CDI makes permanent move to DUC

Student Union, Student Life Newspaper shift offices in renovations

Kathleen White | Contributing Reporter

Renovations were completed in the Danforth University Center this summer to accommodate the relocation of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion to the third floor.

Several organizations shifted in order to make room for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s (CDI) new office space, as well as to confront existing challenges with some of the space in the DUC.

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, which was previously located in Olin Library, is now housed on the third floor of the Danforth University Center. The move was one part of the ongoing DUC renovations, which also included the moving of the Student Union, Campus Life and Student Life offices.Freshman Press Photo Team

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, which was previously located in Olin Library, is now housed on the third floor of the Danforth University Center. The move was one part of the ongoing DUC renovations, which also included the moving of the Student Union, Campus Life and Student Life offices.

The relocation of the CDI created a domino effect that allowed the Office of Student Affairs to increase the visibility of the third floor.

“There were two big compelling reasons to do some renovation work. The first was that the third floor was isolated,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Students and Dean of Students Rob Wild said. “We just wanted to make the third floor a more inviting space for people to hang out, like they do on the second and first floors.”

The CDI moved from its temporary space in Olin Library to the space formerly occupied by Student Life Newspaper, on the third floor of the DUC. Student Life moved to the DUC Event Management Office, while Event Management shifted to the first floor. The offices of Student Union—which previously occupied two floors—were united into one space on the second floor of the DUC.

The Student Union office, previously on the first and second floors of the Danforth University Center, now only occupies the second floor of the DUC.Freshman Press Photo Team

The Student Union office, previously on the first and second floors of the Danforth University Center, now only occupies the second floor of the DUC.

The decision to relocate the CDI to the DUC was made due to the flexible nature of the building, which offered central accessibility for the CDI.

“I think moving the Center for Diversity and Inclusion to the Danforth University Center is an excellent resource, and it’s exactly where they should be—and that in and of itself is a great addition to the DUC,” Director of Danforth University Center and Event Management Leslie Heusted said.

The Office of Student Affairs hopes to further increase the visibility of the third floor of the DUC and hopes its popularity will increase as well.

“There’s supposed to be some signage [in the Fun Room] that tries to drive your interest upstairs,” Wild said. “But we’re hoping, by putting CDI on the third floor as well as Student Life—[and] the graduate school has some place up there—that those will be destinations enough to start getting people up to the third floor.”

The Office of Student Affairs also addressed issues with the original design of the Student Union office space during the renovations. Working with CannonDesign, the office identified a missed opportunity to give the students a more centralised space in the DUC.

In the renovation, staff offices were shifted to the perimeter of the office, creating a student-centric space for both SU and other campus organizations. The new design also supports more accessibility and better utilization of the space for students.

“We’re really hoping that people are utilizing it as an open space and one where they can find out more information about getting involved on campus,” Heusted said.

As of now, the renovations are complete, but change can be expected as students arrive on campus for the semester and begin to use the newly-renovated offices.

“I anticipate a lot of evolution about the space through the fall semester. One, because we wanted to wait until students got back on campus and we can really see what their needs are as far as utilizing the space,” Heusted said.

In addition to the office space renovations, the welcome center for prospective students and their families moved from the Admissions Office in South Brookings Hall to the first floor of the DUC, due to East End construction.

“The DUC was the best location to greet visitors and begin our campus tours to navigate around the construction,” Director of Admissions Julie Shimabukuro said.

The welcome team will rejoin the admissions staff at the Sumers Welcome Center when it is completed in 2019.