Building Community

Student Government Association President Hannah Tibbett ’16 speaks at the University Center dedication.

Student Government Association President Hannah Tibbett ’16 speaks at the University Center dedication.

At the University Center dedication on Sept. 17, 2015, Student Government Association President Hannah Tibbett ’16 provided the following remarks:

Before I can speak about why this new building is important to the student body, I need to talk about what makes us, the students, us.

We are Goats, Devils, math nerds, aspiring authors, dancers, hikers, video game enthusiasts, commuters, runners, couch potatoes, night owls, early risers, expert Netflix-watchers, and amateur bloggers. We can be described thousands of different ways because we are made up of 4,400 students – 4,400 unique individuals – and all 4,400 of us are one community.

This building, also known as the UC, the Sequel, Sequel-beck, and the new Chandler (did I mention that we’re also very clever?!), brings this community, my community, together on a daily basis.

Students spend most of their days on campus – in class, “bench sitting,”* studying in the library, getting food with friends, playing the banjo on Ball, whatever. The University Center gives us a central place to congregate. Yes, when it’s beautiful out, we like to do what we do best: Bench. But when we’re not feeling the heat outside, students seem to almost instinctively head to the UC. I’m pretty confident that come winter, the UC will be a popular location to hang out. A building that feeds most of the student population is naturally bound to be a huge hit.

On top of that, though, the UC provides us the luxury to chat with friends while rocking in the balcony chairs over coffee or Qdoba, and ample space to meet with a marketing group to plan out a class presentation or a club to organize an activity. Some students start their day here by getting breakfast (or lunch, depending on what time they wake up), while others knock out some reading in the “comfy chairs.”

We’re still exploring and discovering new and cool things about the UC. But what’s important is that this building touches every Mary Wash student in some way, and we’re ultimately building a stronger, closer community.

*Leisure activity unique to University of Mary Washington students where one or more students observe the activities and/or listen to the conversations of others while sitting on a Campus Walk bench. It is common for those participating in bench sitting to point and laugh at those whom they are observing. Bench sitting can also be used to observe UMW squirrels.

Urban Dictionary

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