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Science lounge hopes to open in 2016

By Scott Strasser, November 24 2015 —

students’ lounge for Faculty of Science students is still in the works and could open by fall 2016.

Students’ Union science representatives and members of the Science Students’ Society (SSS) are submitting a joint Quality Money application of over $100,000 to fund the lounge’s construction.

SSS president and former SU science representative Keean Bexte worked on the lounge with his fellow reps last year.

“We’ll see what happens with this Quality Money application. If it gets submitted on time I’ll be quite happy and I think science students will as well,” Bexte said. “I think the science representatives this year have been quite diligent with getting things done.”   

Science students have been working for three years to create a lounge. Last year, SU science representatives secured space in the Elbow Room, a computer lab between Science Theatre’s two largest lecture halls, ST 140 and ST 148. The university’s IT department currently controls the space, which can accommodate around 120 people.

With the room secured last year, this year’s science representatives are focusing on finishing what previous representatives started.

SU science representative Conrad Jaeger said the project is coming along.

“Over the summer we met with campus planning and the science faculty to discuss the space and what we see it being in the future. They had discussions with the incoming dean, someone from IT and someone from general administration. From that, we got the go ahead,” Jaeger said.

Jaeger claimed the science representatives have personally consulted with around 300 science students this year to see what they want the new lounge to look like.

“There was everything from pool tables to white boards to a relaxed space for hanging out with friends to a space used for presentations to quiet workspaces,” Jaeger said. It was all over the map.”

Science is the second largest faculty at the U of C, but the largest without a students’ lounge. The faculty houses 18 programs and has roughly 5,000 undergraduate students. 

SU science representative Houda El Sidawi said a students’ lounge would be a symbol of identity for the faculty.

“Having a collaborative workspace where we can have specific events for science students would increase the pride and engagement within our faculty,” El Sidawi said. “It would really create a sense of community.”

If the Quality Money application is approved, renovations in the Elbow Room could start in the summer of 2016.

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