The grand opening of the Arts Lounge at the University of Calgary occurred on Feb. 26. The lounge took over two years to gather resources and construct and is located on the main floor of Social Sciences.
Students, faculty of arts representatives and the dean of the faculty of arts Richard Sigurdson were in attendance. The lounge had a soft opening at the end of January.
The lounge will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It was initially created with a grant from Quality Money.
Faculty of arts representative and fourth-year communications student Sarah Damberger expressed excitement about the opening of the lounge. She commended the arts faculty and former arts representative Vincent St. Pierre, who came up with the initial idea for the lounge.
“The faculty has been an invaluable source of support in the conception and creation of this space along the way and has worked consecutive years with arts representatives now to turn this vision into a reality,” said Damberger. “We are proud to say that arts students now have a home and a place to call their own on campus.”
St. Pierre said he wanted to develop a lounge to increase the engagement of arts students when the faculty of arts was amalgamated in 2010.
“When this was first conceived, the main concern was to build up a sense of an arts faculty — of us not only being separate departments, separate units, commuter students — but having a greater sense of community on campus. I’m starting to see that. I’m starting to see people come together,” said St. Pierre.
Further initiatives for the Arts Lounge include adding more amenities, such as microwaves and more furniture as well as starting a committee to oversee its functioning.
“People can come in and use it as a study space or just relax in here. We are in the process of forming a committee of student leaders in the faculty to manage and maintain the space,” said Damberger. “We’re hoping to have the space bookable for student clubs and groups on campus so that in the evenings it can create an opportunity for events and meetings.”
Third-year anthropology student Kayla Lissel is very happy with the Arts Lounge.
“I really like the space. I have used it quite often. It’s usually quiet and has a lot of room,” said Lissel. “I am happy they got more furniture, but a microwave would be awesome as well.”