The Food Fight Finally Ends


Photo Courtesy of Riley Tovornik.

Last October, The University News published an article, entitled “Food Fight! The Future of Griesedieck Dining Hall,” which covered the repurposing of the space which formerly housed the Griesedieck Dining Hall. Since then, SGA and other student-run organizations have worked tirelessly on behalf of SLU’s student body to ensure that their needs and interests were given fair consideration as the University made its decision.


Even after Grand dining hall opened in August 2017, there were no explicit plans as to what would become of the vacant space in the Griesedieck complex. Various ideas were proposed, and ultimately, the University decided that the space afforded the opportunity to reorganize and expand Career Services, which is currently housed in the BSC.


SGA president Katlyn Martin and the rest of SGA were in close contact with constituent groups throughout the process, making sure that University officials were aware of the concerns that the Career Services relocation introduced. In particular, commuter students and graduate students urged the University to consider how the move might affect them adversely. Martin stated that the move away from the BSC was a concern for commuter students, who benefited from the previous location’s close proximity to the Commuter Student lounge. Moreover, some graduate students, especially those located on south campus, may not be familiar with the various on-campus residence halls and felt that the former location in the BSC was the most sensible location for Career Services.


Additional concerns were voiced by residents living in Griesedieck Hall. After Grand Hall was unveiled, there was talk that the space might be converted into an accessible laundry space for Griesedieck and Walsh residents, and that new spaces for study and student collaboration might be built. Because of the shortage of available study spaces within Griesedieck Hall, students currently utilize the area to study. These students are concerned that once Career Services is fully established, they will lose one of the few designated study spaces they have.


With Career Services’ move to the Griesedieck complex underway, Martin has endeavored to make these student concerns a key aspect of the process, and is proud of the compromises that the University and SGA were able to reach. Martin appreciated the accommodating stance taken by University officials in response to student concerns.


Alongside the University, SGA has just announced a two-year capital improvement project to meet the needs of the residents. An accessible laundry service will be implemented, which will serve residents in Griesedieck and Walsh Halls. In addition, the SGA is working alongside the Residence Halls Association and the University to build lounges and study spaces which will enhance the social and learning environment in Griesedieck Hall. Martin said she was particularly pleased with the timeframe for the improvement project, which will commence concurrently with the Career Services’ move.


With the relocation of the Career Services office, the University hopes to expand upon the tools and resources that Career Services is currently able to offer. In an email sent out to the SLU community, President Fred Pestello elaborated on the aim of the new Career Services’ program. In particular, Pestello stressed that the new effort seeks to “improve career planning, preparation, and employment” and overall to “better ensure the success of students and alumni.”


The University is currently searching for a new Associate Provost for Career Development, who will begin work at the start of fall semester, and whose office will be located in the new Career Services office. The search committee has narrowed the candidates down to three individuals, Jeffrey Jackson, O. Ray Angle and Troy Nunamaker. The candidates are scheduled to give open forum presentations in Tegeler Hall this week, and just as in the rest of the process, student input will be considered.


The decision to move Career Services to Griesedieck Hall, as opposed to another area on campus, was not random. Due to its central location and, as Pestello put it, “high visibility” on SLU’s campus, it will be easily accessible to the vast majority of students, even to those residing off campus. The hope is that, despite moving away from the BSC, graduate students and others who live off campus will still have easy access to the facility. The renovated space will provide ample room for interview rooms and other experiential learning opportunities for students to gain skills valuable for the career seeking process.   

While plans are still tentative, Martin also pointed to the old Career Services office as another avenue for meeting student calls for performance rooms and collaborative spaces. Though there might be some shuffling of spaces on the 3rd floor of the BSC that needs to be done, Martin said, “We hope to utilize the vacant space to provide an environment for the student body, Charter Student Organizations and others to meet and collaborate.”


Renovations to Griesedieck Hall are already underway, and students can expect the reorganized Career Services facilities to be up and running next fall. Martin and her fellow SGA representatives continue to sustain productive dialogue with the University to ensure that the changes accommodate the interests of the students. Students can also look forward to the increase in study and collaborative rooms in the Griesedieck-Walsh complex and the BSC, which will be completed over the next few years.