Changes Underway at UC to Enhance Campus Life

Humboldt State University is making changes at the University Center that are designed to make major improvements to services and programs for students.

The changes will affect Dining Services, management of facilities including the UC building and the Student Recreation Center, CenterArts, and Center Activities. In many cases, there will be immediate changes and enhancements, while other moves will take more time and planning. There has been, and will continue to be, consultation with students and others on the University Center board as well as student leadership in Associated Students.

Given its size and scope, the UC plays a vital role in delivering student life programming across campus.

Student life activities are especially important at a residential campus like HSU, and students have been vocal about wanting to see a variety of improvements. A priority will be creating a full calendar of events and activities throughout the semester.

With Dining Services, the University will be looking to establish a partnership agreement to improve services and lower costs for students. Due to the challenges of the pandemic, there will be a short-term service agreement for the upcoming academic year. Proposals will be sought for a longer-term agreement that would begin in Fall 2021.

Other changes will result in expanded space for student clubs and organizations, as well as for student programming. One such space is the site of the Bookstore, which will be moved to a new space with better access for customers.

Student employment levels in Dining and other UC programs will be maintained through the pandemic and beyond as currently planned. In some cases, the number of student employees will be expanded.

With CenterArts, the University will be making efforts to enhance the programmatic experience for students, while also continuing to provide a vibrant set of programs that will engage the community in Humboldt County and the surrounding communities of the North Coast.

Two different areas are now assigned oversight of the University Center. Most of UC’s operations will fall within Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, where the UC Executive Director will report to Dean of Students Dr. Eboni Turnbow. Center Activities will now report to Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports Jane Teixeira, with the goal of further integrating the programs with intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports.

Todd Larsen from Housing & Residential Life will serve as acting Executive Director of UC through Aug. 17. Afterwards, Larsen will continue to have an expanded role overseeing Dining Services, the Bookstore, and the Campus Marketplace.

Casey Parks will take on a one-year interim appointment as Executive Director of the University Center starting Aug. 17. Parks has served on the UC Board and brings robust experience as a student-centered leader in her role with Associated Students.

In partnership with the UC Board, the job description of the Executive Director will be updated, with the goal of a permanent director starting in Summer 2021.

Note: This story was originally published on Aug 4., 2020.