Renovated Crest Room Now Serves as Lounge


Sylvia Cantu

The new Crest Room lounge is available to students on weekday evenings and weekends


The Crest Room in McCullough Student Center has been redesigned into a lounge space, reserved for faculty and staff during weekdays and accessible to students on weekday evenings and weekends.

The renovations began in August and lasted one month. Changes include new furniture, carpeting, and the addition of a transparent railing system for the stairs and loft, intended to make the space more open and inviting.

The renovations grew out of an ongoing conversation that began last fall concerning the role of McCullough, said Karina Toy ’17, who served last year as President of the Student Government Association (SGA) and was at the center of the discussions.

“We originally pursued this to make the McCullough Student Center feel more like a student center,” Toy said. “It started with SGA’s resolution in the fall around creating a wall for free self expression, grew with the idea of retaking McCullough for students and ended with proposals about redesigning McCullough in general.” Since renovating the room into a student lounge was the simplest and most cost-effective change to make, Toy said, the administration endorsed the change.

The space evolved into a faculty lounge following a compromise between the SGA and the faculty, Toy explained.

“At the same time we were planning this, the Faculty Council was asking [the administration] for a faculty lounge,” she said. “The Crest Room was one of the rooms they were proposing, so we came to a compromise. The idea was that students wouldn’t be using the Crest Room anyway during the day on weekdays, and would use it during the evenings/weekends.”

SGA Senator Rae Aaron ’19.5 defended the arrangement as a temporary fix.

“The SGA is pushing really hard to make McCullough a student-focused center, but the reality is that we need to be flexible with spaces on campus and recognize that faculty and staff also need work spaces and lounges,” she said. “Sharing the Crest Room between faculty and students is a great short-term compromise, but ideally we will be able to find a new location for a faculty lounge and give students full access to the Crest Room.”

Toy noted that the renovations could improve the atmosphere of the student center.

“A lot of the feedback we got from students was that McCullough didn’t feel like a student space because the moment you entered you saw staff or students having formal meetings,” she said. “Hopefully, this change will make McCullough more welcoming to students, at least until a new student center can be built or completely renovated.”

Some students have expressed concern about the shared nature of the space.

“While it’s a brilliant idea that the Crest Room is opening its doors for both faculty and students, I think it might be a challenge to regulate who uses the space at which times,” Ayesha Bhalla ’20 said.

Others expressed optimism about the arrangement. “While the student center may be meant for students, I don’t think that it’s a problem that it’s meant for faculty during the day,” Sarah Schmid ’20 said. “I think that the newly designed space is a great compromise and makes a lot of sense.”