Introduction to the student lounge and was
One morning a few weeks ago I arrived at south campus for an eight o’clock class, only to find that my class had been cancelled for the day. “Great, ” I thought. “I can use this extra time to go check my e-mail and work on that paper” So, I headed over to the library, showed my ID, and sat down at one of the terminals. I logged onto my Hotmail account and was about to check my email when one of the lab aides strolled over to tell me that e-mail and chat are prohibited in the lab. She went on to tell me that I could use the computers in the Student Life center for such things, but the computers in this lab are for educational purposes only. Disappointed, I gathered my belongings and headed to the Student Life Center on the other side of campus. Having wasted 20 minutes, I was eager to get to work on my paper. Once again, I showed my ID card and headed to the computers. I opened the door to the student lounge and was amazed to see that at 8:30 AM the room was already full of people, the television was blaring, people were playing dominos, and someone was pounding away on a piano. I decided to attempt to get a little work done despite the noise, only to discover that students were playing music CDs on the computers to either side of me. Frustrated with all of this distraction, I left, thinking, “There has got to be a happy medium.”
This proposal explains that building a new computer lab would be a simple solution that would provide the “happy medium.” A new lab would help meet the needs of all BCC’s students.
Broward Community College provides a number of computers on south campus. The Learning Resources center in the library has about thirty computers and Student Life has approximately fifteen. There are also two additional labs that, during morning and afternoon hours, are for class use only. At any given time during morning class hours, there are usually between 1, 500 and 2,000 students on campus. With so many students and so few computers lines can get long, especially toward mid-terms and the end of the semester. Those who are able to get access to a computer are faced with a variety of other problems. In the Learning Resources center, the computers are exclusively for educational purposes, and are therefore well monitored. In the Student Life center there are no restrictions on computer use. With students playing music CDs, CD ROM games, and chatting, the wait for one of these computers can be ridiculously long. Additionally, if one is fortunate enough to get a computer, the noise level in the lounge makes it difficult to do anything that requires concentration. The extremes of either heavy restrictions or total freedom create a problem for students who want to do multiple tasks such as checking e-mail and working on papers.
The Proposed Solution
The most logical solution to this problem is to build a new computer lab that will meet the needs of most of the students at BCC South Campus. This lab will be a quiet, relaxed area where students may access the Internet; chat, e-mail, or work on school related matters. Students who wish to play games and who do not mind the noisy environment will still be able to use the Student Life center. Students who are using computers for strictly educational purposes will still have access to the Learning Resources lab. The proposed location of the new lab is in the space directly behind the portables on the west -side of campus. The lab need only be large enough to comfortably fit thirty computers with peripherals and the necessary tables and chairs. The lab would need to be air-conditioned and carpeting would be highly recommended. A small supervisory staff would be necessary to maintain the lab and help students with any problems, as well as making sure students do not access pornographic material.
Cost and Construction
Pro Craft Construction, Inc has estimated that the building alone will cost approximately $100,000. This includes materials, machine rental, labor, and ten-percent profit to Pro Craft, Inc. They estimate the project will take five to six months to complete. Total Air Conditioning has quoted $400 for the air conditioning unit. Fibertech estimates about $2.99 per square foot for carpeting. Monthly costs would include additional electricity, computer maintenance (BCC already has a provider), and salary for a two to three member staff. Only one need be full-time, and students on work-study could serve as aides as in the Learning Resources lab. The computer equipment, consisting of thirty PCs, fifteen printers, and furniture, will cost about $68,000. This price is negotiable however, depending on the source of the computers and equipment. The estimated total cost for the entire project is $175, 000.
The extremes and availability of the available computer resources on Broward Community College’s south campus pose a problem for students. The majority of students at BCC are computer literate and need adequate access to Internet, e-mail, and word processing software. A new lab solves all of the major conflicts concerning availability and restrictions on computer usage. Building a new computer lab would greatly benefit the students at south campus and aid in providing an even better education for years to come