Whew–what a whirlwind! The architects for the student union renovation project visited us on Monday and Tuesday this week, and we’ve just got to say: it was awesome! So many great ideas, conversations, and suggestions were shared during the two days jam-packed with conversations among students and staff in the Comstock Memorial Union.

First, we want to thank all the students that participated in meetings with our architects (especially those that came to the 8am session!). We want the redesign and remodel process to be student-centered, after all, it is your student union! We know that the thoughts and ideas you shared will make the future CMU the best it can be for all students and we loved the variety of perspectives that were represented. We hope you enjoyed the sneak peek at what the future holds!

One really fantastic experience during the architect visit was watching our students participate in an exercise called “Character Mapping.” The character mapping process was so cool to watch as students were able to have great discussions about what the student union means to them and what they hope it will mean to others in the future. The first step used words to describe what they wanted in a student union. Here the students made sure to include the words words such as “comfortable, natural, bright, sustainable, and Dragon Pride.”

In the second step of the character mapping process, we added pictures into the mix. This time around, the students examined pictures and described how the picture related to the student union in some way. The architects were extremely impressed by the communication between our Dragons who went through the process, giving everyone the chance to speak. (Apparently, sometimes the character mapping process is more like barely controlled chaos–but not with our courteous, inclusive Dragons!)

The finals step in the character mapping process gave the students an opportunity to explore materials that could be used in the new building. Here they were really able to express what their student union feels like and looks like in tangible ways. They looked at carpet, tile, glass, flooring, fabrics and more–we can’t wait to see the swatch boards the architects put together from this exercise!

We are so excited to continue progress on the CMU Renovation. This first visit was a wonderful presentation of ideas collected during the initial predesign by the architects and reactions by students and staff. The future of your student union is bright and we hope you’ll continue to join the renovation conversation!