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What programming will Gen Z want in their student union?

Hear our panelists discuss ideas for programming in the student union that will speak directly to Gen Z. Part 5/5

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<p>Raymond:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Well I think the type of spaces, the programing spaces that you're talking about, the places to unplug, we are getting requests. What we're seeing some more of lately are, I'll say multi-denominational or non-denominational, depending on how you want to define it, meditation spaces or spaces to come together in essence. In some cases, like at Hope College, it is a chapel. It's defined as a chapel. In other case it's very non-denominational, but the intent is it's a meditation space, an introspective space, a space for reflection, or a space for smaller groups to come together for use in that capacity.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think it's interesting with some of the statistics that you both presented about this next group's religious practices and how we're hearing from student affairs or student like, &quot;Hey, we need the need for a non-denominational space to be used in that capacity. A flexible space that can be service, can be worship, can be meditation, can be used for a variety of things throughout the day for programming events, as you suggest.&quot;</p> <p>Speaker 2:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; You're hitting on a point that we found in a lot of the things we were studying, is this idea that bringing all of these kinds of spaces together, in which services around campus could be, rather than retail. This idea of bringing a little bit of the health into the student union. Bring the rec center. We recommended fitness classes around lunchtime, so that students are again coming there. It isn't your traditional student union programming. You're bringing in rec programming.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Would that help contribute to a healthier lifestyle and make it available? Students, again, do they want to walk across campus, go to a fitness class, then come and get their food? They don't want to go to all these places. How do you make it so that they're getting their services? Not necessarily the retail. Not necessarily being able to buy a t-shirt and get a haircut in the same place, but being able to get a health check-up, go over to yoga, and then pick up a wrap on their way out of the same space, is gonna be really, really crucial.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I do want to go back. I think you asked a really good question about this idea about the Facetime thing. You were talking about your daughter with Facetime and studying, in tandem. Some of the things we found in our study, around dating specifically, is that people were very appreciative of Facetime, but that did not replace personal one on one time. If there's a possibility to be able to gather in real life, that was always the preference over Facetime or Skype.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Just keeping that in mind, that we want to create spaces where students can still gather face to face. They still want to hang out with their friends. At the end of the day, it's not fun hanging out over Skype. You might be able to study next to someone over Skype, but when you want to hang out with them, you're, &quot;I'm eating a burger.&quot; &quot;I'm eating a burger on my end, too.&quot; That's just not where we're at, thankfully.</p> <p>Speaker 3:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It's just not the same.</p> <p>Speaker 2:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We're not there yet. They want to hang out together still.</p> <p>Speaker 3:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think my personal student union experience as an undergrad was very progressive in the sense that it wasn't, as you said, mollified. It was a few restaurants, but this huge living room that we could move all this furniture. The student union was the place that you went when you didn't want to go study and you didn't have to go to class, but you didn't want to go home. There's always someone, again I went to a smaller school, but there's always someone that you knew in student union that you could just plop down and have that gathering time. Then maybe it turned into you were working on your homework together or you had a student group gather there.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think the real point of it was, it was a huge, big living room. They would stream big events. Right now, I still keep up with the reunion program. They're doing presidential debates where the students would gather and watch that together. They have all these huge TVs that they would either bring in or already have. Then they would just make it, bring your own pillow.</p> <p>Speaker 2:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Make an event. Yeah.</p> <p>Speaker 3:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To the presidential debate kind of thing. Find your place to sit down. They had food options, as well, that if you wanted to grab a bite you could. It wasn't centralized. I also think about this idea of wellness. If students are coming to college campuses with more mental health issues, is there a way that we could utilize a place where they gather and they feel comfortable, almost a home-like feature, to provide some sort of counseling services that removes the stigma of day to day, just keeping up with your mental health. Whether that is guided meditations or checking in with a counselor. Is that something that is a service that we can remove stigma because it's just commonplace and it's in a place that they feel comfortable in.</p> <p>Speaker 4:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think that would be extremely helpful. Yeah.</p> <p>Speaker 3:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We look into services of, even taking therapy and mental health services to texting. We know that we can't replace that face time. If we're talking about a mental health or wellness center, can that be another element beyond just getting a health checkup or going to yoga? Can they connect with, potentially, a counselor or someone to talk about their problems, between my classes or at lunch?</p>

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