Grand Opening Inspires

Elizabeth Koppe/Photography Intern

After a year of discussing a possible international lounge and researching cable opportunities in order to display international television channels, the management team of Student and Event Services presented the Global Viewpoint Lounge grand opening on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

The lounge, which is located on the second floor of the Student Center between the West Food Court and the Anteater Pub and Grill, is intended to enhance the campus community’s global perspective and provide a forum for sharing cultural viewpoints. In addition, students now have another colorful and relaxing place to study, and it is meant to exemplify the values of interaction, learning, enjoyment and opportunity, as expressed by Student Center Board Representative, Bill Miller.

“Not all students have the opportunity to see other parts of the world before they come to UCI,” said Student Affairs Administrative Associate Interim Director Amy Shulz when describing the intention for the lounge. “This lounge provides them the chance to see the world from a global perspective, broaden their horizons, and hopefully enhance their academic experience as well.”

Students who enter the Global Viewpoint Lounge may observe international news stations from six flat-screen televisions or study and discuss the news under a painted patchwork of many national flags on the ceiling.

Phrases and words of “peace” in different languages are posted on the walls along with pictures of iconic locations.

These posters promote ideas of international unity and peace, while the lounge itself encourages discussion and a global understanding of these ideas.

“International is a part of who we are,” said Chancellor Michael Drake during his address for the grand opening.

Drake spoke these words after asking the audience how many people there were not born in the U.S. About a quarter of the attendants raised their hands, showing that UCI really is composed of a diverse, international community.

He encouraged the lounge to be used as a “congregate base of operations” in the exploration of knowledge, influence and appreciation for the global community.

“Education breeds tolerance and understanding,” Schulz said.

She further emphasized these points, stating that students can take advantage of the space to embrace diversity and use it as an opportunity to foster world peace.

Paula Garb, co-director for the Center for Citizen Peace building, emphasized in her speech for the grand opening the great impact people can make on governmental policies or even international relations, and that it is “up to us to change the world.”

Student Center Director Stacey Murren and Associate Interim Director Schulz hope that the lounge becomes a place for students to learn about other cultures where discussion about differing ideas will allow students to gain a greater understanding of each other.

Director Murren and Director Schulz are working toward incorporating into the lounge access to information on internationally focused classes and information on programs such as Study Abroad and University Extension.

The programming is still being developed, but Murren and Schulz hope to host international events and feature screenings of special international news, the Olympics and the World Cup.

Both directors also welcome input on programming suggestions or ideas for the lounge, which can be expressed to Student Center and Event Services at (949) 824-5252 or through email at reserver@uci.edu.