By Cierra Steinke
A student enjoys hanging out in room 100 before it was closed for faculty and staff use.
Photo by Muzhytskyi Mykola
As the student population at LCC expands, every square meter of space on campus is becoming more highly valued; it also means rooms once used by students are now dedicated to faculty and staff.
Room 100, formerly called the Innovation Lab, is one of the casualties.
Located next to DeFehr reception, the space is now reserved as a staff and faculty-only meeting room.
“The premise for all of that was the need for more classroom space,” said LCC president Marlene Wall. “We looked at two rooms at the same time, room 100 and room 206. Both were being used messily for classes and meetings, sort of a helter-skelter kind of agenda in both of those rooms.”
Wall also noted that the constant issue of resetting the furniture after a group meets made it difficult to transition smoothly from one purpose to another purpose.
LCC’s facilities manager Nerijus Urbonas agreed on the importance of a consistently functional meeting space.
“We needed to have some designated space to have meetings and gatherings for staff and faculty,” he said. “So that’s why this location was chosen to be one.”
Some students are on board with the decision including Vytautas Vitkus, a DeFehr receptionist and LCC student.
“Actually, I like it more, the fact that the innovation lab is closed,” he said.
Vitkus and Wall both mentioned the ease of directing guests to meetings in room 100 as compared to trying to explain the location of the former meeting room DF 206.
Vitkus has already found this helpful in directing people. “They were looking for room 100 and it was way easier to explain because you can point and say “it’s right there.”
However, not everyone agrees with the new policy, especially students and club leaders who frequently made use of the room.
For students seeking space for meetings, events, studies or activities, the additional classrooms are not comparable to the loss of the Innovation Lab.
Some of the notable features of the space include the large meeting table, projector, the ability to have food and drinks, a reservable schedule, and the light and modern feeling that it was designed with.
Amy Duckworth, president of the Student Council, said, “I think the problem with the classrooms is that they can make me feel claustrophobic. The innovation lab is so nice and they did such a good job renovating it and making it look inviting, so it seems such a shame that it’s not available for students, so it just seems like a waste of space.”
Other club leaders echoed Duckworth’s ideas.
Yuliia Rusianovska, a leader of the club Lean In, said “It’s so light, it’s so nice, it has enough space for everyone, it has tables, and it’s very functional.”
Rusianovska’s club has felt the effects of these changes. The Lean In club sometimes has as many as 30 students and their events are publicized.
“Having a nice venue is actually really important,” she said, adding, “especially because we go to different potential scholarship funders and want to show them what we do and where we have the meetings.”
In the evenings, when staff and faculty have all gone home, students notice the dark room.
Duckworth would like to see more exceptions made in reserving room 100, saying “The staff is not using it for the entire day or in the evenings. They should give students, such as thesis students, and club leaders permission to rent it in the evenings.”
As a former student, Briana Grillo would use this room almost daily. “It was a place where we would have meetings, group studies for our big International Relations and Development exams, bible studies and prayer sessions,” she said.
She continued saying “It was a place where I made so many plans together with my friends and we have laughed so much and we ate so much food. We had goodbye dinners and birthday celebrations there.”
Both Rusianovska and Grillo noted the importance of this versatile spaces for students that can also be reserved and closed off.
Grillo said, “With all the campus craziness in the dorms and classes, it’s nice to have a room that is yours, even if it’s just for a little bit.”
Wall said LCC is in a period of transition and these decisions are only tentative.
“When we begin the process of building the new buildings, everything may change and it could be that there is actually quite a bit of rearranging,” she said.