Renovations provide graduate students with space for working, studying

Eisenhower Hall graduate student workspace in Manhattan, Kan. (Photo by Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

Graduate students at Kansas State now have a new location to study, do research and collaborate.

The Graduate Student Space, located on the third floor of Eisenhower Hall, opened Sept. 29 as a result of the Space Migration project, an initiative from the university that caused several departments on campus to relocate.

The space serves as a series of rooms reserved for graduate students, particularly graduate teaching assistants who are in need of private meeting spaces with the undergraduates they work with.

“As a GTA, you’re required to have certain office hours to meet with your undergraduate students,” said Kelsey Peterson, communications and marketing specialist for the Kansas State Graduate School. “A lot of students who don’t have their own office, or they share this big office with a lot of other GTAs, can’t have private conversations.”

Peterson also emphasized the social aspects of the space.

“There are some graduate students who really focus on their work, and they may not have the opportunity to go out and meet new graduate students and make new friends,” Peterson said.

The Graduate Student Council, which coordinates social events and programs for graduate students, intends to host events in the Graduate Student Space eventually, Peterson said.

The Graduate Student Space also accommodates graduate students who are parents, providing a room that serves as a space for children to play.

“They may have times where they need a space to work and they don’t have childcare,” said Megan Miller, student success coordinator in the Graduate School. “So they need to bring their child with them, but they may not feel comfortable or they may not feel it’s appropriate to be taking their children into the library.”

The Graduate Student Space was originally office space for faculty members in the Department of Modern Languages. It went through a period of renovation before being designated as a space exclusively for graduate students.

The total cost of the renovations was minimal, as much of the effort was taken on by graduate students who volunteered their time.

“We’ve called for some grad students to volunteer and tried to make it a little bit more fun by referring to it as a ‘paint party,'” Miller said. “[We] offered pizza and other snacks for those that came and helped.”

Geraldine Craig, associate dean of the Graduate School and professor of art, said money was also saved by using artwork that is on loan from various people as decoration, though there is still work to be done regarding the technology in the space.

Iva Bago, graduate student in business administration, said the space will benefit students.

“If there are any grad school classes that are in Eisenhower or any close buildings, then it’s a great idea for other grad students to use that space because extra rooms for studying and group projects are awesome,” Bago said.

For more information on the Graduate Student Space, including room reservation, visit the Graduate Student page on the K-State website.