New Lounges for Students

Published on Nov 18, 2013
Photo by Virakri JinangkulPhoto by Virakri Jinangkul

For many students, school can be a stressful environment with little opportunity for relaxation. Columbia’s Student Affairs Department and Campus Environment decided to make five new “family rooms” to make a more comfortable student environment on campus.

So…what exactly are family rooms? Kind of what you’d think. Mark Kelly, Vice President of Student Affairs, describes the new lounges as “Places where students can flop down or plug in. [They are] colorful, playful and inviting spaces where students can be at home.”  Thus, the “family” room concept encompasses the idea that Columbia is your community and Student Affairs wants you to be at home here.

Jacob Chartoff, Architect for Campus Environment adds, “For the family rooms, we’re really trying to take comfortable hangout spaces out of the back corner of the buildings. We’re basically saying 'This is your school'! ”  So, check out one of these five new spaces and take a load off…and maybe your shoes, too.

The Family Rooms : Check out the rooms on flickr.

  • 33 E. Congress, 5th floor: There are two hammocks where students can lie down, plus plenty of tables and chairs for study space and a computer lab.
  • 623 S. Michigan, 1st floor lobby: “This is the most impactful of the family room projects.” Kelly adds. The couches have been replaced, a dining room table has been added and there’s a bar set-up with bar stools.
  • 731 S. Plymouth Court, The Court: Take a load off on the comfy, colorful beanbag chairs and furniture or try your hand at foosball.
  • 618 S. Michigan, 2nd floor lobby: Look for artwork on the stairwells and some comfortable tables and chairs.
  • 624 S. Michigan, 11th floor lounge: There's plenty of sunlight in this secluded study spot with adjacent vending machines for a study-thon.

During the second phase of the family room project the Conaway Center, which will be re-modeled next summer, will become a  family room as well as the lower level of the 600 S. Michigan building. “There are other student lounges that need to be brought to life and made more inviting for students,” Kelly says.

 You can help pick the next places where you'd like to see family rooms on campus. Take the poll!