Senate supports proposal to renovate Cyber Center

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Hannah Smith, Staff Writer

City College officials are proposing changes to the Campus Center computer lab in an effort to try and get away from the restricted setting.

Jason Walker, Director of Academic Technology Support, said the Cyber Center on campus has long outgrown its original intention. With a limited number of computers and an even more limited number of websites one can visit, he believes it is time for a change, since many students are unable to use the center for its full potential.

“I’m excited because we’re opening up access. We’re getting away from the traditional ‘Let’s put walls around it, let’s staff it, let’s have somebody there to make sure everyone is playing nicely,’” Walker said. “We’re all adults here so we can handle a more relaxed environment.”

Walker, along with Dean of Educational Programs, Marilynn Spaventa, proposed ideas to the Associated Student Senate on March 15 about a revamp for the Campus Center.

One proposal for the Cyber Center reorganization included relocation of the computers to allow room for tables with charging stations.

The Club Room would be converted into a Student Support Center to house 7-10 student employees. Walker said this will be a place where anyone can go in and get technical support for any problem they might have with City College websites, registration and much more.

The old corner where the arcade games bask in dust will be given a wall and transformed into a new Club Room.

Another problem encountered with the Cyber Center is the limited hours, said Spaventa.

With the new proposal, the computers will be available as long as the Cafeteria is open (7a.m. to 10p.m. from Monday through Thursday).

City College was awarded $4 million over the past five years by the Hispanic Institution Grant to fund the project.

“We now have funding for the remodel and funding for staffing to be there in the evenings to keep the center open,” Spaventa said. “Additionally, this money will help to pay for tutors.”

Spaventa said by freeing up much needed space will allow for more tutors and counselors to be accessible.

The senate supports the proposal and feels it will benefit students.

“To think as a freshman if I would have had these utilities available to me, my transition would have been that much easier,” said senator Sean Sylvester. “It reinserts the idea of making this school a better place.”

Official estimates for the project will be set in the next few weeks. Walker and Spaventa hope to start renovations as soon as possible and have it completed by this summer.