Home / Top Headlines / ‘We saw this as an opportunity’: VSU opens Learning Commons
Alan Bernstein, dean of libraries, prepares to cut the ribbon, endorsing and officially introducing the Learning Commons to the VSU public.

‘We saw this as an opportunity’: VSU opens Learning Commons

On Feb. 19, Alan Berenstein, VSU dean of libraries, cut the ribbon for the new Common Learning student center, welcoming all students to come and explore the new renovations.

Bernstein said he’s excited about the center’s future and the prospect of students coming and doing more group study sessions to increase academic success.

“The library has always been a great place to come and study, but now we have a facility to really accommodate collaborative learning, which has become most important,” he said.

Bernstein also wants students to feel more welcomed in the library setting. He said that things like bringing food and drinks and making a little noise without being shushed are all welcomed in the new library setting.

“We want so many students to be in here that it demands that we keep doing this throughout the building because we run out of space that they want to be in,” Bernstein said.

VSU President Richard Carvajal said he hopes students take full advantage of the center.

Dr. Carvajal celebrates the opening with Dr. Carr, Academic Support Center Director Dr. Chere Peguesse and two student ambassadors.

“We already have a great hub for the student life side of the experience of being a student,” Carvajal said. “We saw this as an opportunity to create the same kind of hub space on the academic side of the house.”

Carvajal said he agrees with Bernstein’s goal in getting as many students as possible to come hang out in the new space.

“The main goal is to make students realize that the library is an open, friendly, collegial place,” he said.

The Common Learning Center, located on the second floor of Odum Library, is the lobby space of the new Academic Support Center. Construction for its renovations began in June and finished in January, with the new space opening not too long after.

With everything changing into a technology-based society, the media center has converted all its journals to a digital format to help open the space needed to renovate the second floor of the library.

Vice President of Student Success Rodney Carr said he thinks the new changes will affect the students in a positive way.

“I do think by having the Academic Support Center here, we’re going to see more students receiving academic support,” he said.

A lot of students are loving the new changes and already feel comfortable coming in and studying in the new work area.

Barron Bole, a sophomore marketing major, likes the new modern feel of the renovations.

“It’s relaxing and makes you want to come in here and be more productive,” Boule said. “This is the most packed I’ve seen the library on a daily basis. Last semester, it was boring and quieter.”

Students are not the only ones enjoying the new renovations. Jacklin Holland, a junior chemistry and biology tutor, said the new space helps her tutor more efficiently.

“It’s helpful as a tutor to have something that’s easier for students to find,” Holland said. “I feel like it’s also less embarrassing for students to come to tutoring sessions because it helps take some of that pressure off.”

Dr. Carr answers questions and converses about the Learning Commons. He discusses his involvement as well as what the new student learning space entails.

SGA Vice President Amea Thompson plans to advertise the center in many ways so more students can come and enjoy the new center.

“We can post it on our social media and also just by word of mouth,” she said.

If the new renovations do well in attracting multitudes of students, then more renovations will come.

Carr said future renovations will include more technology as well as more study areas.

“We’re depending on our students to give us more technology,” he said. “We want to be able to have interactive software [so] that you can actually do things on your phone while the tutor is teaching.”

So far, the new Student Success Center has proven to be a success and is helping students come together to participate in academic excellence.

Written by Lenah Allen, Staff Writer. Photos by Bryce Ethridge, Content Editor.

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