New Bowld Student Commons makes dramatic impression

Music majors Drew Gardner, freshman, Shannon Gardner, senior, and Kristin Voorhies, senior, play video games in the new Bowld Student Commons. The new facility provides areas for students to study, work out and play games such as Wii. | Photo by Beth Spain

By Whitney Jones

The Bowld Student Commons was unveiled for the Union community to explore Feb. 2 as the two-year mark of the EF-4 tornado that damaged much of the campus approached on Feb. 5.

Students returning to campus for the spring semester were invited to a Hollaback Party in the commons, Feb. 2. The new commons was built for the students as a gathering place.

“Students are so deserving (of the new facility),” said Dr. Kimberly Thornbury, vice president for Student Services and dean of students. “The main goal is to show hospitality. We believe in Christians and community, and you need space to do that.”

The 30,000 square-foot building contains a variety of places both indoor and outdoor that foster community for students. Inside the commons there are TV rooms, a video game room, gathering areas, a game room and a multipurpose room that can be used for playing basketball and volleyball or hosting banquets and assemblies. Built-in grills and a patio on both floors of the commons offer a place for students to eat and enjoy the outdoors together.

Students gather in the new Bowld Student Commons on Feb. 2, for the annual Hollaback party. | Photo by Beth Spain

“I think it is really going to improve campus life and relationships on campus,” said Scott McSwain, senior Spanish major.

In case of another storm, the game room, which includes a television, foosball table, pool table, and two pingpong tables, serves as a storm shelter.

Other features of the Bowld Commons include apartments for two residence directors, three classrooms, two kitchens, piano rooms, band practice room and a conference room.

As students explored the commons for the first time, several said they were enthused by the many new features the commons offers.

“I am kind of overwhelmed,” McSwain said, “primarily because of how amazing it is.”

The Bowld Student Commons stands not only as a place of community but also as a testament of faith.

“I am going to love working in it, and it’s a good testimony to non-Christians about God’s provision,” said Lauren Smith, junior nursing major and resident advisor.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.