by Drew Elrick '12, Student Government President
When I began my Northwestern career in 2008, the Billy Graham Community Life Commons was nothing more than a parking lot and a dream. Fast forward three years, and that parking lot is no more, and that dream is now a beautiful reality.
It is hard to describe the full impact this new facility has already had in reshaping the campus and its influence on the physical, spiritual and relational aspects of our community. “The Billy,” as students have affectionately dubbed it, is where we eat, where we learn and where we converse. It is where we study, where we pray and where we grow.
Sure, all of those things occurred in the existing structures on our already beautiful campus, but you simply cannot underestimate the value of a single building that houses intentional spaces for those experiences to take place.
This is my second year as a member of Student Government. Our move to The Billy has dramatically changed the way we operate, and our new office is a huge upgrade in both space and furnishings. We even have windows to the outside world! Our student organization benefits so much from having centralized meeting locations as well as from having our other student-led organizations right next door.
This student leadership center helps to facilitate great partnerships among Leadership Development, Student Activities, FORCE (Fellowship of Reconciling Cultures Everywhere), Campus Ministries, and Student Government. It allows us to have more cohesion in our efforts and greater opportunities to support and pray for one another. The space also increases interactions among the groups overall.
I consider it a tremendous blessing and responsibility to lead Student Government in the Graham Commons’ inaugural year. The new resources I have at my disposal motivate me to set the bar high for what Student Government can be and can accomplish. I can think of no better way to show my gratitude towards those who labored and gave generously so that this dream could come true.
On behalf of Student Government and the University of Northwestern student body, I want to thank everyone who gave so much to bless our community with this amazing facility. It is a challenge to put into words what it truly means to us. You simply must come see the building and the life that takes place within its walls.