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Campus Life

A new student activities center — with more elbow room

SAO moving to One University Road

Allen Ward, assistant dean of students, in the dance studio/theater in the new Sargent Activities Center. Photo by Vernon Doucette

Why did the Student Activities Office (SAO) cross the road? To get more room on the other side.

In the next few weeks, the SAO will be moving its operations from the George Sherman Union (GSU) to the former Sargent Gym Building at One University Road. The Educational Resource Center, which was previously housed at this location, will take over a portion the SAO’s old digs on the GSU’s fourth floor.

"This move opens up a whole new opportunity for more than 400 student organizations, including the Student Union," says Allen Ward, assistant dean of students during a short tour of the facilities. "More room is available here for rehearsals, performances, lectures, and workshops. In this building there will be lots of programming options that, quite frankly, have been limited in the kind of space we had before."

The new home for student activities, on the first three floors behind BU Academy, will have a new name — the Sargent Activities Center, keeping the Sargent name on the building, which once housed the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

The first floor gymnasium — now the center’s multipurpose room — will still be available for basketball and other sports, but will host more concerts and other performances in the future. "The same with the dance studio/theater on the third floor," says Ward. "It will still be a dance space, but a wider variety of activities will take place there."

Near the University Road entrance is the spacious resource room "The resource room in the GSU was relatively tight quarters," Ward says. "This is so much larger. There are more places for students to hold meetings, or hang out and relax. It has a totally different feel. The Sargent Activities Center will be a convenient place for them to drop in not only between classes, but also at night, because the center’s hours will mirror those of the GSU."

A grand opening celebration is being planned for later this semester.