The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

Dr. Melanie Miller Speaks on the Empty Gus Mart

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The space has remained gated.

The Office of Student Affairs has provided more details about its plans for the Gus Mart space on the Armstrong Student Union’s 1st Floor. Their aim is to create a more engaging student experience on the campus.

Recently, students articulated concerns and hopes for the space created by the merging of Gus Mart with the bookstore in July 2022. Several Armstrong students expressed concern that the vacant spot symbolized a lack of attention to the campus as a whole.

Addressing these concerns, Associate Vice President for Student Success Dr. Melanie Miller clarified that the area had not been overlooked. In fact, over the past year, there has been a sustained effort to reimagine and revitalize the vacant spot.

“During the summer of 2023, a committee was formed and charged with developing a plan to create a more engaging and welcoming student union,” Miller said. Its proposal aims to make the most of not just the vacant spot, but the entire first floor.

The committee reviewed other universities’ student unions along with suggestions from the Armstrong Task Force’s student focus groups. Likewise, it considered recommendations from various Armstrong committees and departments. The committee’s proposal for renovations is currently under consideration.

“We hope to be able to provide more details about the changes, including the former Gus Mart space, before the end of the semester,” Miller said.

While specific details about the proposed changes are still forthcoming, Miller clarified that the space will not become another shop. Instead, the university hopes to create an environment that draws students in and fosters a sense of community and engagement.

According to Miller, events and “pop-up programming” will take place in the old Gus Mart space and surrounding lobby area before renovations commence. For instance, students may engage in pottery workshops or leadership activities. These events will be organized by various departments and further information will be available through Eagle Engage.

“Student unions are often called the living room of the campus, because they’re the space that students engage in,” Miller stated. “Most frequently, they’re one of the most highly trafficked areas of the campus. And historically, the student union at Armstrong has only really encompassed part of the second floor.”

Updates will follow when the Office of Student Affairs officially announces its plans for the vacant room on the Armstrong Student Union’s 1st floor.

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Riley Merritt, Staff Writer

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