Lowman Student Center Achieves Record Breaking Year
May 11, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
As the 2021-22 academic year ends, Sam Houston State University is full of events as campus life continues to see growth after a return to in-person classes. The Lowman Student Center (LSC) is a driving force behind gatherings on campus and is about to finish its busiest year with more than 7,750 events, a record since the building was opened in 1963.
Following a renovation and expansion that saw the LSC grow to more than 225,000 square feet in 2020, the “living room of campus” is truly becoming the central heartbeat of SHSU that it was always envisioned to be. LSC Director Rob Webber, who was originally brought to campus to oversee the renovation, is ecstatic to see the building operating to its full potential and said he could not be happier to have a calendar full of daily events.
“We are busier than ever in the 15 years that the LSC has been tracking data and it is a testament to the renovation project that we got it right,” Webber said. “When you walk through this building at any time of day, you see students using the spaces as we intended it to be used. It is bustling all the time. That is how it should be.”
As a result of the renovation, the building now has 22 spaces to reserve including two ballrooms, a theatre and the popular Kat Klub. The LSC is also home to seven dining options and 13 Student Affairs offices. Webber credits his staff for keeping up with the demand that these new spaces bring.
“I don’t think we would have got to over 7,750 reservations without changing the hearts and minds of our staff,” Webber said. “Everyone here is willing to serve our campus in any way possible. We will now have days where we are flipping the ballroom for two and three events a day.”
The LSC initially debuted the renovations in 2020, but this is the first full academic year that students have fully enjoyed the new building in person.
“2020 was supposed to be our banner year and then everything took a pause,” Webber said. “So, now 2022 is our banner year and we’re busier than ever.”
Webber also credits James Van Roekel, director of student affairs technology, and his team in helping make the building come to life. Van Roekel stressed the importance of creating an environment where students feel comfortable and welcomed in the student center as if it was their personal living room on campus.
“When I think of a living room, I think of a place where people can go and feel welcomed, safe and comfortable,” Van Roekel said. “It is a place to relax or a place to be yourself. I think all of those things are exactly what a student center should be and that is what we have created in the LSC.”
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