By Harris Blum, for the Mitzpeh, @Harris_Blum
The Division of Information Technology at this university announced it will permanently close the computer lab in Worcester Hall, along with three others around campus, beginning May 22.
Dr. Marcio A. Oliveira, executive director of Learning Technology Services in the Division of IT, said the changes are part of an ongoing partnership between his division and the University Libraries.
IT services plans to shut down the two labs located in the Computer and Space Sciences Building and the one in Regents Drive Parking Garage.
The recurring facility issues experienced at these labs are an issue that has been prominent over the last year, Oliveira said. Such issues included ongoing moisture and heating, venting and air conditioning problems in Worcester Hall, and ongoing problems with flooding and heating, venting, and air conditioning in Regents Drive Parking Garage.
More than 100 students signed a petition over the last week to keep the lab in Worcester Hall open.
Dani Shayne, a sophomore finance and accounting major, said the computer lab in Worcester Hall, also referred to as the WAM Lab, is an ideal place for residents of the North Hill community to study.
“Hundreds of people use it,” Shayne said. “I use it five times a week. I don’t know where else I can find a computer projector or a dual screen.”
There will still be projectors in all of the computer labs in Lefrak Hall, as well as two of the labs in the Kim Engineering Building, and one in Martin Hall.
However, the equipment is not the only thing attracting students to the WAM Lab.
Saera Lee, a senior economics major, frequents the WAM Lab when she needs a quiet and isolated place to study.
“I like that this lab is more quiet than McKeldin,” Lee said.
“My biggest issue is that we have not been told how or why they are going to close these computer labs, or what they are going to do with the equipment,” Shayne said.
The University Libraries will offer expanded access to computer resources as well as move the equipment to the libraries, Oliviera said.
“I wish the university was more transparent about these closings,” Lee said. “I can’t imagine what they are going to do with all of this equipment.”