Sep 23, 2008

Tilley Student Center opens

by Dominique McKay

Hundreds of students gathered around the doors of North Campus as Student Activities (SA) staff swiped Liberty IDs at the grand opening of the Tilley Student Center Friday night.

Jerry and Becki Falwell hosted the official ribbon cutting ceremony before mingling with many of the students.

“This is something we needed for a long time,” Falwell said. “My wife wanted students to have a place to socialize on campus. She felt so strongly about it (that) she talked her parents into helping pay for it.”

With muted lighting and private seating areas, the center, named after Becki Falwell’s parents, now provides students with a place where they can go to socialize, drink coffee and play games outside of the classroom atmosphere.

“It’s all part of Ultimate LU,” Becki Falwell said. “We want to provide places students enjoy. Once we get students here, we want to keep them here.”

“They wanted a place where everyone could come and kick it,” junior and SA emcee for the event Adam Keely said.

The event, hosted by SA, was exclusively for Liberty students, providing them with free food, prizes and a concert featuring My Epic and the Glorious Unseen.

“I came just to check it out and see how it is,” senior Tracy Johnson said. “I like the couches and bar (stools). I definitely liked the free stuff. I am a fan of free stuff.”

“We have tons of stuff planned for this semester,” Keely said. “We are going to have open mic nights as well as karaoke nights open only to the students.”

“It’s just another place where students can come and lounge,” senior Stephanie Ward, of the SA staff, said. “Inside DeMoss, there is really no limit because students can come and adults can come. This is a student only swipe-in kind of thing, and I think a lot of students are going to use it just because it’s more relaxing and more for the student body itself.”

The center is more convenient for hosting large events.

“It (is) also easier for us now that we don’t have to set up the stage,” senior Dan Jones, also a member of the Student Activities staff, said. “We have everything pre-built. All we have to do is decorate.”

“As an LU alumnus, I can think back on many moments (when I) wanted a lounge space that wasn’t the computer lab or gym,” Alese Chandler, associate director of Student Activities, said. “That’s still something students want, so I am hoping they’ll answer positively by using the Tilley Student Center as their hangout spot.”

Throughout the night, some students tried out their karaoke skills on the new stage. Appearances were also made by Vice Chancellor Ron Godwin and Campus Pastor Johnnie Moore, who mingled among the crowd.

“I’m really excited to be in a place like this so I can get to know our students on a more personal level,” Moore said. “It’s far better than anything I imagined it would be, and I think it will really bring the (Liberty) community together.”

The night ended with performances by the bands My Epic and Glorious Unseen.

Televisions, including one projection TV, will soon be installed to allow students to watch ball games and other programming. The Tilley Student Center is open everyday from 7 a.m. until one half-hour before curfew and is closed for church and convocation.


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