Some of the perks of being back on campus


Chris Weber

A new exhibit in the art gallery in creation stage.

Chris Weber, Phoenix Staff Reporter

A sculpture in the art gallery.

Classes have started and students are back in class. This semester is different for many because most students are new to campus. Whether they are a freshman or a transfer student about to graduate after semesters of remote learning, these are a few of the places on campus that students will want to take advantage of.

Upon arriving at campus, students might not notice that they are parking in a working model of sustainable landscaping. Interlocking pavers in the main lots allow at least some of the rainwater to be filtered before flowing into the rain gardens between rows. These gardens are easy to miss at certain times of the year but they contain native plants that have adapted to the feast or famine rain conditions that Illinois is known for. The wildflowers and other prairie plants in these culverts and around campus offer a food source and habitat to pollinators and other wildlife. Governors State has committed to being one of the most sustainable schools in the country. Students that find this information refreshing will have no shortage of surprises as they explore the campus.

All around campus, students can find and view sculptures and artwork. Governors State University is the home to the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, which is also called theNate. Winding prairie trails throughout campus lead to large art that inspires, questions, and surprises. Find out more about theNate, by taking a walk between classes, visiting the webpage, or taking a tour when they are available. If students want to have fun and really get to know the sculpture park, they can volunteer as tour guides this fall or become an ambassador to the park.

A new exhibit in the art gallery is in the creation stage. (Chris Weber)

In addition to the sculpture park and artwork displayed inside of the buildings on campus, Governors State has an art gallery that is ever-evolving and always interesting. The gallery hosts the work of students and local artists. Students who walk by the gallery frequently are likely to see a work in progress being completed by artists and/or student workers or, see a full display of the finished product. The art gallery is located on the first floor of building E.

The Athletics and Recreation Center is available for students at Governors State to exercise and have fun. Students can swim, play basketball in the gym, lift free weights, use exercise machines, and much more. All Governors State University students are allowed free access via their MyOneCard. The Athletics and Recreation Center, located in the A building, is also accessible to other members of the community with the payment of a fee. According to the GSU website, that fee is often discounted.

Students enjoy the gaming lounge. (Chris Weber)

Students with some downtime between classes can take advantage of the gaming lounge. This lounge has TVs, games, and multiple controllers available for student use, as well as, comfortable seating and a pool table. There are also tables for doing homework while students give their new gaming friends a turn to play. The Gaming Lounge is down the hall from the Athletics and Recreation Center in the A building.

Students experiencing food insecurity can find some relief in the A building. The GSU student food pantry is on the first floor next to the gaming lounge. The food pantry provides food items, toiletries, and over-the-counter medicine to students in need. The pantry is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 am to 5 pm. More information and some alternatives can be found on their webpage.