The Bemidji State University Department of Information Technology Services celebrated the grand opening of a new 24-hour student computer lab on the lower level of Decker Hall at a Feb. 16 ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The lab, conveniently located near residence halls and student support services, features 23 fully equipped computer workstations and provides access to color printers and charging stations for mobile devices. It also includes glassed-in rooms that students can use for small-group meetings or study sessions. Renovation of the space, furniture and computer equipment was financed through the BSU Student Technology Fee.
“This is something highly desired by students,” said Dr. Faith C. Hensrud, BSU president. “They wanted to have a place where they could come and use computers and have access to do some work outside the hours of the library and that is much more accessible to the residence halls.”
The lab has been officially named The Beaver Lounge. President Hensrud selected the name, which was inspired by four of the 134 student suggestions submitted to Student Senate. Those four suggestions were: Bucky’s Beaver Lounge/Lodge, Beaver Den, Decker Lounge and Gaa-tazhi-anokiing, or “the work place” in Ojibwe. Students who suggested those names will receive a gift card for the BSU Bookstore.
Robb Carothers, a supervisor in BSU’s Information Technology Services office, said that while he and his staff know there’s still work to be done, they’re proud of the new space.
“I think it’s beautiful,” Carothers said. “We saw something come together that we are really proud of.”
Student Senate Vice President Josh Lively, a sophomore from Abington, Mass., majoring in political science, said the lab represents the best of what can happen when students and the university partner to turn an idea into reality.
“We are very grateful to have this nice, brand new lab,” Lively said. “This is a really great use of how our technology fees are being applied back to the students. It’s proof that the students and the administration can truly work together to bring something great to campus.”