Campus gains new desks and tables, expenses totaling to $100,000

By Ellis Cross

September 13, 2012

[caption id="attachment_11481" align="alignleft" width="240"] The new desks (above right) which are wider and more flexible then the old desks (above left) are in place in a classroom in Looney complex. Looney, Popplewell and Wilson all received new desks and tables as many were again and outdated.[/caption] In March of this year, the SGA voted to allocate $99,558 to purchase new chairs and tables to replace aging furniture across campus. The announcement came with some criticism at the time from those who thought it was strange that student fee money would be used to purchase property for the university. “There was some opposition at the first, but now all I hear is compliments from faculty and students,” Instructional Technology Director Cori Criger said. “It’s a big improvement for the students especially.” One of the best improvements Criger says is the benefit to students with disabilities. Each classroom throughout the campus now has at least two tables and two chairs to accommodate students that need that type of seating. “What it means for students with disabilities is that these classrooms are now ready and waiting for them,” Disability Services Coordinator Michael Ritter said. “ No longer do they have to request special furniture on the first day of class. The new furniture brings these classrooms into the 21st century.” Criger said the old way of accommodating students' needs placed the responsibility of fulfilling the need on the student who had to go through channels to get a table or chair when needed. The furniture was totally changed in 10 rooms across campus. Four additional rooms for renovation had to keep the tablet type desks to accommodate current capacities, but tables and chairs were added to the back of the classrooms. Two other computer labs received new furnishings, but the technology fee funded those changes. “For many years, I’ve been an advocate for replacing the 1970s vintage tablet arm chairs with tables and chairs,” Dean and Executive Director of Western Institute Gordon Mapley said. “Many 2012 adult bodies do not fit well in tablet arm chairs.” Former SGA President Allison Norris and Sen. Amber Nold are credited with the success of the plan to replace the furniture with SGA funds. It was one of the last legislative decisions from the last SGA session. “I am very excited about the classroom furniture upgrades and I applaud the SGA for providing the funding,” Ritter said. Wilson Hall received most of the renovations with a total of five rooms renovated with new tables and chairs and two rooms renovated with new tablet style desks to keep the some room occupancy. Looney Sports Complex received two rooms with new tables and chairs and one with new tablet style desks. Popplewell Hall had two rooms renovated with new tables and chairs and one with new tablet style desks. Eder Hall had one room renovated with new tables and chairs. To see the before and after photos of these rooms, go to griffonnews.com