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SA Awaits Bitter-Suite Move Into New Neighborhood

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The space is not ideal, but the location is.

That’s how Student Association President Jerlisa Fontaine described the organization’s new office expected to open come Monday in the Campus Center west addition. In a few months, Fontaine expects the area to be surrounded by a heavy flux of students.

And beyond office doors, she awaits her, the comptroller, vice president, senate leaders, and attorney, to eventually fill private rooms.

Yet the directors won’t.

Directors will operate out of workstations instead. Until now, they’ve shared private offices.

This design gives the office a modern touch, Scott Birge, director of Campus Center Management, told the Albany Student Press last semester. It’s also intended to increase collaboration. A similar “open space” concept will also be available for student groups in the new wing.

With a nearing move-in date, SA is seeking adjustments to increase space. As of now, Fontaine’s looking to flip what she described as a kitchen area into a private office.

“It’s different in a sense that this has always worked and now we’re being forced into a space that is much smaller than this,” she said.

Having less space and fewer private offices, the new space has received a frosty welcome from SA officials in recent years. Going back, 2013-15 SA President Francis Agyemang said the office plans looked “disrespectful” when presented to him.  Last year’s head Felix Abreu expressed confidentiality concerns with the layout.

Michael Jaromin, director of Campus Life, has described the move as a “trade-off.” With a bus shelter and Starbucks nearby, the office could gain heavy student traffic, he said. “When you’re down in that space, you’re not going to get as much space, but you’re going to get prime space.”

SA will also neighbor Student Involvement and the still-unopened Multicultural Resource Center.

This will be SA’s first move in roughly 40 years.

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