Changes to Curry out of touch with student wishes

We really can’t fault you for the Starbucks, Northeastern. Soulless corporation it may be, but people love their Starbucks, and if you build it, they will come. But our congratulations end there.

The decision to move the Student Employment Office from its current place in Speare Commons to the Curry Student Center is anything but student-centered. The office is currently housed in Speare Commons, which was recently renovated to give students a one-stop location for student services, including ResMail, ResNet and Housing Services.

Now, in the latest development of the Student Center Shuffle, the Freshens on the first-floor will be replaced by the Student Employment Office, despite student survey data suggesting students would rather see a DVD rental store.

Why was it ignored? The official line is that the process was rushed to make sure something went in that space before the beginning of the school year, and a DVD store may be an option in the future. Which means we will get to move the Student Employment Office – again. Our tuition dollars at work.

One has to wonder why a survey would offer students options, then disregard their top choice. One also has to wonder why only half the surveys would even be counted. Yes, out of about 1,000 surveys, a random sampling of 500 were used to determine the outcome. While we understand that sampling has its place, this is hardly the U.S. Census. Tallying the other half of the results could have changed the outcome.

With student groups constantly vying for space in Curry Student Center, a space that size could have provided meeting space for two or more groups. A food service or DVD rental store would provide students with a convenience they would use again and again. Students visit the Student Employment Office a few times each year when they need something specific. It is out of place in the student center, particularly when there is so much need for meeting space and services.

Students are effectively losing a service and getting nothing in return. They are losing Freshens, and instead of getting something new, they are getting an office that already exists on campus.

Northeastern is talking a good game with their student surveys, and some of the changes are for the better. But when student input is gathered and then ignored, it feels like more of a formality than a real concern for student opinion. At least some of us got free lunches for filling out those surveys. Too bad that’s probably all we’re going to get.

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