Posted August 20, 2011 by Elizabeth Stringer, Gillian Thiebe, and Justin Rudisille 

ACUI Campus Tour Day Two: Woke up in the morning feelin' like...

We awoke before the sun rose on Day Two. We are going to have to get used to that, but it is worth it for all the fun we are having along the way.

We were in Fancy Cami by 8 a.m. and on the road to Georgia State University. Here, we met up with Carole Golder in the Student Center. It was great to sit down and discuss all the operations of the union before we took our tour. The Student Center is connected to the older University Center via a skywalk, so we were actually able to see both buildings. Some interesting features of these buildings were:

  • The ballroom has hosted a series of events with unique features, such as a BMX bike and a NASCAR
  • Cinefest is a student-run movie theater
  • Many students are spotted right outside rubbing the panther statue's nose for good luck

We also had the chance to peek in on a student employee training ice breaker activity. It was great to be able to tell that the group of students knew each other well and were preparing for a great year at Georgia State. Additionally, we discussed welcome week with some of the staff who said, "We are the welcoming committee, planning events and setting up 'ask me' booths around campus to answer students questions."
Thank you to Carole and other staff members for giving of their time to show us around.
Next up was Emory University, a short jaunt down the street. Emory is a smaller, private institution, but has great community nonetheless. We were able to do a quick campus driving tour before heading to the Dobbs University Center, commonly known as the DUC. Upon our arrival, we stopped in on the last day of student manager training and had a delicious lunch from Willy's while getting to know some students better.
One activity of the student training was True Colors, where you determine your color based on how you relate to certain characteristics. We had the chance to find our true colors as well: Liz and Gillian were both golds and Justin was a green.
Vickey Hansen took us on a tour of the DUC, which is composed of two sections built at different times. Interesting tidbits include:

  • The building seems to be in a constant state of transition recently to give new priority to student-centered spaces
  • The Eagle's Nest lounge features moveable furniture and dry erase board tables
  • Many student services, including the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services and the Office of LGBT Life, offer lounge space as well as private offices for students and staff
  • Barkley Forum, the debating program, is very important and was recently recognized by President Barack Obama

Vickey, thank you for letting us spend time with you, your staff, and your student employees today.

Our final agenda item of the day was a stop at the University of Georgia's Tate Student Center. We met with Jan Barham and members of the staff for a tour of the facility. The original building opened in 1982, then a renovation and addition was completed in 2009 that updated the overall look as well as services, programming space, and lounge areas. Stand out features of the Student Center were:
  • The "Tatrium" allows a lot of light into the building and is a great space for students, even featuring music to liven up the area
  • During the renovation, student input was sought on all details, resulting in a building that meets (and evolves to continue to meet) their needs
  • With a 12,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, the Student Center has hosted many big names; the building features a green room, including a bathroom with a shower
  • Two floors of student organization and leadership space offers meeting rooms, storage, lounge space, and offices

During our time on campus, we were able to hear about some great traditions, including not walking under the arch until graduation, the Dog Walk by the football team on game days, the Arch Society, and taking graduation photos on the arch emblem in the Student Center.
Then it was time for the big welcome week event of the evening: Dawgs After Dark. Free to students, this event offers arts and crafts (such as making your own pennants), roving artist photo booths, laser tag, inflatables, a rock wall, and much more--as well as food, of course! The students packed the house for the event, with a line stretching through the building. It was amazing to see thousands of students in one place enjoying a program in the Student Center as they wrapped up their first week of classes.
Thank you to Jan and her team for the tour and the VIP pass around Dawgs After Dark. And thanks also to Willie Banks for some great dinner conversation and a campus tour.
Day Three tomorrow, looking forward to taking Fancy Cami to the Carolinas.
Campus Tour 2011


Elizabeth Stringer

Elizabeth Stringer is the Senior Manager of Marketing & Communication at ACUI.

Gillian Thiebe

Gillian Thiebe is the SUNAPSIS Business Manager at Indiana University–Bloomington.

Justin Rudisille

Justin Rudisille is the Director of Volunteer & Member Engagement at ACUI.

Justin coordinates the recruitment, training, and recognition initiatives for volunteers at all levels, as well as oversees research initiatives. He liaises with ACUI’s regions, the Volunteer Development Team, the Research Program Team, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, the College Union and Student Activities (CUSA) evaluation program, and the awards and scholarships programs.


Note: To post a comment to The Commons, you must login to the ACUI website.
about the commons
The Commons is the online hub to discover new ideas and learn what is going on in the college union and student activities profession.
more ...
about the contributors

Meet the ACUI members who have volunteered to share their knowledge and insights as regular authors in The Commons.

more ...