CCI computer lounge opens

Kristen Russo

University Provost Paul Gaston cuts the ribbon and officially opens the new CCI Commons computer lab in Verder Hall yesterday morning. BRIAN MARKS

Credit: Steve Schirra

Forget about bundling up, going outside and walking to the nearest Mac lab. Students living in Verder Hall can now trek to the lab without going outside — in their pajamas and fuzzy slippers if they want.

The CCI Commons Computer Lounge on Verder Hall’s third floor opened yesterday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.

“It’s exciting,” said freshman photojournalism major Trae Ruscin. “I’d heard about it, and I thought it was a good idea.”

Approximately 20 people attended the event including James Gaudino and LuEtt Hanson, dean and associate dean of the College of Communication and Information Betsy Joseph, director of Residence Services and Provost Paul Gaston.

Jason Forbes, media specialist, and Tom Mahon, computer systems coordinator, were also there to answer questions and talk about the computers and software.

Marianne Warzinski, CCI Commons program coordinator, said she was happy with the turnout.

“I felt the turnout was good considering the time of day because 10 in the morning is a prime time for classes,” she said.

The computer lounge has a video editing station and three iMacs. The iMacs are equipped with the iLife software package and Final Cut Express, which Mahon said students use in the Videography Basics course.

Mahon said the video equipment allows students to create VHS, DVD or miniDV videos. The iWeb software from the iLife package allows them to share videos, blogs and podcasts over the Web and publish them on a university-supplied Web space.

The Adobe Creative Suite 2 software package and new speakers will be installed on the computers in the coming weeks, Warzinski said.

The lounge, which also has tables and couches for studying or relaxing, was part of the original plans for CCI Commons, a live and learn community in Verder Hall that opened last fall, but Warzinski said it was delayed because of funding.

“We knew it was a good idea, but we just didn’t know how we were going to pay for it,” she said.

The plan was originally for 12 iMacs, but was cut down to three. She plans to order additional computers and equipment according to the student demand.

Ruscin is excited about having a place to work on projects for classes and to get to know other CCI Commons members at the same time.

“It’s going to bring a lot of us together, link us together,” Ruscin said.

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Kristen Russo at [email protected].