Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Student Life: New student space to meet changing needs

Wanted: a name for a new space.

Last week SAIS Europe inaugurated its new "anti-library" -- a spanking new space where students can study in groups, brainstorm while sipping coffee and scribble equations on the walls.

The brainchild of last year's class, the room meets the changing demands of today's graduate students, who often work in groups, with a tablet in one hand and a bite to eat in the other.

Modular furniture and fast computers
It also underscores the sense of community at SAIS.

Students can still find hushed silence in SAIS Europe's library. The new space, shaped during weeks of pounding and painting this summer, replaces the former dimly lit student lounge with a brighter area featuring a 55-inch flat TV in one section and tables and chairs on wheels in the other.

SAIS students no longer have to jostle for space in Giulio's bar when studying in groups. They can merely take a new set of stairs up to the study space -- which so far has no name.

Suggestions for a name are welcome.

Announcing the treasure hunt winners
Last Friday's inauguration featured a treasure hunt organized by the pre-term Italian language teachers. Students who took Italian classes in pre-term were divided into groups, each named after an Italian cheese: the Mozzarelle, Provole, Caciotte, Pecorini, Gorgonzola and Taleggi.

The teams had to explore Bologna and engage with locals in Italian to find the hidden hints. The competition ended in the new space with each group singing a song they composed on the fly -- in Italian, certamente. The winners walked away with traditional Italian food products.

The room was created in response to a request by students for a space of their own where they can meet, discuss and brainstorm.

Write to your heart's content -- on the walls. It's erasable.
Students from the class of 2013 contributed ideas and helped design the space to meet students' needs.

The administration listened and then acted. Alumni from the class of 1981 made the project financially possible. Very special thanks to them for their effort, dedication and commitment to the Bologna Center.

The new study space takes the place of the old computer lab, which no longer suited today's needs. Now students who leave their laptops at home for the day can use eight desktops with high-definition streaming. Those with laptops, tablets or smartphones can tap into SAIS Europe's wireless network.

The summer renovation also produced a new classroom that is adjacent to the new study space, as well as a fresh language lab.

Amina Abdiuahab

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This new room could be named "IL Room", which stands for International Lounge Room. You can also read it emphasizing the Italian article "il" before the English word "room", just a way to underline that SAIS Europe is based in Bologna - Italy.

Diego T.