The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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AS senators fight for new engineering lab

The College of Engineering and Computer Science has designated a new room for the computer engineering design lab that will now be accessible to all engineering students.

Last year, the Department of Academic Resources and Planning was asked to re-allocate space needed for projected growth within the college’s nursing program. The resulting decision was to convert the former design lab into a training facility for nurses. The new lab is down the hall but was not announced until last month. According to Associated Students, no such alternative was originally offered.

Jacaranda Hall Room 2202 contained computers with pricey software that engineering students used to work on their senior design projects. It also housed various lounging and study areas where students spent time between classes. Associate Students worried they would lose these resources for good.

“We are ecstatic that we have found a working compromise,” AS Senator Byron Baba said. “We haven’t been sidelined.”

AS Senators Samir Habib and Baba?sit on the University Affairs committee and drafted a bill together that they feel helped lead to upper administration’s change of heart.

The bill listed reasons why the lab was important to students and demanded a replacement before fall. Senators also asked that upper administration include specific senators for colleges to be part of any future room changes.

It was by mere chance that the senate was able to take action in a timely fashion.

“If I hadn’t been approached by my constituents about this, the lab would’ve been gone this May,” Habib, a recent graduate of the College of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said.

Habib was initially surprised when he heard the news. He said the lab is much more than computers and lockers. It is the only place for engineering students to congregate, and essentially the heart of the electrical and computer engineering department. Habib attributes his timely graduation to the resources provided by the lab.

Baba said a lot of times students don’t find out what’s going on until its too late, and in this particular instance, students were never given a choice.

“All we are asking is that in the future students have a say in the decision-making process,” Baba said.

S.K. Ramesh, dean of the College of Engineering, said the solution is ultimately going to be much better for students.

“All students in the college of engineering will have access to the new room, not just computer engineering majors,” he said.

Ramesh also said, to his knowledge, the university was at all times considering alternate options, and had no plans of shutting students out of their lab.

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