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Far Away Fairlane: How can UM-Dearborn improve the Fairlane Center campus?

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

Nevaeh Skalski, Guest Writer


The University of Michigan—Dearborn’s Fairlane campus could use one thing, according to the handful of students who have classes there: Life.

“The Fairlane campus feels like one big building of office cubicles,” says one student.

“There are lots of nice study areas and the technology is fantastic, but it still feels very office-like and drab.” Says a Fairlane student. The students have one thing in common and that would be the agreement that the Fairlane campus in fact can be described like one big building of office cubicles.

Sara Dokter is a Cybersecurity major with a concentration in Digital Forensics. She says she would like to improve community engagement on campus, and share knowledge and resources with other students who might need help or guidance.

As a transfer student, she learned a lot about UM-Dearborn, its culture, and about herself via her leadership roles.

“I feel that if they had better social spaces and more advertisements about the small study rooms that would help,” she says. “A lot of students don’t even know just how much space is at Fairlane so it’s a lot of unused space that could be repurposed to better serve students and study groups. I think it would be cool to utilize the spaces more for events as well as a space to hang out.”

There was also talk of opening a Picasso eatery on the Fairlane campus, which was a popular idea with students.

The consensus was that it would be a great addition to the campus and would most likely add some life to the campus as well.

“I also think having a cafe would also really boost the place,” says Dokter. “I know a lot of students have said that the food isn’t that great, and they aren’t given a lot of variety of food to choose from. So, giving them the ability to have a place to eat there might also increase popularity there.”

The Fairlane campus has so much space that an addition of a Picasso could also be beneficial for the students that often spend long nights there, and create a more unique environment for students to enjoy.

The Fairlane campus feels secluded and somewhat dark. The fact that it’s massive – 22,000 square feet of meeting space, 1,200 square foot classroom, two buildings – adds to the lonely nature of the place.

While it is equipped with great technology and plenty of study spaces which is great for the many students that are often there until it’s dark out, some of it is either not utilized correctly or isn’t properly advertised to the student body for everyone to enjoy, according to student interviews.

It is a beautiful campus. But it has room to improve.

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