A guest column about Armstrong’s Student Union and the role of “third places”

Three months ago I posted about the history of Armstrong Atlantic State University (where I’ve been teaching since 2000) as it becomes a more residential campus.

In that post, I linked to a cover story I wrote for the most recent issue of Armstrong magazine.

Last week I contributed a guest column to The Inkwell about the ways in which the new Student Union — which opened about a year ago and which was paid for entirely through student fees — has transformed the use of space on the campus. You can find that piece here: Campus development builds student life.

The Student Union as seen on the cover of the most recent "Armstrong" magazine

I paid special attention to the notion of “third places”, a concept that “includes coffee shops, bars, general stores and other ‘informal public gathering places’ that are ‘central to local democracy and community vitality.'”

I fervently hope that some private entrepreneurs will make a greater effort to capitalize on the 1500 students now in residence at Armstrong. There really aren’t any off-campus hangouts that are easily accessible to students. It seems a pretty obvious need — and I suspect someone could make a pretty good profit with the right concept.