Student Disability Center reopens space in Lory Student Center


Collegian | Reuel Indurkar

The Student Disability Center Community Space opens on the second floor of the Lory Student Center Jan. 20.

CTV News

Miles Buchan, Staff Reporter

The Student Disability Center has reopened its Community Space located in the Lory Student Center. After being closed for several years, this space, located in room 223 on the second floor, will be open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for students, staff and community members.

This space has a handful of seats and tables for students to use as well as a TV and a Keurig coffee maker. It also has two offices that will be staffed part time by members of the SDC team. This space can be considered a lounge for students who need somewhere to eat, relax, hang out or do homework.


“One thing I’ve been hearing from students in the space is how it is nice to have a smaller, quiet space in the LSC,” said Joe Tiner, assistant director for access and accommodations at the SDC.

“It allows students who might be overstimulated by the large crowds and noise level in the LSC a place to go and decompress,” Tiner said. “The lights are LED and dimmable, which can be really helpful for those who do not like florescent lights.”

SDC Director Justin Dove discussed the staff presence and said, “We just want to be here in case students need us but also to be in community in case they want to talk to us, … making sure that everybody gets what they need in this space while we’re here.”

“Disability often is only seen as a compliance measure, but it is way beyond that for me and our office.” –Justin Dove, Student Disability Center director

Originally, the SDC Community Space opened in 2014 but closed around the time of the first pandemic lockdown in 2020.

“The space was provided to us so that we could have a space among the other Student Diversity Programs and Services offices,” Tiner said.

When asked about the differences between then and now, Tiner said, “The biggest change is we are not meeting with students to discuss accommodations in the space. This is to help protect their privacy and to help focus the space to being a place for community.”

For Tiner, one drawback to the space is its size. “The space is small; we’d love to expand it in the future to allow more room for more students to use the space,” Tiner said.

“I would love if this space could be expanded some (and have) computers with assisted technology,” Dove said.

Alisha Zmuda, assistant director for operations and programming, discussed the size of the space and what she sees for the future.

“When I am envisioning events and being in community with our SDPS offices, that space is just a little bit too tight to really be able to function in the ways that I think other SDPS offices do and invite participation and community,” Zmuda said.


“It definitely could use some updating and upgrades to make it as beneficial as possible,” Zmuda said. “(We are) really trying to make it a space that students want to come and spend time.”

Zmuda shared several ideas about what kinds of upgrades she hopes to see. “I know that other SDPS offices have computer banks that students come and use to print, and I just think it would be really awesome for us to have something similar,” Zmuda said. “I would love to see more art in there, to see it be homey feeling.”

There is a lot to be offered in this space as well as a lot of room for growth, and the SDC is seeking feedback for the process. Feedback and comments can be sent to the SDC front desk email.

“Even if the feedback seems very big picture, lots of money, outlandish, I still want to hear it because even if we can’t do it to its fullest extent, maybe we can still pull something out of that to make the space conducive to what students want,” Dove said.

“Disability often is only seen as a compliance measure, but it is way beyond that for me and our office,” said Dove, who believes the office is a step forward to recognize people beyond an accommodation.

“Sometimes students feel alone,” Dove said, mentioning that the number of accommodation letters for students has reached nearly 3,000. “(But) you’re not a small number, so never discount your voice.”

Reach Miles Buchan at or on Twitter @buchanmiles.