Some students got into their first choice seminar. Several hundred students got into Cold War. But now there’s a place where everyone can get in — the Student Organizations Center.
After opening last spring with limited access and hours, the Yale College Dean’s Office has decided to give every undergraduate access to the center, located on the second floor next to Urban Outfitters on Broadway. The space will be open from noon to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said.
“Before it was opened and we talked about hours, we decided for starters to have more limited access than what we eventually knew we’d have, just to see how things worked,” Trachtenberg said.
When the space opened last spring, it was not open on weekends, and the only people who had key card access were officers of registered undergraduate organizations and members of the Yale College Council, Yale Herald, and New Journal staff, who all have permanent offices in the space. The Herald and New Journal were given offices because Yale sold their previous offices on Park Street to St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center.
The space, which can be accessed from the back next to the Off-Broadway theater, contains two conference rooms, as well as common meeting space and state-of-the-art equipment. Yale College Assistant Dean Philip Greene said there will be Computing Assistants working at the center during most of the hours to help with the 20 IBM and Macintosh computers, to make it like a regular computer cluster.
“[The CAs] had a full four days training at the center,” Greene said. “What they do is they break the computers, and the job for these budding CAs is to confront each problem and to make their circuit around all 20 machines. It was very successful.”
Greene also said he is planning to hire students to work at the center, to reserve conference rooms, issue keys to locked file cabinets, and act as liaisons between students and the Dean’s office.
Yalestation.org moved its headquarters to the center, as it is now a project of the YCC, Greene said. Yalestation.org founder Alexander Clark ’04 said he was glad to move the server out of his dorm room, and the extended hours make using the center more convenient.
“Now the hours have been dramatically extended, which has really been very necessary when administering servers because you never know when something might go wrong,” Clark said.
Trachtenberg said using the space should be much more convenient this year because an officer will not need to stay outside to let people in. She said there was no scientific way of tracking how many people used the space last year.
Undergraduate Organizations Funding Chairman Elliott Mogul ’05 said he has gotten several inquiries from student groups about the space already, and he plans to spread the word about the space this year.
“Now that it’s open to everyone, it’s exceedingly convenient,” Mogul said.
Mogul said the center has been great for the YCC and they plan to hold some committee and officer meetings there during the year.
Yale College Democrats President Samantha Jay ’04 said while her group is currently doing most of its work around Old Campus to recruit freshmen, she plans to move some paperwork over to the new space soon.
“Stuff has been so hectic in the first semester … but our plan last year was to move our filing cabinets and make it more accessible to everyone so we don’t just have a big cardboard box under my bed with all the papers,” Jay said. “[The center] sounds great, so hopefully we can take advantage of it.”