Lassonde Studios Take “Community” to a Whole New Level

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The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute was founded in 2001
The Lassonde Institute on campus is nearly complete on Wednesday, August 24, 2016

With the first week of school officially out of the way, students are cracking down on assignments and projects. With a casual coffee or stroll around campus here and there, fall has officially approached, bringing with it new tricks and tips on how to get through the school year.

One apparent generator of those new tips and tricks is the Lassonde Studios. If you haven’t noticed, it’s that “new building on campus” that everyone seems to be talking about. Garnering local coverage from The Salt Lake Tribune to national recognition from The New York Timesthis is the hip and happening place to be. Or is it?

As a current student myself who, up until this point, spent a lot of my spare homework hours in the library, I decided to see if the Lassonde building is all it was cracked up to be. Walking into the building alone smelled like “innovation that excites.” It was new, fresh and ready to be broken in; and I was the one to do it (along with the 400 brilliant students who actually live there).

To start with, the overall building is aesthetically pleasing and each floor is equipped with a theme and a message. The sense of community is outstanding; interacting with everyone, whether they are residents of Lassonde or students using one of the many tools the building has to offer, is definitely a great way to meet people. It doesn’t matter if you are an undergrad or working on your PhD, everyone is welcomed into this community with open arms. While most students cannot access the second floor and above after dusk, I got the special treat of being welcomed to many floor dinners and activities where the community becomes even more tight-knit and exclusive.

Each floor has a giant kitchen space, so if he dropped by, Gordon Ramsey of the Food Network could prepare a gourmet dish or two in the space allotted the residents. It doesn’t stop there either: new cooking equipment and silverware are provided, giving a new meaning to “treat yo’self.” Communal is the word that accurately describes the whole environment; however, there is not enough fridge space to go around. While the building may center its focus around the community aspect of things, residents do have “pods” or shared rooms where they sleep. But not all spaces have a window or natural light coming in – the biggest complaint I gather students already have.

The Lassonde Studios are slowly embodying “innovation that excites,” as entrepreneur students start creating magic in a building that has made history itself. After getting the Lassonde treatment myself, I was pleased overall by what Utah has to bring to the entrepreneurial world. Not just the students who occupy the building, but those who will use it to build their own experiences as well.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

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