What do quiet rooms for serious study, park benches and picnic tables, a Student Access Lab, a fitness centre, numerous lounge areas and the newly renovated café/lounge at Loyalist College have in common — The Student Government. These areas were created for the students — by the students, or more precisely through Student Government initiatives. As College students, this group understands how important the quality of life on campus is to student success. They listen to their peers to gain a better understanding of the changes the student body would like to see made, determine which are feasible and needed most— then act on the suggestions to enhance life at Loyalist. The most recent undertaking was the newly unveiled café/lounge in the Pioneer Building.
Cassie Ashford is a College Prep student who attends classes in the Pioneer building. “It’s such a nice, cozy space now. I feel that I can work here between classes or socialize with friends. It is so convenient for us and we’ll appreciate it even more when winter arrives because we won’t have to walk across campus to the main building anymore.”
“The atmosphere has changed completely,” said Nancy Reid, a cashier who works in the café/lounge. “The other day a customer told me that it was just like coming home. The students look happier when they come in and they definitely linger longer.”
“Now when we have a break, we have a place where we can go to get away from the classroom,” commented Sarah Bonner, a second-year Child and Youth Worker student. “It’s so nice, bright and comfortable.”
Melissa Graham, also in the Child and Youth Worker program, added that the lounge areas provide space for more private conversations and, as a result, conversations seemed much more relaxed.
“Because the campus is located outside of Belleville, we wanted to offer comfortable options for students — places on campus where they can relax, study and socialize without feeling that they need to head into town between their classes,” said Dan Hawkins, President of the Student Government. “There are many different students here, with many different interests. We are trying to create a more welcoming atmosphere for everyone.”
“The Student Government is amazing — project driven and focused on improving student life,” said Fred Pollitt, Director, Student Life. “They’re sincerely committed to gaining the input of the student body, prioritizing and presenting those objectives, and then working with the College administration to bring them to completion. One needs only to take a walk around the campus and see the number of students at computers in the Access Lab, laughing together in the lounges or working out in the fitness centre to realize their suggestions were right on the mark. Their investments create a healthier, happier environment for the students which definitely contributes to student success at Loyalist.”