JRN 200 students survey the Oakland Center for vacancy


Between the reflective waters of Bear Lake and the hushed students in Kresge Library stands the heart of Oakland University: the Oakland Center.

The OC is the epitome of social interaction, relaxation and studious activities, being home to a wide variety of people. From an eager community of students, to professors and hungry locals craving Chick-fil-A, the OC is filled to the brim with commotion.

With so many people passing through the building daily, some have wondered who exactly spends their time there and how they feel about the OC in general.

This includes Professor Becker’s JRN 200 class, which conducted a series of surveys diagnosing the types of people that spend time in the OC and how those people feel about the atmosphere within.

Categories such as gender, age, marital status and residence were taken into consideration throughout the questioning process, along with students’ biggest gripes about the OC. The results varied, and revealed that most students who spend time on campus use the OC at some point in their day.

Out of the 159 students surveyed, 149 of them said that they frequent the Oakland Center. Of those surveyed, 60% who said they use the OC are commuters.

However, many of the students surveyed voiced at least one complaint about the crowded student center and the lack of seating available to him or her.

These complaints were included in articles the JRN 200 students were assigned to write. In one essay, sophomore Emma Harden was quoted as saying, “The OC is way too small, there is not enough seating or room to even stand when in line for food.”

According to the surveys, 44% of students interviewed stated that they do agree that the OC can become overcrowded at times.

Sophomore Sam Boyhtari was also quoted, saying, “It’s so hard to get a table, there’s just no space. People sit against the wall waiting for seats.”

Through these surveys, it is obvious that the heart of Oakland is occupied by a diverse intermingling of people, but the atmosphere could be improved with more space.

Hopefully, Oakland can implement potential plans to expand the Oakland Center, and students can find more comfort and space in and around the food court and other areas.

Freshman Richie Ingle was quoted in one of the surveys by approving of the overall environment of the OC, stating, “I really haven’t had any problems. It could use more quiet zones. I like the environment though.”

The Kresge Library was noted in the surveys to be the second choice of students who frequent the OC. The quiet environment provides students a change of pace from the hectic OC and helps some students really buckle down and focus.

The OC could benefit from an expansion with more quiet and study friendly areas like Ingle and other students desire.

Despite a modicum of space available, the Oakland Center provides a friendly gathering place for many Oakland students through the school year. With more space and places to study, the Oakland Center could one day become the perfect homely environment most students hope for.