So, if RISD were to design and construct a student center. What are the five indespensible elements that would be necessarry for it's survival and viability?
I should start with this: Over the passed couple of weeks I have finally been able to begin to answer the question, 'What do I want from my education that I am not getting?'. Or to put if more pointedly, 'When considering the obsence amount I am paying for tuition, where is RISD falling short?'.
Some of my grievances are: That I can't go to a school run dining area for anything resembling a nutritious, fresh, grown-up meal, nor can I eat it somewhere that doesn't smell like a junior-high school cafeteria. I'm a grown-ass individual that pays a whole bunch of money to be here, don't I deserve fine dining experiences?
That I am trapped at a desk the size of a bathroom sink, elbow to elbow with others trapped at desks the size of a bathroom sink, and expected to produce inspired, well-crafted projects.
That I have to pay exorbitant prices for prints in studio.
That I am not getting the forward thinking, cutting-edge education that was promised by the RISD website and brochure.
The ability to move freely (in an academic sense) and design the curriculum that best serves my educational desires.
So, with these points in mind (and sometimes not) a successful student center should be equipped with the five following elements:
1. A dining area not resembling in appearance or odor a junior high cafeteria that serves grown-up food. That they serve alcohol would be an added bonus.
2. Student services offices: academic advising (for our self-designed curriculum), OPE, OSL, GSA, UGSA.
3. Music venue (with a bar).
4. A proper bookstore.
5. Both indoor and outdoor spaces for gathering and interacting.
In closing, we all know a campus bar would be killer, but I'm not sure the student center is the place for it.