Student building needs student support

It’s a place to relax in between breaks. It’s a center created solely for students.

The Student Union Building, by students, for students, can host student engagement and give them resources they need to pursue personal and academic success.

“It’s a place for students, no faculty, student-owned,” ASO Club Council President Kosar Afsari said.  

Last semester, ASO proposed to create a student union building to host events, workshops, and provide a place for students to relax in between classes.

ASO created a masterplan that they’ve been discussing at meetings to think of new approaches.

ASO said it has to prove that this building would benefit the college, according to a rule that states that any building created on campus needs to have an educational purpose.

The student union center was put at a lower priority because college administration moved forward with its plan to replace the old library and create a new instructional building.

ASO President Efren Lopez said they have been receiving more information, thinking of new ideas, and discussing the issue at the senate meetings.

“As an organization, we have a lot of things to accomplish, so the student union building is a huge initiative,” Lopez said.

ASO Vice President Isha Pasricha said petitioning for construction funds for the building may be difficult because Pierce faced a financial deficit due to low enrollment.

“We’re trying to work on doing a lot of research and trying to see how we could make this masterplan a way for them to not ignore it,” Pasricha said.

Previous ASO senates didn’t know how to approach the subject and bring it to the attention of administration, Lopez said.

“Hopefully, we can set up a framework this semester before ASO changes, to have a proper approach for next year and actually get more results that way,” Lopez said.

Lopez said ASO needs to speak to the proper governing bodies of the district, which include: the Board of Trustees, the District Planning Committee, and the Facilities Advisory Committee. Parisha said that in addition to that, they need the support of the student body to be able to move forward with the plan.  

“We need more student engagement. If we had more voices, we could’ve shook these pillars and made sure we had a student union building,” Parisha said.

Afsari said that if more students bring up this issue, if there are more complaints, and the more that faculty hears about it, then perhaps they’ll make it a priority.