Reflections on the Graduate Student Lounge

As I write, rain is pouring down outside. The weather has reached 60 degrees, the first sure sign that winter is coming to an end. I expect that the cold will return, but the seasons are surely turning. All of this water will soon swell into blossom on trees across campus and the arc of the Sun across the sky will slowly expand and render the days mild and warm once more.

More good news: the new Graduate Student Lounge in Duncan Student Center is now a frequent haunt of the reclusive and perpetually-working graduate student. It has become something of a natural habitat for this strange species, thanks mainly to large windows, comfy chairs, and an abundance of one of its primary sources of energy: coffee (to say nothing of peanut butter sandwiches). Time has certainly confirmed my opinion that the Lounge is the best space in Duncan – there is just something about the sunlit ambience, the colors of the furnishings, and the smell of coffee brewing that makes it possible to rest, even while studying.

The space is far from perfect, of course. At lunchtime and after five o’clock, fitness classes begin in the gym directly above. All of the electric outlets are now functional, though the lockers remain half-assembled. And yes, the occasional stray (or unscrupulous) undergraduate does make off with a peanut butter sandwich.

All in all, however, the Lounge is a pleasant place. Importantly, it is our place – not a home, perhaps, but a space nevertheless to which we belong.

Welcome.

Grad Life Moves to Duncan Student Center

Grad Life’s New Home and the Graduate Student Lounge

As winter break comes to a close, I’d like to invite you on Grad Life’s behalf to visit us in our new space on the south side of the Duncan Student Center’s second floor. Over winter break, Grad Life moved from a small space in the back rooms of the Main Building to a brand new office overlooking Legends and the Stadium Lot. This office is the new home of both Grad Life and the GSU.

Our office also looks into a stupendous lounge intended just for graduate students! The lounge, arguably the best spot in Duncan, has a wall of windows facing DeBartolo Hall and is filled with comfortable couches and chairs (including two rockers!) and tables for studying. There are also a number of day lockers, as well as a small kitchen area for graduate student use, which includes a sink, microwaves, free coffee, and, in case you forgot your lunch, supplies for making peanut butter sandwiches. The lounge’s conference room will also soon be available for reservation.

You can come check out the new lounge and our office during the official Duncan Student Center Open House on Monday, January 15, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. For more information on Duncan, see the university press release regarding its grand opening.

Smith Center for Recreational Sports

One of the new student center’s star attractions is the Smith Center for Recreational Sports, which will be fully operational on January 15. The entrance to the Smith Center is on the third floor, but is only accessible from the stairwell and elevators on the north side of Duncan. Upon entering, you’ll find yourself on the main floor of the Center, among dozens of state-of-the-art treadmills, ellipticals, and other cardio machines, most of them with individual monitors. On either end of the long room, you will also find fitness and personal training rooms, a basketball court, locker rooms, weight machines, a free weight area, and the SYNRGY 360 system, which amounts to an adult jungle gym with TRX resistance-training capabilities.

On the fourth floor, accessible from two stairwells inside the Smith Center, there is a 1/6 mile track with areas for stretching and numerous additional cardio machines and lockers, as well as another jungle-gym type apparatus. The Smith Center also boasts a climbing wall and a bouldering wall, both of which can be reached by a separate entrance on the second floor of Duncan.

There is much more to see in the new student center, however, so come take a look for yourself.