve always wanted to tutor but I don’t have a car, so I haven’t been able to act on that,” LaJeunesse said. “But a program that could bus kids here, wherever there is space, would be good.”