Union aids organizations in finding alternative locations for events during renovations

Posted on Jan 31 2017 - 8:04am by Briana Florez

The Student Union plaza is a popular place for student organizations and groups to promote themselves, but they will have to find alternatives while renovations take place until 2018.

Bradley Baker, director of the Student Union, said the Union is working with students and organizations to come up with alternative locations to hold events during the construction.

“While our students and their respective organizations will certainly be affected by the construction, we are aiming to provide them with alternative locations to host their events and promotions, where they are able to have the most visibility,” Baker said. “From our office, the Student Activities Association, Greek organizations and the Associated Student Body, to name a few, we each have to be creative in not only hosting events but marketing the organizations as well.”

Given the time frame of the project, it will take some time to find the perfect location for events and promotional tables to relocate to.

Baker said the Union would like to keep table reservations and event spaces in close proximity to dining venues on campus. Locations near the Phi Mu fountain, the Rebel Market and the Chick-fil-A truck are currently being considered.

“With the change of foot-traffic patterns on campus, we want our students to have maximum visibility when promoting their organizations and events,” Baker said.

RebelTHON, a student organization that raises money for patients at Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital, has used the Union plaza many times in the past to promote its dance marathon.

Baker said that patience is necessary, as the new plaza will provide great benefits for the university.

RebelTHON executive director Marianne Schmidt said the organization is working quickly to find space to promote its dance.

“The Union is such a space of high traffic to be able to reach so many students,” Schmidt said. “Now that it is not available, how we reach students is going to look different. We are working to find other high-traffic areas, but you will see us around campus to prepare for our dance on Feb. 18.”

Sophomore integrated marketing communications major Helen Fiorillo said she thinks the Grove or The Pavilion would be good alternate locations for student groups to relocate to.

“A lot of people pass through the Grove every day, and it is relatively close to the Union,” Fiorillo said. “Outside of The Pavilion would be a good location, too, since many go to Steak ‘n Shake and Canes to eat.”

Baker said he and his team has emphasized that patience is key during any project, but especially one as large as this.

“Change is never easy, but fortunately this is a temporary change that will result in a beautiful building with greater opportunities for our Ole Miss community,” Baker said.