By Jacqueline Stoughton
The Student Center celebrated its 50th birthday last Wednesday, a celebration that happened simultaneously during the annual club fair and is just the first of many anniversary celebrations to take place throughout the current academic school year.
Along with remarks from Dr. Richard Judd, the first student center director and Otis Mamed, the current director of the student center, both COLADA and DanCentral came together to perform the evolution of dance in honor of the Student Center’s anniversary.
“Today is the celebration of the Student Center building at CCSU. While the building has been here for 50 years, the idea of the Student Center has been around for much longer,” said Mamed.
“We talk about the Student Center as sort of being the extra curriculum and by that we mean the activities that go on in the Student Center integrate what happens in the classrooms and helps makes them come alive and make them work,” said Judd. “All the organizations actually implement a lot of ideas that your professors never say.”
Judd thanked all the nationally recognized interns for continuing to work on a degree while working with the students who come to the Student Center seeking assistance.
CCSU students danced along to various songs throughout history accompanied by their own famous dances from doing the Macarena to the Dougie. Following the performance, President Jack Miller, with giant scissors in hand cut the blue ribbon in honor of celebrating 50 years of the Student Center.
Waiters passed out cake to the tune of CCSU’s A Cappella group singing “happy birthday,” as students continue to explore all the clubs and organizations CCSU has to offer them.
“Rather than just having a speaking program we wanted to make sure students were showcased with dancing and singing performances,” said Maria Santilli, Director of Events. “Doing this simultaniously with the club fair was intentional to have that wow factor.”
This birthday celebration is only just the beginning. This is the kick off event to a yearlong celebration, explains Tiffany Simpson, Assistant Director of the Student Center. She says this is a wonderful event for students to be able to appreciate all that we do for them and the entire campus.
“This is an opportunity to network and a place to study, listen to the campus radio, read the newspaper and just hang out and have some fun,” said Simpson. “We are so honored that people came out and think of us; and with Dr. Judd here, it makes it that much more special.”
“All of this is for you to become apart of a teaching and learning community,” said Mamed.
Mamed explains how 60 percent of all college learning takes place outside the classroom. Much of that learning, says Mamed, is provided right here in the Student Center.
He says the Student Center has always been a place to learn about being a good citizen in this community, a place to meet the diversity of the world, to learn to work together, to resolve differences and to make changes.
The first event to take place following the last Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony is the Alumni Pub Night in October. Details of this event and more throughout the year are still not final, but will be released soon.
“Students are at the center of out mission of teaching and learning,” said Mamed. “Today is not about the building. It’s about you, the students. We are celebrating you today.”