University Community

New student engagement space coming to Baker University Center

Ohio University’s Division of Student Affairs is excited to announce the creation of a new student engagement space in Baker University Center.

Designed with extensive feedback and collaboration with students and University stakeholders, the new space will be located in Baker 355. The space is set to open by early August, in time for the start of the fall semester.

Over the past two and a half years, ongoing discussions about enhancing student engagement spaces have taken place between University staff and stakeholders, students from various organizations, including the NAACP, UPC and ISU, and the Baker Space Student Task Force. Students’ primary requests included a game room, hang-out space, informal seating, updated furniture and cleaner bathrooms.

Responding to this feedback, the new engagement space will feature amenities such as pool tables, ping pong, darts and foosball. Additionally, there will be comfortable seating areas and small game rooms for activities like chess, Uno, Dungeons and Dragons, and other card games. The updated furniture and enhanced facilities aim to create a welcoming environment for students to relax and socialize.

The project also involves relocating the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership (CSEL) from Baker 355 to a different area on the third floor that is currently occupied by student organization storage. The existing student organization spaces in the back hallway of the third floor will be reconfigured into CSEL staff offices and student organization meeting rooms.

This initiative is part of Ohio University's broader strategy to prioritize student engagement and well-being. These updates to Baker University Center will fit into the larger Academic Engagement Corridor between Baker, Alden Library and its study spaces and CoLab, the ACE, and the Esports Arena and GRID Lab. 

"We are thrilled to see this project come to fruition," said Imants Jaunarajs, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. "The new engagement space will be a vibrant addition to Baker University Center, providing students with the informal and social areas they've been asking for."

As the Division of Student Affairs moves forward with developing this new space, the division will continue to seek input from students to ensure the new lounge meets their needs and expectations.

June 12, 2024
Staff reports