by Christina Clark
Students looking for the communication department’s offices can now find them on the second floor of the renovated Education and Arts Building in Suite 2003 across campus from their old home in lower levels of Northside Hall. The move was started in late spring, and the faculty finished relocating prior to the fall semester.
“This place gives us a new sense of positive energy,” says Yuri Obata, department chair for the Department of Communication. “We were kind of far away from things in that hallway in Northside. These is more traffic, more excitement here.”
The new office is a suite, complete with a receptionist desk. The faculty have offices throughout the suite, an area to conduct department meetings, and there are new desks for adjunct staff. There is also a new vertical banner near the receptionist desk identifying the department, and letting students know they are in the right place.
Describing the new location as “vibrant,” Obata believes that the new location and space will bring more visitors through and allow the staff to conduct business effectively.
“It feels as if this is a good environment for us to work together as a team, and make positive changes. We also think that this is more welcoming to students and faculty members in other departments to exchange greetings or develop more in-depth conversations,” Obata says.
Students have taken notice as well, and Obata expects that the many more students will experience the new space when they come in for advising.
“First they are excited about the banner. They said it’s much more pleasant. We’d like them to come in, we’ll give them a tour, they can grab a squeeze ball microphone,” Obata says of the open atmosphere they hope to create.
The “squeeze ball microphones” that Obata is referring to are in the reception area, and have the Department of Communication Studies name printed on them.
From decorating to perfecting the meeting area for staff, customizing the new space is still in progress, but the department plans to have an open house later in the semester to celebrate the new space.