By Jenna Palumbo
The students at Loyola University Chicago are generally enthusiastic about the completion of the new student union, The Arnold J. Damen Student Center, according to a recent informal survey.
Damen Student Center is located across the street from the Loyola Red Line stop on the west side of the university’s Lake Shore Campus in Rogers Park.
The Student Center, which cost more than $40 million to construct, was designed to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The center was made to be as environmentally friendly as possible and aids Loyola’s pursuit to conserve energy.
The 100,000 square foot building contains a food court; a rocking climbing wall; a movie theatre; a sports lounge; a gaming center; and multiple areas to meet with classmates.
Summer school students recently interviewed at Damen Center had generally favorable reviews.
“The new student center has a fun and relaxing atmosphere,” said Gina Maione, 21, a senior forensic science major. “It helps provide a better sense of community between students outside of studying and school work.”
The Damen Center opened its doors to the public in April. Students had been waiting for over a year to step foot in the new student union.
For Sarah Krusinski, 21, a graduated psychology major, construction of the building was an inconvenience.
“I had to dodge the construction while walking through campus,” said Krusinski. “It detracted from my experience at Loyola… I just graduated and now I can’t even enjoy the finished product.”
The student center provides great amenities, but some students do not think all of the features were necessary.
“The place is booming with technology… It’s a very cool place,” said Kevin Palmer, 22, a senior psychology major. “However, I will not be going rock climbing between classes any time soon.”
Despite the mixed reviews, most students are enjoying the change and embracing all that the Damen Center has to offer.
“It gives the students a space to spread their wings” said Mike Ferrazulo, 20, a junior psychology major. “There’s so many areas for clubs and organizations to have a designated spot… the ‘Loyola Experience’ will definitely be better because it.”