FSL’s suite in EMU provides gateway to convenient community
The Fraternity and Sorority Life office has been in Oregon Hall for the last few years, but the organization’s newly-acquired space in the under-development Erb Memorial Union will allow for more communication between FSL and other student groups.
Director of the EMU, Laurie Woodward says members of FSL have been trying to get this space in the EMU for some time now through petitions. Most colleges have an FSL suite in the student center on campus.
“We’re just trying to get this building alive from all walks of life,” Woodward said. “The whole goal is to build community.”
The suite will enable FSL to communicate more effectively with other student groups, Director of FSL Justin Shukas said in an email.
“The new office space will allow our staff to be more accessible and will encourage students to be able to collaborate with other student organizations in the EMU as well as utilize the new conference room and event spaces for programming,” Shukas said. “FSL will be in the hub of student life at UO.”
While FSL has not reached out to other student groups in the past because of its placement in Oregon Hall, this new location might be the push FSL needs to connect with others in the future, Nakai Corral, ASUO senator and FSL member, said.
“Giving [FSL] a space where they can interact with student groups, I can see them begin to bridge the gaps that we’re seeing,” Corral said.
The suite will also make room for more collaboration between staff and students within the organization, Shukas said.
“FSL has never had its own space to program and meet in,” Shukas said. “The new space will give FSL a physical location in the center of student life on campus. There will be a meeting area for eight to 10 students as well as several workstations for FSL members and council and chapter leaders to utilize.”
The previous space in Oregon Hall is too small for all the things an organization as big as FSL is doing, Corral said.
“My initial experience with the FSL office in Oregon Hall is there are too many people doing too many things in that small space,” Corral said. “There are a lot of meetings that need a lot of space.”
Shukas also said that the space will better provide aid for FSL members.
“There will be meeting space, study space and staff offices to support programming, advising and collaboration for all members and organizations,” Shukas said.
Woodward said FSL was not the first organization the EMU committee thought of putting in the basement area that will be FSL’s new home.
“We thought about making a dance studio, but then others enlightened me that you can’t put a dance studio on top of cement because it isn’t good for the dancers’ ankles, so we offered it to FSL instead,” Woodward said.
When planning for the new EMU was commencing, FSL was in the Holden Leadership Center, leaving them out of the plans until this space in the basement popped up, Woodward said.
FSL hopes to move into its new suite in May 2016.
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