DI Hub enters the new semester welcoming back students

Closed for dining sign in the DI Hub. It will open again Feb. 3.

Olivia Perry Reporter

Following the November grand opening, the DI Hub temporarily closed at the beginning of the semester. Now, they are open to students again. Although not entirely open this spring, the DI Hub does offer some value to students during the pandemic.

“Right now, DI Dining is not open, but the rest of the DI Hub is open,” said J.R. Campbell, the executive director of Kent State’s Design Innovation Initiative.

There are courses being taught for the hospitality management program in the Innovation Teaching Kitchen, and intro to design course and sound design courses meeting in the DI Theater/Auditorium. There are spaces also available for group work with limited capacity per room.

The expectations for the success of the Hub differ from the start of production since the pandemic began midway through. Now that people are well informed, the Hub will be able to continue utilizing its features to reach its goals.

“This semester the DI Hub goals are to open to the KSU community with orientation sessions, phase open several shops for access and use, set up a reservation and educational online software system and continue to purchase and build out all DI Hub labs and shops,” said Andrea Oleniczak, the Design Innovation Hub ecosystem manager. 

With COVID-19 coming into play, there are things that had to be thought of in order to have the Hub be as successful as it was first expected to be prior to the virus. Since the Hub is the newest addition to campus, it has had an early start to begin safety measurements rather than having to go through drastic changes to fit in community safe guidelines that we encounter on a daily basis.

“The number of students allowed in each space for social distancing is the most notable change in the building. … We also ask that you communicate with us and schedule times to visit in person rather than just stopping by to ensure we are managing numbers and respectful of the community,” said Oleniczak.

The student staff will play a key role with the DI Hub members to work one-on-one with the equipment and communication with students. This is to avoid large gatherings in the facility and remain loyal to Kent State’s “Flashes Safe Seven”. Accomplishing this will allow its goals to be met that Oleniczak mentioned.

The Hub shows a great deal of promise for its professionally safe start as we begin this new journey of the new normal within campus.

Olivia Perry is an on campus reporter. Contact her at [email protected].