Volume 84 | Issue 4
July/August 2016

Union Spotlight: Georgia Gwinnett College

Contributors: Dr. Maria Arvelo Lumpkin, Amanda Fischer, Rontai Walker, Torrez M. Wilson

Georgia Gwinnett College

Four-year, Public, Suburban, Commuter
Full-Time Enrollment: 11,000
Location: Lawrenceville, Ga.

GGC Student Center

Director of Student Involvement and the Student Center: Dr. Maria Arvelo Lumpkin
Size: 81,400 sq. ft.
Floors: 3
Year Built: 2010
Student Staff: 35 part-time
Nonstudent Staff: 7 full-time

The $24 million GGC Student Center opened in 2010 to support the college’s learning environment by enhancing the campus community and empowering students with opportunities for holistic development. Students were largely involved in the design and planning process, including furniture, color scheme, design elements, logo, and other features.

“Over the years, the Student Center has fostered an environment that honors and respects all members of the GGC community and creates a friendly, inviting destination for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests,” said Dr. Maria Arvelo Lumpkin, director of student involvement and the Student Center.

Unique Features
The LEED Silver-certified Student Center includes two lounge spaces, seven meeting rooms, a games room, and the Large Venue Interactive Space (LVIS). LVIS (pronounced “Elvis”) is a 5,400-square-foot event space that can be divided into four separate spaces. Outdoor features include a plaza with a fireplace, a nearby flag court, and a terrace overlooking a water feature that doubles as an irrigation resource. The ground floor provides easy access from the residence halls and includes some of the campus’s busiest student facilities: the Level One Game Room and the dining hall. The open interior features glass on all levels, filling the space with natural light to showcase pieces from the student art gallery at the front of the building. The Student Center is equipped with state-of-the art technology, including a 103-inch touchscreen digital flyer board and multiple 46-inch digital monitors throughout.

Students’ Role
Approximately 35 student engagement specialists support various roles in managing the building, serving as information desk and game room attendants, digital media and marketing managers, administrative support staff, office receptionists, mascot handlers, and volunteer program assistants. Students also serve as liaisons to registered organizations and assist with all aspects of program management.

Home to the Student Government Association, the Greenlight Activities Board, and a number of registered student organizations, the Student Center is the living room of the campus and a hub for active and engaged student learning. Signature programs include the Green Scene Involvement Fair, Grizzly Days (Week of Welcome), and an array of multicultural and integrated academic programs. Through programs such as the Grizzly Growl Speaker Series, the Student Center has hosted some of the world’s most notable luminaries, scholars, and activists, including Jasmine Guy, Fonzworth Bentley, Pearl Cleage, Kandi Burruss, Lt. Dan Choi, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Angela Robinson, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company.