Student organizations struggle to find practice space after buildings near Humphrey torn down

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Student organizations struggle to find practice space after buildings near Humphrey torn down

Photo by Maryam Tunio/ maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Photo by Maryam Tunio/ maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Photo by Maryam Tunio

Photo by Maryam Tunio/ maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Photo by Maryam Tunio

Photo by Maryam Tunio

Photo by Maryam Tunio/ maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Sophia Boyd, Student Government & Politics Reporter

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After several campus buildings were torn down this summer, space for student organizations who used them was discussed at Marquette Student Government’s Senate meeting this week.

The Athletic Support Facility, Child Care Center, Helfaer Building, Boiler Plant and a parking structure, which are all north of Humphrey Hall, were torn down due to age and condition. Lora Strigens, associate vice president for Finance and Architect, gave a campus master planning presentation at the MUSG meeting.

To help, MUSG is offering its news conference room for student organizations to use for the first time this semester.

Stirgens said the torn down buildings were 90 percent vacant and cost too much to maintain and keep operational. Until further notice, she said the vacant spaces are temporary green space.

The demolitions specifically affected the rowing club, which stored its equipment in the Academic Support Facility’s basement. Director of Club Sports Scott Anderegg worked with the club find a replacement. Now they share the Humphrey basement with the Taekwondo Club.

“I think this move made (Anderegg) realize how big of a problem lack of a space is not for us, but for clubs in general,” said Hannah Mullet, president of the rowing club.

Mullett said there is a new practice space attached to Humphrey which is better than the previous building that had mold and ventilation problems. Sharing the space hasn’t been a problem so far, but she said she is worried about when practices move inside for winter.

“Our team is the biggest it’s ever been this year,” Mullett said. However, the team can only be as big as its practice space allows.

The Bayanihan Student Organization also uses Humphrey’s practice space for some of its rehearsals. Estefania Elizondo, MUSG senator and BSO member, said conditions for the practice spaces next to Humphrey were “awful, dark and dingy” before it was renovated this summer to go from campus apartments to a residence hall.

Strigens said she recognizes the difficulty for student organizations to find space since the demolitions. The free spaces that Marquette has left are scheduled heavily and she said administrators don’t always pay attention to space needs for student organizations and activities.

Student organizations have to plan farther in advance if they want to take advantage of campus spaces like the Alumni Memorial Union.

“I would love to hear the students’ feedback more during master planning,” Stirgens said, referring to today’s master plan workshop with University President Michael Lovell. The workshop will discuss the university’s development plan for the next 10 to 20 years.

“The master plan will assess all of our existing space types on campus and make recommendations to address needs relative to meeting, activity and office space to support student clubs and organizations.” Stirgens said.

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