When Siena students really want something, Siena students get it. Case in point: During his time here, the class of 2014’s student body president and GOLD scholar, Ryan Murphy, helped convince the school that the Sarazen Student Union needed a fresh renovation. Now, it’s cooler than ever (if we do say so ourselves).
The new lounge, named Casey’s, was open for the first day of classes and Siena’s Week of Welcome. An official unveiling will be held on October 4th during Family Weekend. In the meantime, we caught up with Ryan to give you more details.
Q: First off, what was your involvement in the new student center?
During my time as Student Body President, several of my peers noticed a decline in the numbers of students using the student union on a daily basis, and we wanted to see if there was a way to change that. We approached several college administrators who welcomed the idea for a renovation to the Sarazen Student Union. I felt this was an extremely important project, and I was very proud to have worked with a driven team of students, administrators, faculty and staff to get it done.
Q: What’s new and cool about it?
Casey's was the culmination of a student centered and driven initiative to enhance the features of an already fantastic building. The new student lounge’s design took into account the existing Pepsi Café, and it takes the place of the old bookstore—which moved downstairs to occupy the old sub shop. The lounge is now the focal point of the building; it draws students in and has enough character to keep them there.
It features ample plush seating and charging stations, a small stage complete with updated audio systems and a new game room. Casey's not only was designed to enhance the lives of the students, but the design also allows for a greater sense of community to develop which stems from the College's Franciscan values and its commitment to communal living. The lounge not only invites you in, but it invites you in to sit and stay with friends.
Q: What would you want prospective students who are considering Siena to know about this project?
The entire project—from culmination to implementation—was driven by the student body. This project is a shining beacon of what students have the ability to accomplish at Siena College. Thanks to a passionate student body, an understanding and cooperative administration and a gracious alumni and donor base, we were able to make the idea for Casey's a reality.
Q: And what are you up to now?
I am currently working for the F.X. Matt Brewing Company in Utica, New York, where I have worked for the past four years. Next fall I will be attending Albany Law School.
Good luck, Ryan—and thanks for all your work! Want to check out the new lounge in person? Sign up now to visit us soon.