By Chelsea Lear-Ward, Staff Writer

Look House under construction

Look House under construction (Photo courtesy of Chelsea Lear-Ward)

The UMF campus bookstore will be moving from the Student Center to the Look House in the beginning of October, and a new use of the soon-to-be vacant area has been put in the hands of a committee created by President Foster.

   The bookstore will be moving locations to increase visibility on campus. The replacement of the empty space will be left for the students to decide. Michael Kiem, Vice President of Student Senate and committee member, made the suggestion of creating a survey to understand the general consensus of what UMF students would like to see. “I proposed to have an online survey,” said Kiem, “Not a paper survey, an online survey because not only is it thrifty for the campus, but it would be more efficient because it would provide everyone with the opportunity to put in what they want.” Student Senate will be coordinating with Commuter Council to generate the survey questions, which will then be presented to the committee for approval. Kiem’s ideal goal is to have the questions completed and approved by Columbus Day weekend.

   President Foster would like to see the empty space in the Student Center filled immediately, although because of the rigid budget UMF is working with, it may take sometime. “I anticipate that it could be something that’s phased in because the budget is very tight,” Kirsten Swan, Director of the Center for Student Involvement and committee member, said, “We can’t do everything that we want to have happen, so I think once we hear from the students in terms of what they want, we’ll then bring in a structural engineer to find out where our low baring walls are, etcetera, etcetera, and then we can determine what the space will look like.” Swan confirmed that because President Foster is hoping to move so quickly, the empty area would be underway with the new addition within the academic year.

   The committee consists of several representatives of the UMF community including: Aramark, Information Technology, Center for Student Development, Mantor Library, Student & Community Services, Department of Finance, Student Senate, Commuter Council, and the President.

   During the first committee meeting before the survey was discussed, many ideas were thrown around the table. An Aramark extension, moving the location of the post office or the math and writing clinic, coffee shop, commuter lounge, and historical museum were some of the suggestions. Kiem made a completely different recommendation; a sports bar. “We could have pool tables, we could have TV’s, but I think one thing we could do that other bars couldn’t do would be live stream [Varsity] games,” said Kiem. Kiem considers this idea to be a very profitable opportunity to the campus as well as encouragement of school pride.

    Students who have questions about the survey or committee can contact Kiem at michael.kiem@maine.edu