Memorial Union director Kathy Reser has had a busy year already. Among the changes occurring in the Union include a $2,700 flat-screen TV, lower-level access for employees who need access after-hours and the controversial “Ichabods at Memorial Union” coffeehouse. Reser is quick to point out that the name is plural, not possessive and thus doesn’t require the even-more-controversial apostrophe.
The coffee shop has been a long time coming, with window access to the Corner Store and bar-style seating added last year and the new tables around the perimeter joining the sign as the finishing touches in the past few weeks. Like all other changes in the Union, it was reportedly student-driven, with Chartwells footing the majority of the $20,000 bill.
“The coffee shop is nice,” said Reser. “It’s something that’s been needed ever since the building was renovated in 2000-2001. I’ve noticed that the area by the Corner Store is used a lot.”
Many students believe that the coffeehouse is a good idea but that it has an unfinished feel, saying that it wasn’t what they pictured based off of last year’s discussion.
“I think it’s definitely a move in the right direction,” said sophomore political science major Angel Romero. “But it needs a few more touches to complete the effect.”
There is only one other major physical change anticipated for Memorial Union before summer 2008, other than finding a more permanent home for the scheduling office, and that is renovating the courtyard between the Corner Store and Stauffer Commons. The Washburn Student Government Association is looking at putting a canopy over the courtyard and adding space heaters to make the area usable year-round.
As the year progresses, time will tell if students grow accustomed to the changes to Memorial Union. For now, we can all be grateful to the people who work hard to constantly improve on what Washburn has to offer.