By Megan Willis
Elm Staff Writer
WAC Lounge, starting Oct. 29, has been described in many different ways by students. Sophomore Chris Brown calls it “that thing with music and dancing;” sophomore Rebeccas String says it is “an area here or…I don’t really know;” and sophomore Taylor Goss has “no clue.”
Emmanuel Lalande, Director of Student Events, has his own explanation.
“It’s a night life here at home for the students,” he said. “I want it to be a place for you, the students. It’ll have music, food…I’m entertaining the idea of a bar. When you wonder what to do Friday night, I want this to be the thing you go to.”
Sophomore and SEB office assistant Jillian Obermeier, said, “It’s a consistent club on campus. It has everything you’d want at a dorm party, and you’d be able to meet new people.”
WAC Lounge is not the only change to the SEB this year. With a new director, new ideas and policies are happening.
Lalande illustrated his vision for the Student Center: “It is in the name itself, ‘Student Center,’” he said.“At the end of the day, this is the place you want to come to getaway. I want this place to be hectic. I want students to eat, party, and even want to sleep in Hodson.”
While this is not the case now, Lalande and the SEB are planning several events, including the WAC Lounge, to revive the Student Center.
“The DJ is there to show the potential of this space,” Lalande said. “This should be your getaway. We have new speakers to play a variety of music. I want to have bands, poetry, whatever kind of performance here. We are doing a game show called Think Fast where students can win up to $1,000. We want to offer massage therapy during finals week to relieve stress. We have plans for Spring Fling with a fashion show, comedy performances, and a big-name concert.”
According to Obermeier, the SEB is hosting Monster Ball, a Lady Gaga-themed party on Nov. 12.
With such a big agenda, the SEB has to find ways to get its goals accomplished.
“We are partnering with everyone” Lalande said, “SGB, RAs, Greeks, the Student Center.”
This also means that most of the SEB budget is being spent on programming, leaving some kinks in the frequently-closed Student Center.
“Nothing is being run smoothly,” said Goss, a student worker. “We need more structure. We used to have weekly staff meeting where we discussed things. Now half the time people don’t come in because they know the center is already closed.”
String, a fellow student worker and Sophomore said, “I feel like we had all these great ideas, but nothing is really happening. They are just now getting us fully staffed.”
Of course, getting all of his great ideas to flow will not be easy.
“We need to destroy the stigma of this place,” Lalande said. “No one wants to go to school-funded events and without traffic, it’s hard to do these things. We need students to first use this place, and then we can raise more money for more workers and keep the Student Center open later.”
Many students commend Lalande’s efforts.
“He has this great attitude that nothing is impossible on this campus,” Obermeier said.
“He really does his job very well,” Goss said. “He’s really enthusiastic about getting people to events, but I just haven’t seen any major change yet. I know he has great ideas; I just want to see them play out. For instance, a hookah bar would be a great event to have.”
So what should students do to get the Student Center on-track with these new events?
“Stop by the office,” Lalande said. “If you have a good idea, drop by. I want this office so trafficked by students, you need police.”