Monday, November 5, 2007

Building Campus Culture

UVSC has always had something of an identity crisis. So often we hear the complaint that our campus doesn't always feel like a typical college campus. It is hard to put a finger on it...but it almost feels like something is missing.

We think we might have found what is missing from UVSC. It needs a heart. A hearth. A home. A central location where students, faculty and staff can mingle freely without the demands of the classroom. A place where the fruits of our education can be given a forum. A place where conversation is king. And a place where you can get a decent cup of coffee.

A few of us folks who long for such a place think the Bunnell Pioneer Home could become the heart of the campus. Imagine fixing up that old of the oldest homes still standing in all of Orem...and turning it into a first rate cafe. A little nook amid the bustle of this busy campus.

Let's use this resource, instead of just letting it rot away. The Bunnell is filled with a sense of history and shouldn't be a warehouse for chairs and assorted junk. It should be a meeting place, a respite from a hectic day. Let's use the character of this building to help foster a sense of community and culture at UVSC.

Why isn't there one place on campus where music, poetry and art can all be enjoyed. A place to read the paper, get a coffee or a juice, and be exposed to to all kinds of ideas and influences.

Of course this venture will cost money...some estimates put the figure close to $250,000. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and as such cannot be torn down. The school will eventually need to do something with the home...why not make it something special.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, or maybe you would like to help our campaign, send an e-mail to



h2oetry said...

One of the best ideas I have ever heard. We should funnel funds from the athletic department into something that will benefit and please many more students, and that is "The Bunnell Cafe."


Chad S. Clark said...

I think this is a kick ass idea, and I don't usually swear or drink coffee. If you need a photographer or whatever give me a call... I'm in.

Fabulist said...

*Thumbs up*
I'm all for it, as long as there are pastries involved. "Bunnell Buns", think cinnamon rolls as big as your head. Or “Bunnell Cakes” (funnel cakes) Either way where there is coffee there MUST be sugar!

Ritterek said...

It's nice to see someone else noticed the pioneer house. The one thing the house has going against it is the money it will cost to bring it up to code. Back in the summer, Jim Michaelis (the Associate VP of Facilities Planning) told me it would cost about $250,000 to make the place seismically sound. I don't know who they got their estimate from, but I did see the original appraisal, which was done back in the 90s - it was way over $100,000.
Jim also told me UVSC isn't planning to do anything with the place in the future. But if the money was put up, that could be a whole different story. Take the coffee shop idea and run with it!

Grabloid said...

Amazing idea. I would love to help out in any way possible. Could be a great coffee shop/evening venue for music, poetry, art shows, etc. I would love to see it be formed sort of like a co-op ran by students/faculty/staff of UVSC rather than selling it off to some business to run (maybe that is obvious). There are a million possibilities for this idea...before any of them can happen we need to think about what needs to be done to fix the house up first.

polehead who flails thusly said...

I always imagined something like this residing in the studio space beneath the Sinclair Station. The thought of using the Bunnell House never occurred to me, it's brilliant. I'm for it.
And while we're on the subject, how do you feel about frilly toothpicks?

Scott Abbott said...

A place like this would engage creative students and faculty alike. And if it's as funky as it might be, it could serve as an antidote to the bare walls and sterile environment of the LA building.

Torben B said...

I think this is a wonderful idea. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I feel like this is something UVSC seriously lacks. The only community "location" I've found has been in the Behavioral Science office and the Integrated Studies office, where I stop by from time to time to shoot the breeze :) I think this is doable, but as I see it, here are a few concerns that may come up (some have already been mentioned):
1. Cost (Fultons?)
2. People might all-of-a-sudden get sentimental about it being a pioneer home and quickly forget that it has been full of chairs and used as storage for who knows how long.
3. I can foresee some orthodox people taking issue with a pioneer home being converted into a coffee shop (with the word of wisdom and everything). Of course, we can always remind them that this is not BYU :)

Anyways, despite the above, I think it is extremely doable and would be happy to help in any way I can. Please let me know.

bobman said...

This is an incredible idea! This would really start to give the campus the beginnings of a sense of identity. I believe that one of the biggest problems with UVSC campus is that there are no places for students to spend their free time. This would be an excellent addition. I hope you put photos or memorabilia around to give the students a better idea of the history of the school.

Just a thought; Pepsi has a partnership with Starbucks, and UVSC has a contract with Pepsi. Maybe Starbucks would be willing to help sponsor the remodeling?

Anonymous said...

I'd call it the Bunnell Cafe, just to bypass friction from the dominant culture. Then again, it's not like we don't already have a coffee house on campus. But it might open the door to more outside funding.