Mark Ingram welcomes the Source

Jennie Kushner

The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram stole the show as the new home to student organizations opened Monday after 10 years of development.

Ingram severed the red ribbon officially welcoming student organizations to use the 2,835 square foot space located between the Jones Center and the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership called the SOURCE.

“We invited Mark to cut the ribbon because we wanted to show that the SOURCE is welcome to all students, whether they are athletes or involved in other extracurricular activities,” said Stacy Jones, director of student leadership.

Ingram was unable to comment, or sign autographs as some non-student fans asked.

Dressed in black slacks and a white Alabama polo shirt, Ingram stood alongside Mark Nelson, vice president of student affairs, vice provost and professor of communication studies, as Nelson made a two-minute speech about the advantages of the SOURCE.

“Space is important; space is symbolic,” Nelson said. “It’s important that we recognize this space here as a symbol to our student body and how important student organizations are to us.”

More than 300 student organizations can now call the space home for collaboration and union.

The room offers printing, faxing and copying, computers, meeting space with a flat-screen TV for presentations, bulletin board supplies, event supplies, application pick up/drop off and other services for registered organizations.

Jones said the University funded the project. The goal is to lower costs for student organizations as much as possible, she said.

The plans for the space were designed by a combination of students, architects, electricians and University Union, Jones said. Designing the room began a little over a year ago.

Although the space is designated for student organizations, it is open to all students, Jones said.

“It is a nice, quiet place for me to come visit and read,” said Will Clayton, a freshman majoring in history. “It’s nice for me to study.”

“I’m excited because this gives a place for student organizations to work on their business and interact with other organizations on campus,” said Charlotte Brown, a junior majoring in marketing. “It’s a great open space to see what’s going on around campus with other organizations.”

 Nelson said students who get involved do better in school and persist to graduation. “We love to see you come in, but we love to see you go,” he said.

 Nelson said students who are involved with student organizations learn important life skills like collaboration.

 For students looking to get involved and use the SOURCE, Fall 2010 Get on Board Day will be Wednesday, August 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Crimson Promenade.