After four years of development, the $42 million Student Services Building is ready to be shown off to Texas A&M students and faculty.
The Student Services Building had its open house on Jan. 22 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The open house included tours of the building, with free food and prizes for attendees to enjoy, as well as a chance to snap a photo with the Yell Leaders. The new building hosts the department of Residence Life, Offices of the Dean of Student Life, Disability Resources, and Counseling & Psychological Services. It also has each of the department’s various programs, such as the Testing Administration Center and the LGBTQ+ Pride Center.
The different departments and programs began to move from their White Creek trailers into the Student Services Building in November. Services began in the new building in January of this year. The building is across from Rudder Auditorium and the MSC, and Communications Coordinator for the Dean of Student Life Lindsey Stluka said it’s convenient to have the Student Services Building on main campus.
“It’s nice to be seen by students, and it’s nice to be able to tell students, ‘Hey, you don’t have to take a bus to come see us,’” Stluka said.
Director of Disability Resources Kristie Orr said the building is focused on accessibility for all students. The two main entrances into the premises have light fixtures that act as wind chimes, which help those who are blind locate the doors. Stluka said the hallways and elevators are built larger to accommodate those with wheelchairs.
“Anyone can walk into the building,” Orr said. “Some who may need the to open automatically and some who don’t, but they can just walk in the same way, so we think that’s really important just to be welcoming and, of course, accessible.”
The new building is able to accommodate the different needs of students better than when it was located at White Creek, Orr said. The building’s space is meant to help each of the services grow with the students and their needs.
“Also, for some of us that are seeing that we are having an increase in the number of students, especially CAPS and [Disability Resources], we’ll be able to hire more staff so we can actually work with them,” Orr said. “We do have some room for growth.”
Psychology freshman Marissa Manzanarez said she noticed on social media that many students disliked having Student Services located near White Creek because it was inconvenient for them. However, with the new building, she said many students may be more willing to utilize Student Services.
“It’s right next to the MSC; it’s more convenient,” Manzanarez said. “A lot of students live on campus so it’s right there, it’s a walk away.”
With the new building located on main campus, Stluka said she hopes students will start to use Student Services more.
“Now that we’re back on main campus, we can reach out and touch students a little easier and make sure they have what they need,” Stluka said.