History of the SEC
A Building For the Students, By the Students
Since the Memorial Union opened in 1928, the student population has been steadily outgrowing its student union space. Despite expanding the MU and relocating some student programs to Snell Hall, the 2006-7 ASOSU President, Michael Olsen, and Memorial Union President, Jamie Colbert, began exploring the need for a new student space on campus, somewhere that provided the resources OSU students would need to succeed in the 21st Century.
Over the next ten years, the ASOSU and Memorial Union presidents, along with the Memorial Union's executive director, Michael Henthorne, and larger student body, worked tirelessly to conceptualize, plan, and fund the Student Experience Center, which culminated in the building’s grand opening in May 2015. Throughout the process, the presidents all kept to the same four core values integral to the building: that it be student centered, have a sustainable focus, welcome diverse populations, and incorporate accessible design.
The SEC provides a home to 28 student programs and initiatives, housed throughout its four floors and basement level, as well as an art installation-cum-rotunda, a 700-piece spiral staircase that mimics the colors of a sunset. Outside, the SEC is flanked by a large, covered plaza, which provides an outdoor event space throughout the year, even during the wet, rainy season.
Not only does the SEC house programs that inspire leadership, engagement, and involvement, but the building itself is a flagship of innovative and sustainable technology, from its ADA-compliant accessibility to its storm water runoff and collection system.
The Student Experience Center is more than just a building – it’s an on-campus but out-of-the-classroom hub for students seeking an avenue toward leadership, an example of sustainability, or even just a place to study.