Study Lounge dedication marks completion of SAC

Dr. Whitely speaks during the opening ceremony for the new 24 hour study lounge in the Student Activities Center on Wednesday evening. Monica Herndon // Photo Editor
Dr. Whitely speaks during the opening ceremony for the new 24 hour study lounge in the Student Activities Center on Wednesday evening. Monica Herndon // Photo Editor
Vice president of student affairs Dr. Pat Whitely speaks during the opening ceremony for the new 24-hour study lounge in the Student Activities Center Wednesday evening.
Monica Herndon // Photo Editor

As a student studying at the University of Miami’s law school, Susan Fleischner Kornspan was unsure if she would be able to continue her education because of funding. She went to a school administrator who assured her they would help, and because of the gifts from alumni in a scholarship fund, she was able to continue in the law school and graduate in the class of 1990.

“I always felt a sense of responsibility to be able to live up to their faith in me,” she said. “I believe that an excellent education transforms your life and so, to me a lack of funds should never be a reason why you can’t get an education. There were people there to make sure that didn’t happen to me and, for me, until the day I die, I want to make sure that that doesn’t happen either.”

Twenty years later, she and husband Scott Kornspan are paying it forward with a donation allowing the Scott and Susan Fleischner Kornspan Study Lounge to open.

Scott Kornspan was the first two-time Student Government (SG) president and former chief of the Iron Arrow Honor Society while at UM.

“The study lounge is a wonderful addition for the students, the facilities are great,” he said. “I’m anxious over time to hear how the students are making use of it and anxious to hear that they’re enjoying it because really this whole complex, this room it’s all about the students, it really is all about the students.”

The study lounge drew inspiration from Ivy League schools and colleges and features sturdy, wooden desks and chairs. The lounge also has several cubicles where students can meet in groups.

“It’s definitely a unique study space, a unique look for the University of Miami but I think it fits in well and it fits well with the whole Students Activities Center,” SG President Bhumi Patel said.

The opening marks the completion of the Student Activities Center, the newest building on campus which opened Aug. 26. The three-story building houses new student organization offices, the Rathskeller, meeting areas and now includes the 24-hour study space students have been anticipating.

“I think as far as the students having access to spaces, yes it’s 100 percent completed,” said Daniel Westbrook, executive director of the Whitten University Center and Student Activities Center. “We’re still working on fine-tuning some of the lighting and the audio visual and things like that but in general now students can pretty much get into all parts of the building that they’re supposed to be in.”

Westbrook also confirmed the study lounge would be a 24-hour study space. Thursday will be the first day the lounge will be officially opened.

“I think it’s a huge benefit,” Patel said. “Students more and more are staying up later to study and we are admitting the smartest of students which means they’re working the hardest and college students like to stay up late so I think that it’s great and the fact that it’s attached to the Student Activities Center so it’s in the center of campus is really great.”

Above all, Scott Kornspan wanted to ensure the growing university had facilities that matched its top-tier status.

“The university, on many metrics, continues to be better every year,” Scott said. “The student body coming in is always better than the year before and these are significant things for the University of Miami that it was imperative that the facilities keep up and surpass. The students are good, hardworking, and they need facilities quite frankly to continue work in their academic and student life endeavors.”

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Ashley Martinez
Ashley Martinez is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology, which have sharpened her people-watching skills. She has worked as a staff writer, copy editor, assistant editor and is now the Edge arts and entertainment editor at The Miami Hurricane. She serves as the president of UM's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her work has been featured in The Hurricane, Distraction Magazine, The Communique, Gables Home Page and The Miami Herald. When she's not working on a story, she loves going to the theatre and singing show tunes.