New UA Global Center takes shape in the Park Student Union
The new University of Arizona Global Center, housed in the Park Student Union, began renovations over the summer.
When the project is complete, all resources for international students and students interested in going abroad will come together in one place, according to Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Dean of Global Campuses Brent White, who is spearheading the project.
“The hope for the Global Center is that it becomes a new place for students and faculty to come together in a hub for global activities,” White said.
Previously, resources for international students were scattered all across campus, making it difficult to navigate and remember where services were located, according to White.
In the new Global Center, students will be able to locate UA Passports, the International Faculty and Scholars Offices and Study Abroad. To consolidate all of these services, the non-food spaces, such as the THINK TANK, have been the most affected by these changes so far.
Working alongside White is Todd Millay, senior director for the Arizona Student Unions. Millay said there is a desire to introduce authentic, international cuisine to the center’s dining area in the future.
Both White and Millay expressed their excitement for the international dining opportunities that will complete the cultural aspects of the Global Center. The dining changes, however, will not take place without input from students.
“We would really love the students to come and participate ... answer the surveys when we send them out,” Millay said, “If you live in Coronado [Residence Hall], if you live in those areas, come talk to us and tell us what that means so we get any change right.”
Currently, the PSU houses Bagel Talk, Core+, La Petite Patisserie, Nosh, On Desk Deli 2, The Den and Park Avenue Market.
Angelica Santa Cruz, a junior philosophy and Spanish student and employee at The Den, said she is excited to see how the UA Global Center continues to progress.
“I wish I knew more about it, but I’m sure as I continue to work at The Den I’ll find out what the Global Center will be like and I’m looking forward to finding out,” Santa Cruz said.
The plan to create the new Global Center was first introduced by UA President Robert C. Robbins as a part of the fourth pillar of his Strategic Plan at a meeting of the Arizona Board of Regents in November 2018.
“The UA will become a national model for supporting the needs of international students,” the Strategic Plan reads. “To achieve this, the UA will offer a high-touch, concierge-level of support for international students, addressing the special cultural, academic, social, financial, career, mental health, legal, and other issues that international students face as they integrate into UA’s academic, social, and cultural contexts.”
Even with the emphasis on “global,” there is still a goal to maintain the sense of a “union.” The Global Center will continue to be a gathering space on campus that will be comfortable for everyone while utilizing energy and economics to further develop UA Global.
“‘Global’ recognizes that we are a university that adapts on a global scale, and this project is our commitment to that,” White said.
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