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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Construction

Farewell, Student Center Satellite


Though its closure was announced back in 2019, today UH said its final farewell to the Student Center Satellite, as demolition has finally begun to make way for the new dining commons, The Hub. | Photo courtesy of UH

For many current students, the Student Center Satellite building has the same appeal as a decrepit old house. Perhaps there existed some allure for thrill-seekers, urban explorers and ghost hunters, but outside of that, it was just an old building that was flooded more often than not.

Though its closure was announced back in 2019, this week UH said its final farewell to the Student Center Satellite, as demolition has finally begun to make way for the new dining commons, The Hub

Yet for some, news of the demolition is a bittersweet goodbye to a place where many fond memories and long-lasting relationships were forged.

John Brannen, a UH alumni who graduated with a degree in journalism in 2012, reminisced on his time spent there. For him, the Satellite represents something irreplaceable, a place steeped in nostalgia and a core aspect of his time spent at UH.

“It was this underground, dungeon atmosphere,” Brannen said. “It made my college experience a lot more meaningful and I’m happy that I still keep in touch with a lot of people from that time in my life.”

Among those he still keeps in touch with is his wife, whom he met while working for The Cougar during its time headquartered in the now demolished building. 

“I met my wife when I was serving as managing editor at The Cougar and she was in her first semester as news editor,” Brannen said. “A lot of late nights putting the paper or other special projects together.”

But Brannen is not alone in his mourning, many other users on Twitter echoed the same feelings. The general sentiment being the satellite’s unique atmosphere, and the friendships cultivated within. 

Andrew Monzon, a history graduate of the class of 1993 spoke fondly of his time spent meeting friends for pool and the occasional episode of the Simpsons.

“I remember meeting a friend every Thursday to watch the Simpsons at 7:00 at the Satellite,” Monzon said. “My freshman year, my good friend David schooled me in about every game of pool we played.”

But the Satellite was host to more than the typical dive-bar amenities of pool hustlers and old TV shows. For Monzon, the building was also one of the first places he engaged in political activism.

” It was also the setting for several debates between College Democrats and Republicans during the 1988 and 1992 elections,” said Monzon. “When candidate Dan Quayle was running for VP in 1988, that’s where he spoke. I was there to protest.”

Even for those outside the realms of student journalism and political activism, The Satellite was a special place.

Chris Barnes, a history major who graduated with the class of 2020, said that for him the Satellite carried a certain intensity to it that often made it the setting for dramatic spats and deep conversations. 

“It had this kind of intense, after-school special feel to it,” Barnes said. “For whatever reason, it was the main setting for most of my relationship drama while I was at UH.” 

While some lamented the loss of the building’s Taco Bell as being the true loss, for those who spent much of their time in the quiet, subterranean embrace of the satellite, its demolition represents a final farewell to a cherished home away from home.

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