Volume 84 | Issue 5
September/October 2016

Union Spotlight: Central Connecticut State University

Submitted by: Tiffany Moffo SimpsonCCSU Student Center

Central Connecticut State University

Four-year, Public, Suburban
Full-Time Enrollment: 7,556
Location: New Britain, Conn.

Student Center

Director of Student Involvement and the Student
Center: Wayne "Otis" Mamed
Size: 84,000 sq. ft.
Floors: 3
Year Built: 1964
Annual Operating Budget: $400,000
Student Staff: 55 part-time, 3 full-time graduate interns
Nonstudent Staff: 6 full-time


Built in 1964, Central Connecticut State University’s Student Center replaced old East Hall. As the institution’s first Student Center, it received several upgrades in its first three decades. The most notable renovation occurred from 1997-2002, when the Student Center added 20,000-square-feet of lounge space, meeting rooms, and new offices for the Central Activities Network, Student Government Association, the Mosaic Center, and Women’s Center. Further added or enhanced areas included the bookstore, Card Office, food court, multipurpose room, WFCS radio station, and the Recorder campus newspaper.

Unique Features
Students enter castle-like entryways to attend a program in Alumni Hall, visit the bookstore, and to unwind in the Breakers Game Room. Breakers features eight billiards tables, foosball, air hockey, table tennis, two Xbox Ones, two PlayStation 4s, two TVs, and lounge space. Student organizations reserve Breakers to host programs. The games room staff hosts tournaments yearly.

Students’ Role
The 55 student employees are the heart of the Student Center. They provide various services to support the campus community including the Information Desk/CENtix Box Office, Central Reservations Office, Breakers Game Room, setup crew, technical services, web and graphic design, and center management.

“If you look at what employers want from graduates they hire, it’s skills like working with diverse groups of people on a team, people who know how to motivate others and communicate well, folks who can take the initiative and get things done under a set of rules and policy, and much more,” said Wayne “Otis” Mamed, Student Center director. “Everything we teach in the Student Center: the class outside of the classroom.”

CCSU Student CenterThe historically renowned, 53-year-old graduate internship program and the Student Union Board of Governors link the departments of Student Activities/Leadership Development and the Student Center. During their two-year experience, graduate interns serve as liaisons to all operations and program advisors as part of their master’s degree program.

On an average day, one can find students having lunch in the Devil’s Den, studying in the drum, playing cards in the Wells Street Lounge, and attending weekly club meetings. “It’s so important that students can call that place a room of their own for an hour each week,” said Susan Sweeney, associate director for Student Activities/Leadership Development.

Some recent events hosted in the Student Center include the South Asian Student Association’s “Aaja Nachle” Garba; the African Student Organization’s Culture Shock, CAN’s Paint Party; Inter-Residence Council’s Mr. CCSU; and Lower Frequencies, a play that depicts the particular experience of a nameless narrator who must overcome his naïveté about the American dream.

The Student Center is also known for hosting prestigious guests for dinner such as U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter in 1985 and George H. W. Bush in 1999.