Too many students don't enjoy spending free time on campus; how can we engage them to use the public spaces here more frequently? If we can successfully excite student *public* life on campus, I believe it would stimulate student academic life here as well. For many of us our private and academic lives are one and the same.
In graduate school we always joked about turning Marco's back into a bar, and while that isn't ever likely to happen the idea behind the jest is sound. Give students something on campus that allows them to mingle and collaborate the way apartments and public spaces do. Most of the grad students I attended with met their friends and professors for food, drink, and conversation regularly, but always off campus ; we never wanted to go to the over-crowded Student Center, or to the dorm common areas. What could we do to encourage that kind of socializing on-campus, without appearing "un-cool"?