As construction continues on Miami University’s Armstrong Student Center (ASC), many look forward to its grand opening next spring. In the midst of the new student center’s hype, The Phillip R. Shriver Center seems to have been forgotten.
The Shriver Center opened its doors in 1957, making the structure only 56 years old. With the Haines Food Court, Spring Street Market, Miami University Bookstore, banking and student activities offices, it currently plays an important role in students’ day-to-day lives at Miami. With ASC’s opening less than a year away, students are beginning to question what is in store for Shriver.
Sophomore Max Schulman is one of those students.
“I can see Shriver being more of a study place,” Schulman said. “The upstairs portion can be converted into a place where students can go to do work in a quiet place. In a sense, it can be a little like the library.”
Chelsea Petrasko, a senior graduating this May, said she suggests Shriver be a central location for Career Services.
“I would have loved a campus-central location during the internship and job application process,” Petrasko said. “For interviews, it was a pain to walk [to the Campus Avenue Building] since you can’t park without a pass. More buses go past Shriver. I feel that job placement should be more focused on campus.”
Schulman also said he suggests enlarging the market to better serve the needs of students with on-campus meal plans.
President David Hodge said the bookstore, bank and large event spaces, such as The Heritage Room, will remain and continue to serve their intended purposes.
“We need [these spaces] very much,” Hodge said.
Sophomore Charlie Meyer said he is excited about the new student center, but recognizes the importance of Shriver.
“The best parts of the Shriver Center are the food options such as 1809 and the 24-hour market,” Meyer said. “I think students enjoy having the various dining options but the Shriver Center isn’t very ‘homey’ for prospective students.”
Hodge also mentioned several other ideas being considered for Shriver’s future, which include moving the Rinella Learning Center into the current Associated Student Government (ASG) office space in Shriver in order to make it more centrally located on campus. There is also talk of moving Career Services to Shriver Center or Culler Hall and expanding the Apple Store in Shriver to accommodate phone service and other amenities. According to Hodge, these services are critical for students and the goal is to move them to a space better-located for student life.
Hodge said he is excited for ASC’s opening.
“Having a real focal point for all of our co-curricular activities is going to add a rather huge plus to the energy on the campus,” Hodge said. “I am excited to walk into that building and see students everywhere and know that it has become a central meeting place.”
Meyer also said he looks forward to the new student center and he hopes it makes up for the areas in which Shriver lacks.
“In its current state, the Shriver Center is a ‘wanna-be’ student center, which is truly sub-par compared to the student centers of most other prestigious universities,” Meyer said. “When the new center is up and running, students are going to count on a number of services that currently fall short on campus such as more group study rooms, meeting areas for student organizations, advising and tutoring services and common areas for off-campus students to socialize.”
Meyer said, because tuition dollars are so valuable for students, he hopes Miami administration efficiently uses ASC to best serve student needs and to pick up where Shriver Center left off.
Schulman said he has hope for what Shriver can become.
“In all, Shriver has a good location and is versatile with what it can be developed into,” Schulman said.