With midterms looming large and the use of the iSchool common spaces increasing over the past several weeks, Student Services has received a number of comments and complaints about the activity in the computer, teaching and co- labs. This message is a reminder to all about the expectations of courtesy and respect when working in a shared space. As a school, we are all responsible for creating a welcoming and productive environment.
The types of comments received by staff in Student Services include:
- Tension between students using these spaces as a study space versus students using the space as a socializing space.
- General loudness including students yelling across the room at each other. Noise can disrupt even students with headphones.
- Use of inappropriate and derogatory language, which is offensive to many.
- Lack of consideration for student’s personal space and property.
- Smells from food being eaten in the lab and from people not cleaning up after themselves.
The iSchool common spaces (which include the computer labs, teaching labs, the Co-Lab, and the iLounge) are spaces shared by iSchool students in all our degree programs. In addition, some of the labs on the third and ground floor are shared with other departments such as CSE and English.
The primary purpose of the computer and collaborative labs is to provide a space where students can have access to technology and resources to further their academic study. While socializing in these spaces is welcomed, it should not disrupt the academic work being accomplished by students. We want our labs to be a comfortable working space, but not as cozy as your living room or dorm room.
The iLounge is available for students seeking a space to socialize, take a break from coursework, and eat pizza. It is the only approved iSchool common space where food can be consumed.
The expectation of the iSchool is the behavior in the labs and the iLounge be welcoming and inclusive to all students.
Please note the following:
- Derogatory or inflammatory language/behavior is not acceptable in any of the iSchool spaces.
- Students are expected to moderate their noise level within reason and consideration of other students.
- Alcohol is not allowed in any of the iSchool spaces or anywhere in Mary Gates Hall unless it is for a sanctioned event and an alcohol permit has been approved by the university.
- Large group activities may not be held in any of the iSchool common spaces unless they have been approved by the appropriate administration. This includes game and movie nights, Super Bowl parties and other social gatherings.
- Food is not allowed in any of the computer or co-labs unless approved by iSchool administration.
- Only students with building permits are allowed in MGH after building hours. All students must vacate the building between 3 am and 7 am.
Again, our goal is to provide welcoming, collaborative work and learning spaces for all iSchool students. To achieve that goal requires that all iSchool students honor the policies set by the iSchool and be respectful of their fellow students.